Assisted living facilities can provide an excellent place for seniors who need some help, but what happens when they need more than just assistance with daily tasks? When is the best time to move from assisted living to memory care? Here are signs that would indicate it may be time.
As we age, our needs change, and we start requiring different types of care. If you or your loved one has been in an assisted facility and now requires more than help with daily tasks, then it might be time for a new environment. These signs will tell you if it's time:
Extremely Severe Memory Loss
One of the significant signs that it may be time to move from assisted living to memory care is if your loved one has started showing more severe memory loss. If they've forgotten important things, like their name or where they live, then this could be a cause for concern and should be tended to immediately. Check with your doctor and the assisted living facility to rule out any other possible issues.
Forgetting to Take Their Medication
Suppose your loved one has always been good at taking their medications, but suddenly you've noticed that they're missing doses or forgetting to take them altogether. In that case, this could be an early sign of dementia and should be checked out by a doctor immediately.
The only way to ensure that your loved one is getting the proper dosage of medicine each day is to monitor them closely by medical professionals trained in dealing with dementia patients.
Difficulty in Remembering Recent Events or Conversations
Another sign of memory loss is if your loved one begins having trouble recalling things that have happened recently—for example, forgetting conversations with you or friends and family members within a matter of just a few hours. They may also begin having trouble finding the right words to say while speaking, which can be frustrating for both them and the listener.
Alzheimer's makes it difficult for a person to follow a conversation, especially if several people are involved. They may even completely forget what they were talking about within just a few seconds after the subject changes.
Disorientation to Time and Place
If your loved one has become confused about where they are or when something is happening, it's an indicator of dementia. This can cause problems if they do not know what time it is and miss their next dose of medication. If you notice this, speak with your doctor and the assisted living facility to see what they recommend.
Changes in Speech Patterns
Changes in speech patterns are a sign of Alzheimer's disease, and the brain is struggling to keep up with regular activity. This can include saying something that doesn't make sense, repeating themselves repeatedly, or even speaking gibberish. They may also be unable to find the right words for everyday items like utensils at the dinner table or objects around the house.
Significant Mood & Behavior Changes
If you notice your loved one often seems to feel either pleased one minute and extremely sad the next without any trigger, then it's time to pay attention. Personality changes are a primary indicator of dementia and should be addressed immediately so you can ease them into the transition. This kind of emotional instability is generally caused by dementia and will only worsen as their condition worsens. It's best to speak with their doctor about moving them sooner rather than later.
Suddenly Being Anxious or Paranoid
Anxiousness and paranoia are both symptoms of memory loss due to conditions such as dementia, so if your loved one is acting more anxious than usual around friends and family members, it's time to seek professional help. They might have trouble trusting their own family, for example, leading them to believe their spouse is cheating on them when they're not doing anything of the sort.
Another sign of dementia is if your loved one begins seeing things that aren't there, such as objects moving around or people who aren't there. This can be very scary for both them and their family, so it's best to have them checked out immediately by a doctor.
Delusions and hallucinations indicate problems with memory loss due to conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or Lewy body dementia. These symptoms will be most present when the sufferer is by themselves, so monitor their activity closely for changes in behavior when they're home alone.
Suddenly Withdrawing From Social Situations
A zombie-like demeanor is one of the primary symptoms of memory loss due to Alzheimer's disease or some other form of dementia.
Memory loss will cause your loved one to have no desire for social interaction, and they might stop being interested in things they usually enjoy, like reading or dining out with friends and family members. They might also have trouble keeping up with current events, which could cause communication problems.
One of the most common personality changes associated with Alzheimer's disease is becoming depressed over their condition. This generally leads to withdrawal from social situations because they feel like no one can understand what's going through due to memory loss and confusion.
They may even find themselves crying frequently and will generally appear suddenly sad and melancholy for no reason.
Increase in Dependence for Daily Self-Care
Another sign that it may be time to move from assisted living to memory care is if your loved one has become more dependent on you or other family members for all of their daily needs.
Loss of Appetite or Weight Loss
Loss of appetite and subsequent weight loss are common in memory care patients with dementia because their condition makes them feel too anxious to eat properly. They may even begin refusing to eat altogether, which could lead to trouble with health later on. This should be checked out by a doctor right away so you can secure proper nourishment for your loved one.
Inability to Complete Basic Tasks Independently
Physical warning signs of dementia include having trouble walking or moving around without falling, not caring for their own hygiene needs (such as bathing and shaving), and wearing clothes inside out or mismatched outfits.
These might seem like minor annoyances at first, but they're essential to pay attention to because it means your loved one will need more help getting through the day. This is a significant problem because it causes them to feel embarrassed and frustrated with their condition, which will lead to depression and anxiety over what's happening with their body.
Trouble Sleeping Through the Night
Another physical symptom of dementia is not being able to sleep throughout the night. This may mean your loved one wakes up every hour or so, or it could mean they can't fall asleep at all. Either way, this lack of rest will only make their condition worse, and they should be checked out by a doctor immediately.
Frequent Falls & Accidents Around the Home
As dementia progresses, people tend to lose their balance quickly, which can lead to falls that injure them severely or damage household items such as lamps, tables, &, etc. loved ones may also experience problems with coordination, such as bumping into things often or having trouble opening doors because of reduced motor skills.
When this happens, call a doctor immediately so they can check for any other health-related issues involved with memory loss due to Alzheimer's disease.
Trouble Getting Around Without Falling
One of the most prominent early warning signs of Alzheimer's disease is not getting around quickly anymore due to declining motor skills and balance problems involving coordination. They may trip over things lying on the floor at home, their own feet, or even small obstacles while out and about, and they may appear highly clumsy in general.
Putting Themselves at Risk
People with dementia often experience personality changes that cause them to put themselves in potentially dangerous situations, such as leaving the oven on when they're done cooking or getting dressed and putting on makeup in the middle of winter when it's cold outside. This is another example of memory loss due to conditions like Alzheimer's disease or Lewy body dementia because sufferers can no longer act rationally.
Monitor your loved one closely for any changes in behavior, memory loss, and motor skills. Keep an eye out for anything that appears unusual or out of the ordinary to you, as this could be the first sign of onset dementia. If any of these symptoms seem to fit with what your elderly family member is experiencing, contact their doctor immediately so they can provide proper care and treatment.
Please don't wait until it's too late…