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When is it Time for Memory Care?

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For the millions of Americans with dementia, there eventually comes a time to have a conversation about memory care. Memory care is a type of assisted living designed for people with cognitive issues such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, or Parkinson’s.

Conversations about memory care can be difficult and emotional for both you and your loved one, but you’re not alone in your journey. It can be hard to decide when the best time for memory care is. If you’re unable to keep up with your loved one’s symptoms and are looking for a place that can offer safety, comfort, and care, an assisted living community for memory care may be the right choice.

About Dementia

When someone refers to dementia, what they’re actually referring to is a group of diseases. Dementia is a term that refers to a general cognitive decline. It’s not a normal part of aging, and many seniors will live their entire lives without developing it.

Caring for someone with dementia can be challenging, as symptoms can vary widely from person to person. Some types of dementia have been linked to genetics. Others are more prevalent in certain ethnicities, people with poor heart health, or caused by a severe brain injury. Out of all these types, the most significant risk factor for developing dementia has always been age.

Common signs of dementia include:

  • Getting lost in familiar places
  • Forgetting close friends and family members’ names
  • Inability to keep up with daily tasks
  • Trouble recalling old memories
  • Referring to object using unusual words

Dementia isn’t the cause of all memory challenges. It’s natural for us to forget the occasional thing as we age. If this memory loss becomes chronic and impedes their daily activities, that could be a sign of something more.

Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Types of Dementia

Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia, accounting for up to 80% of all dementia cases. It primarily affects memory, language, and cognition. It’s likely related to several factors related to aging, but scientists don’t yet fully know what causes it.

Other types of dementia you may have heard of include Lewy body dementia and vascular dementia.

Pile of envelopes with overdue utility bills on the desk. A person with dementia forgot to pay bills.

Getting Ready for Memory Care

A doctor may suggest memory care if they notice any red flags for Alzheimer’s or dementia. However, the decision will still come down to what’s best for your loved one. You’ll want to keep an eye out for changes in your loved one’s behavior.

The best time for memory care will come down to your unique situation. Experts have indicated the activities of daily living (ADL), fundamental skills related to how well someone can independently care for themselves. Noticing if someone is having trouble with these skills could help when coming to a decision. They include:

  • Being able to move from one place to another independently
  • Feeding, dressing, and cleaning oneself
  • Ability to control one’s bladder and use the toilet

You’ll also want to keep an eye out for safety concerns regarding your loved one’s abilities, such as:

  • Wandering
  • Having trouble remembering to take their medication
  • Forgetting to pay bills
  • Losing track of time

You may also notice personality changes or your loved one acting aggressively. It’s important to remember these are symptoms of their condition, not a reflection of how they truly feel about you.

Finding the Best Memory Care Community

A memory care community is designed specifically for people with memory issues and cognitive challenges. People with dementia can begin to withdraw from social situations and become isolated. However, socialization has been shown to help with dementia symptoms and improve mental skills.

A good care community can offer structured experiences and activities that fit your loved one’s unique needs. When choosing a memory care community, ensure they meet your standards of care.

Consider these questions when looking around:

  • Is a doctor or healthcare professional on staff?
  • What is the ratio of staff to residents?
  • Do they offer a meal plan?
  • What activities are offered?
  • What is the staff’s required training?
  • What security is on-site?
  • How can you stay up to date on your loved one’s health and well-being?

A community should be able to answer these questions to your, and your loved one’s, satisfaction. So keep your loved one involved in the process and talk to them about the choice ahead.

Welcome to the Community

We design memory care with a focus on people first. Dementia affects everyone differently, and that means the care they require needs to be custom-made for them. 

Fox Trail Memory Care in Montville believes in holistic, comprehensive care. We understand the complex emotions and the trust required to take the next step in your loved one’s healthcare journey.

When you’re ready to talk about assisted living and see what memory care can offer, book a tour with one of our professional staff. We’ll be happy to see you.

Ryan Donahue

Written by Ryan Donahue, Regional Vice President

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