Are you thinking about Memory Care for a loved one or for yourself?
Change is never easy—especially as we get older. Physical, mental and emotional changes can mean we have to live differently. Some people may choose to move to assisted living settings while others want to stay in their homes as long as possible. One of the most difficult decisions we may have to make involves memory care.
If diagnosed with a condition like Alzheimer’s that is accompanied by memory loss or confusion, an individual may still be able to live independently or with family for some time. Yet, there may come a time when someone needs more care than can be provided at home. What are the trigger points for a decision to move to a memory care community?
- Some people with conditions like Alzheimer’s may wander out of the house regularly, and become lost or fall. When that happens, the wanderer may need more help to stay safe.
- Some people with Alzheimer’s experience agitation or become verbally or physically aggressive. These behaviors may cause stress for family members or caregivers.
- Caregivers may feel burnt out. As the disease progresses into the late-stages, the need for round-the-clock care is likely to increase. Studies show that people who care for someone with Alzheimer’s or similar conditions involving memory loss are more likely to experience health issues. Constant stress can have a very negative effect on people’s health.
One solution to caregiver burnout is respite care. For people with loved ones who might benefit from memory care, respite offers the ability to try out a community and see if it is a good fit. Learn more about respite in our coming post about this option.
If a transition to memory care does become necessary, you may have strong feelings of guilt or sadness. Talking through these feelings with staff members at the community you choose—and your loved one—can make a big difference to how everyone feels about the changes being experienced.
Before any changes occur, however, you should answer the following questions, devised by the Alzheimer’s Association.
- Is the person with dementia becoming unsafe in his or her current home?
- Is the health of the person with dementia or my health as a caregiver at risk?
- Are the person’s care needs beyond my physical abilities?
- Am I becoming a stressed, irritable and impatient caregiver?
- Am I neglecting work responsibilities, my family and myself?
- Would the structure and social interaction at a care community benefit the person with dementia?
Questions like these won’t give you the ability to magically see into the future. They will, however, help you figure out what’s happening in your family and make some decisions about what to do next.
Decisions about moving to a memory care facility or caring for a loved one can be difficult to navigate. You are not alone in the process – at Stoney Point Meadows, we are here to help. To learn more, please contact Jill at Jill.OldhamRyder@cassialife.org.