According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 6 million people today. The onset of neurocognitive decline in older adults is usually a gradual process. While family members can often manage caring for their loved ones during the early stages, this can become challenging (and in some cases, unsustainable) as the condition progresses and the person becomes more dependent. Although the topic is a difficult one to discuss, moving your loved one to a memory care community is a way to not only provide them with high-quality care that evolves with their needs, but also provide them with a fulfilling lifestyle that can have a positive effect on the progression of neurocognitive decline.
When Memory Care may be a Good Choice
Memory care offers a similar level of care that one would find in assisted living. However, the accommodations include additional care services, cognition-supporting activity programs, specially trained staff, and a more secure environment – all designed to foster a sense of independence and enhance the quality of life for seniors with symptoms of dementia. The following are a few of the signs that memory care may be right for your loved one.
If your loved one is displaying symptoms of dementia, or significant changes to behavior and personality, it may be time to have them professionally evaluated for cognitive impairment and start planning for memory care.
Memory care should be also considered when the safety of your loved one becomes a concern in any way. For example, if they are at risk of falling at home, wandering or getting lost, forgetting to take medications (or accidentally taking extra doses), or if they struggle with daily activities that are necessary for safe and healthy living such as:
- Taking out the trash
- Throwing away expired food
- Doing laundry and dishes
- Turning off the stove, clothing iron, or other dangerous appliances
- Locking the doors
Respite Care Needs
In 2021, 11.3 million family caregivers of people with dementia provided an estimated 16 billion hours of unpaid help. That’s an average of 27.1 hours of care per caregiver per week.
Caregiving is a demanding task. In many cases, family members may find themselves sacrificing their finances, and even their wellbeing, trying to care for a loved one with dementia. Choosing to enroll your loved one in a memory care community can give you peace of mind knowing that they are receiving the supervision, professional care, and social engagement they need for their safety and happiness.
Even when you know your loved one is in the early stages of dementia, deciding to transition to memory care can still be a tough choice. If you have questions about your loved one’s care options, please contact Cypen Towers at Miami Jewish Health and we’ll happily answer your questions.