Every day, adult children are faced with making choices – sometimes decisions – for a parent with dementia. They ask the question, “When is memory care needed?” In Texas, they seek the advice of premier Dallas memory care specialists to confidently answer, when is it time for memory care?
Caring for a parent with dementia comes with a roller coaster of emotions and experiences. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are often gradual, and don’t usually become apparent in a logical progression. Like our stories and our memories, the decline that comes with dementia is different for each individual. Experts agree on the benefits of early, rather than later, transitions to a place that offers memory support. Those benefits include better outcomes for the loved one with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia – mental, physical and emotional – and also for family members and caregivers.
When Is Memory Care Needed
First, it’s important to know what stage your parent with dementia is in, as increased stages require more round-the-clock care and supervision.
As a child or loved one who cares for someone living with dementia, you know it can be overwhelming and may cause feelings of guilt, especially since you’d like your parent or loved one to live independently for as long as possible.
If you feel concerned or think it might be time to start considering different care options, we’ve put together a list of helpful signs to help you know when it’s time for memory care.
When Safety Becomes a Concern
Mishaps and accidents are often early signs of fading memory. While mobility issues are also common as we age, these incidents may indicate that larger problems are on the horizon. Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can induce wandering, agitated behavior, and other symptoms that can put the individual and those caring for the individual in danger. If these types of behaviors become noticeable in your parent, it’s important to get a clear diagnosis and determine potential care and living options for what to do when dementia gets worse.
When Chronic Health Issues Arise
When you’re caring for a parent with dementia who has serious health problems, seeking professional, around-the-clock care is crucial. Having trained professionals close by to supervise and care for your loved will help manage symptoms and support them with everyday activities, such as bathing and dressing.
Chronic health issues almost always come with the need for strictly scheduled medication. A vital benefit of around-the-clock care is professional caregivers’ ability to closely monitor medication intake, especially when dealing with multiple medications on differing schedules. These professionals are simply more qualified in medication management than a child of a parent with dementia. They’re more in tune with reactions and side effects of medications and, with expedited doctor approval, can quickly alter the dosage or schedule, alleviating a significant stressor from your daily life.
When Living Conditions Change
Some of the immediately noticeable differences you’ll see in your parent when dementia gets worse is a lapse in hygiene, home upkeep and even daily tasks. If your loved one finds themselves in situations where they’ve forgotten to turn off a burner, a water tap or fireplace, it can create an unsafe living environment. Keep a close eye on any similar incidents, as it could be cause for considering whether or not you feel comfortable with them living unsupervised.
Furthermore, pay close attention to your parent’s social behavior. A common symptom of dementia is an inability or disinterest in socializing. Isolation often leads to depression or anxiety that only exacerbates symptoms and severity of dementia. More disruptive behavior can add to the decline of living conditions. Hoarding, lapse in home maintenance, refusal to accept help around the house and general decline in hygiene are all keen signs that it’s time to consider memory care assistance – for the sake of both your parent and yourself.
When Your Health Is Affected
Taking care of a parent with dementia can be just as time-consuming and even more stressful than a full-time job. Always remember that your physical and emotional health is just as important as the person you’re caring for, even if it’s your parent. Because it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking this is a selfish decision, it’s critical to keep things in perspective.
If intense stress from caring for your parent has you feeling completely exhausted, it drastically reduces your ability to provide care. Not only does it negatively impact your life, it also hinders your ability to help others in your life. If you find that you’re being pulled away from work and family to take care of a parent with dementia, it’s time to turn to professional caregivers.
As a premier Dallas memory care provider, Edgemere has designed a nurturing program that honors your loved one’s experiences. From the comfort of a private suite to opportunities for enriching engagement, our team is dedicated to providing your loved one with everything they need. To learn more about our memory care offerings, visit our health services page.