Learn & Grow/Alzheimer's and Dementia/How to Know When It’s Time for Memory Care
Alzheimer's and Dementia, Memory Care

How to Know When It’s Time for Memory Care

If you provide in-home care for a loved one with dementia, Alzheimer’s or another cognitive disease you know that attending to their care is a round-the-clock responsibility. As their disease progresses, there may be a need for more advanced memory care services. 

Often caregivers hesitate in researching options because they are overcome with strong feelings of guilt, grief or fear of changing their loved one’s routine. But there are many compassionate and advanced memory care services that can create a safe and stimulating life for your loved one. 

In this article, you’ll learn more about these services and gain a better understanding of when it’s time for your loved one to receive memory care.  

What is a Memory Care Community?

Memory care services like those offered at a continuing care retirement community, or CCRC, like Oak Trace include a customized care plan, assistance with daily tasks, onsite nurses, state-of-the-art medical equipment and 24-hour monitoring. These services help residents live an optimal lifestyle in a secure and professionally-monitored environment. 

Signs It’s Time For Memory Care

If you’re not quite sure if it’s time for your loved one to get more advanced memory care, use the following checklist as a guide.  

1. Is There A Significant Shift In Normal Behavior?

The Memory & Aging Center at the University of California, San Francisco reports that dementia causes a person to lose neurons in different parts of the brain. This in turn affects an individual’s personality. Losing frontal lobes cells causes a person to be unable to stay focused or create plans. They can also become forgetful, angry and frustrated. So if your formerly easy-going loved one is becoming increasingly agitated or rude, this change can signal a sharp decline to come. Increased agitation may also lead to aggression, which can be dangerous for both your and your loved one.  

2. Are Simple Daily Tasks A Struggle?

Your loved one may experience difficulty executing simple tasks, like brushing their teeth, getting dressed, taking a bath or turning off kitchen appliances. Be mindful when this begins to happen. It’s an indication they may be moving to a stage where they need more care and assistance throughout their day than you can provide. Memory care communities offer residents 24-hour monitoring by skilled and compassionate caregiving professionals who are familiar with the challenges of caring for individuals with these needs.

3. Are There Frequent Wandering Events or Other Safety Issues?  

Wandering is a typical behavior for many individuals with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, and it can become increasingly dangerous as the disease progresses. If your loved one starts to wander away from the home, this puts their personal safety at risk. If they have access to a vehicle, this can put others at risk, as well. Understand that putting off the decision to make a transition in your loved one’s living arrangement can be detrimental to their overall health and quality of life, no matter how much you want to continue caring for them at home. 

These are just a few signs that your loved one may be in need of more advanced care. If you are still unsure about your options, consult your loved one’s doctor to see when they think it’s best for your loved one to move to memory care.  

Explore Memory Care Options at Oak Trace 

If you’re in the research stage of exploring memory care options, Oak Trace is the perfect place to start. We offer a diverse range of personalized memory care services. Whatever your loved one’s health needs, our goal is to create an optimal and fulfilling life for them to enjoy.  Schedule a tour to see our community for yourself. 

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