Lifestyle Changes for Dementia
Many people with dementia can live independently in its early stages, but require more round-the-clock care as the condition progresses. Aging in place has proven to be beneficial to people in the early stages of memory loss; however, the conditions must consider safety and health.
Caregivers and their loved ones may need to consider new accommodations to reflect appropriate care and personal wellbeing. Memory care programs can help provide additional care and healthy routines for our loved ones with dementia, but how do we decide the right timing?
Being a caregiver isn’t easy. If you’re caring for someone with memory loss, you may feel overwhelmed with emotion, information, and details about their care.
If you’re looking for answers, Fox Trail Senior Living can help you determine if your loved one will benefit from the specialized services of a memory care facility.
What to Consider
You and your loved one’s physical and mental health should remain a top priority. The benefits of aging in place are significantly reduced if anyone’s safety is at risk.
If you’re significantly concerned about the well-being of a family member with memory loss, it may be time to make a transition into a facility with 24-hour care services. Ask yourself:
- Is my loved one at risk of harming themselves?
- Is my loved one at risk of harming others?
- Do they have enough cognitive function to express what they would like for themselves?
- What does the family doctor suggest?
- Is remaining at home the safest option?
- Am I suffering from caregiver fatigue or burnout?
It’s important to be honest with ourselves when considering the answers to these questions and watch closely for signs that our loved ones may require extra support. Your loved one may benefit from the increased availability and specialized memory support training a team of caregivers can offer.
Watch For These Signs
Caregivers want the best for their loved ones, and want to make sure that they remain in a comfortable and familiar place for as long as possible. The decision to transition your loved one into a care home is complex, and it’s never easy to determine the perfect timing or stage to make the transition.
The Fox Trail community has put together a list of crucial signs that may help you determine if your loved one is ready for 24-hour care and memory support:
Significant Changes to Behavior
As dementia progresses, it can greatly alter the personalities of our loved ones. You may notice your loved one becoming:
- Anxious in social situations
- Increasingly confused and forgetful
Increased Risks to Personal Safety
The safety of your loved ones and their caregivers should be of utmost priority. Dementia often causes poor judgment and confusion, resulting in hazardous situations and injuries.
Safety risks can include:
- Getting lost
- Being unaware of dangers in the home
Lack of Hygiene
In their confusion, your loved one may begin neglecting hygiene, which can lead to illness, various skin conditions, and tooth decay. A care team provides your loved one with more options for personal care, reducing the risk of harm.
Your loved one may become resistant to purchasing groceries or eating certain foods. An unhealthy diet, or a diet that lacks variety can lead to physical weakness and an increased risk of flu and colds. A care home can be a place that provides more nutrition opportunities or supervision for meals, depending on their personalized care needs.
Medication Management Issues
Your loved one may experience confusion or become forgetful about their prescriptions, or you may begin to feel overwhelmed with the timing or dosages of their medications. Under or over-taking medications can lead to serious health complications.
Our loved ones with dementia may feel isolated and lonely, leading to depression and issues with mental health. Social isolation affects mental and physical health, and can increase the risk of developing multiple health conditions.
Subpar Living Conditions
A caregiver may not have the time or ability to provide appropriate housekeeping services, and a person with dementia may not care for their own living space. Lack of cleanliness can result in poor living conditions like:
- Spoiled food
- Rotting dishes
- Uncontrolled household mess
Caring for someone with dementia can be rewarding, but also time-consuming and overwhelming. Caregivers often feel weary, anxious, and burnt out. It’s easy to lose ourselves caring for our loved ones, and forget about the good memories and times shared.
The Benefits of Memory Care
Someone with dementia requiring long-term care may benefit from the specialized support from specialized programs, like our Moments Matter approach to memory support.
Care homes with memory support are designed to mimic home life, focusing on the specific needs of someone with memory loss, provided by specially-trained staff members.
Quality of life is enhanced by a more holistic approach to memory loss, meals are typically eaten in a comfortable, family-style environment, and surroundings are intentionally designed to minimize confusion and wandering.
Memory support focuses on:
- The physical health of residents by promoting healthy lifestyles and diet
- The mental health of residents by encouraging social interactions and activities
- Vibrant and engaging activities to help maintain cognitive functions
- Providing a safe and comfortable environment for someone with memory loss
- Promoting positive relationships with family members and friends
- Cultivating close connections between residents and staff members
Trust Your Instincts
You know your loved one, and have a good grasp of their cognitive abilities. If you’re worried about their safety and mental health, chances are, you are right to be concerned.
Remember, there isn’t a perfect time or moment to transition into a care facility, but making a move in the earlier stages of dementia can help mitigate problems or dangers before they occur. If you feel your loved one with dementia could benefit from memory support services, contact Fox Trail. Our compassionate and experienced staff can answer any questions, and are always willing to help.