Caring for a senior loved one with a dementia diagnosis can be both extremely rewarding and challenging. It is understandable that you want to be there for your senior and provide all of their primary care. However, as the condition progresses, it can be difficult to keep up with the same level of support. It is important to note that there is nothing wrong with asking for help or seeking additional options, such as moving to memory care in Macomb, MI.
You might be wondering: what is memory care? And how exactly can a memory care community provide support? What are some of the key signs that it’s time to make that transition? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and more!
What is memory care?
Some senior living communities offer a specialized care option called ‘memory care’. Typically, this is a wing or area of the facility designated specifically for patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Due to the nature of this disease, it is all the more important that the residents are kept safe and experience a high quality of living. This includes training staff to become equipped to handle these unique situations and challenges.
How does memory care provide support?
There are a few ways that a memory care community differs from a standard assisted living community. Let’s list them out:
Safety and Security
The first way is found in safety and security. Of course, most senior living facilities come equipped standard with safety bars, handrails, and other ADA compliant safety measures. With a specialized community, such as our memory care in Macomb, MI, there is round the clock awake staff, secured entrances and exits, and a locally monitored emergency response system.
While every senior living community should come standard with a robust activity calendar, a memory care community will feature stimulating activities specifically designed to help those with dementia. These activities will be closely monitored, as well be geared toward stimulating the brain. Puzzles, games, music, arts and crafts, and even yoga – these are all great examples of beneficial activities for dementia patients.
What are the key signs it’s time to transition?
Now that we’ve covered a few of the basics regarding memory care, it’s time to learn more about when you should consider transitioning. There are some key signs that you should be aware of that can help to guide you to the final decision.
1.) Changes in Behavior
Someone diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease might exhibit some significant changes in their behavior. For example, if they are often irritable, paranoid that family members are lying to them, or are even going through significant weight gain or loss, these are major red flags. As a caregiver, handling these behaviors can be extremely difficult to manage alone.
2.) Poor Hygiene
Is your senior someone who once took pride in their appearance, often opting for nice clothes and neatly combed hair? Recently, has this stopped or declined? If so, it’s time to take notice. Poor hygiene can lead to serious health problems and infections. Not only that, but there is a social stigma around poor hygiene as well. This could lead to senior isolation and depression if left unaddressed.
For a person with dementia, wandering can be extremely dangerous. This typically happens when a senior becomes confused about where they are and leaves an area without telling anyone. For example, this might be a retired person thinking they need to go to work even when they haven’t worked for many years. Or, they might be at a shopping mall and get confused about how they got there and become disoriented. Without proper, round the clock monitoring, wandering can pose a huge threat to the senior’s well being.
4.) Withdrawn / Increased Anxiety
While a decrease in energy is a pretty normal part of aging, it’s important to keep your loved one involved. Someone with dementia may begin to feel withdrawn and decline social invitations, even just having dinner or enjoying a family game night. This is typically because they are embarrassed about their condition or have increased anxiety about experiencing an episode or outburst of anger while together. Moving to a structured community means that they will have more time to make friends and connect with people their own age, including those who are going through similar situations and challenges.
5.) Improper Medication Management
Skipping, delaying, or even taking too much medication can be extremely dangerous. While everyone needs a reminder from time to time, a consistent mismanagement of your medication can lead to some serious side effects, including death. Technology can be a great way to stay on track! Though if that isn’t helping, you may need more help. If you notice your loved one has been forgetting meds or has been having difficulties keeping them up, making the move to memory care in Macomb, MI may be their safest option.
6.) Caregiver Burnout
If you are beginning to feel burnout with your role as a caregiver, there is one thing you should know: it’s okay. These feelings are normal. After all, you have dedicated a large part of your life to seeing to the wellbeing of your loved one. Meeting all of the basic needs can become extremely exhausting. Factor in any requirements of specialized care and this can increase ten fold. If you are feeling your own quality of life decline, or any feelings of resentment burgeoning toward your senior, it might be time to transition to a senior community.
Memory Care Macomb, MI
If you are interested in learning more about our memory care community or even want to book a tour, contact us today! We would be happy to show you around and answer any questions that you may have. Making the transition to a senior living community can be extremely difficult, and we want to help make that transition as smooth as possible. Thanks to our state of the art facility and well-trained staff, you will be able to have peace of mind knowing that your loved one is in good hands.