Is Memory Care The Right Choice?

Seniors moving out of home into memory care

10 Signs That it’s The Right Time For Memory Care?

Memory care communities are specifically designed to meet the unique needs of people living with dementia and/or Alzheimer’s. Dementia symptoms can include forgetfulness, delusions, agitation, extreme personality changes, confusion, and disorientation that can put you and your loved ones at risk.

Families do all they can to provide compassionate and loving care services, but this can be very taxing on everyone involved.

Those who have dementia and Alzheimer’s require specialized care from people who are trained to meet their needs.

How do you know when you can no longer provide the care your loved one needs?

Seniors moving out of home into memory care
1. You worry about their safety all the time –

Whether your loved one lives alone, with you, or in an assisted living community, if you are constantly worried about his or her safety, it may be time to move to memory care. Memory care communities are designed to meet the specialized needs of people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s and they can keep your loved one safe around the clock.

2. You worry about your own safety –

Many people experience significant personality changes as dementia progresses and can develop confusion and agitation that leads to violence or threats of violence. If your loved one is showing signs of violence and you are concerned about your own safety or others in your home, it may be best for your loved one to move to memory care. Memory care communities are familiar with these symptoms and know how to help your loved one in a more productive manner.

3. You are exhausted –

Caregiver burnout is real and caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s is emotionally and physically exhausting. Many caregivers let their own health suffer while they are taking care of a loved one and caregiving alone is not a continual position. Memory care communities have these caregivers on staff and can give you rest while still involving you in important care decisions.

4. Your loved one is neglecting finances –

If your loved one lives alone, check their mail. Do they have late notices on unpaid bills? Do you find creditor and collection notices? Have an open and honest conversation with your loved one about their financial situation. Neglecting finances is one of the first signs of dementia and can leave your loved one open to financial scams, putting their finances at risk.

5. Your loved one is neglecting their personal hygiene –

Unwashed clothing, body odor, unkempt hair, and other personal hygiene issues are another sign that it may be time to move to memory care. It can mean your loved one is forgetting to bathe, forgetting to do laundry, and can be a sign of dementia. Memory care services will include personal care and assistance with activities of daily living that help your loved one stay on track.

6. Your loved one wanders –

If your loved one wakes in the middle of the night or becomes confused and disoriented he or she may wander outside. Wandering can be extremely dangerous as your loved one will walk around and not realize where they are, or how to get back home. It can put seniors in dangerous situations and leave them exposed to harsh elements in the winter and summer. Memory care communities are secured and often have enclosed outdoor spaces to keep your loved one from wandering off without a caregiver.

7. Living conditions are poor –

One sign of early dementia can be hoarding. If you see that your loved one is no longer caring for his or her home, such as mail piling up, food spoiled in the refrigerator, dishes are being left out, and other household messes become uncontrollable, it may be time to move to memory care. Memory care communities include housekeeping and linen services, helping your loved one stay clean and well in their apartment.

8. Your loved one is isolated and lonely –

Getting out with a loved one with dementia can be difficult for caregivers and it’s very easy for people with dementia to plummet into isolation and loneliness. These feelings can increase the risk of depression. Memory care communities have active and engaging activities that are specifically designed for people with dementia. Activities are meant to be purposeful and fun while also soothing some of the agitation and anxiety dementia brings.

9. Your loved one has unexplained physical changes –

Changes in your loved one that should make you think it may be time to move are; weight changes, changes in posture, and mobility problems. Your loved one may be forgetting to eat, or that he or she forgot they already ate and are eating again. Slow movements may be an indicator of confusion or disorientation. Memory care communities will closely monitor your loved one’s nutrition and wellness making sure that he or she is eating well.

10. You want to restore your relationship with your loved one –

Moving your loved one to memory care can help restore your relationship with them so you get to spend time doing the things you love to do together while someone else handles the professional care. Being their caregiver can make you feel detached from them and having someone else care for them gives you the opportunity to be the family member again.

As you can see, there are many things to consider when deciding to move to memory care. You may feel you shouldn’t place your loved one in a community, but believe us, it is the best decision you can make for yourself and for them!!

Don’t go it alone! Assisted Living Made Simple is here for you and we are FREE! Call us first!!

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Isolation During The Holidays

Avoiding Isolation During the Holidays

Some of us tend to get a little down during the holidays, but can you imagine being a senior living by yourself with no one visiting you or no one to talk to? Please make sure you visit your senior parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, or neighbors especially during the holidays.

Isolation can lead to so many debilitating health problems, both physically and mentally. Isolation leaves us vulnerable and wide open for scammers because we will talk to anyone and do anything to make that person happy so they come back to us over and over again.

We ALL need social interaction in our daily lives to survive and thrive!

Avoiding Isolation During the Holidays

What are the health effects of isolation?

Some of the effects isolation and loneliness can have on a senior are high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, obesity, heart disease, cognitive decline, anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease and sometimes death.

What are the causes of isolation and loneliness?

The number one cause of isolation and loneliness in a senior is the death of a spouse. However, other factors play a role as well. If a senior moves away from friends and family or vice versa, this can cause them to become withdrawn and isolated. Some people become isolated when they retire or lose the ability to drive their vehicle. Losing your mobility is another big factor to become isolated and withdrawn; you may feel like an outcast or dependent on others.

Symptoms of isolation in seniors:

Lack of energy or motivation
Not sleeping well
New or worsened aches and pains
Sadness or depression
Loss of interest in socializing or hobbies
Lack of hygiene
Loss of memory

Ways to reduce isolation and loneliness:

Exercise – exercising stimulates every part of the body and keeps you moving. It has been shown to enhance your mood also, so whether you just do chair exercise or go for a walk, just keep MOVING!!

Socialization – get out and get active with other people. Meet new people, go to a social gathering with a friend or family member and meet others, anything to keep social and engaging.

Outings – if there are senior outings in your area, JOIN THEM!!

Go places, see things and get out of the house!!!

Senior activities – if you are in a community there are plenty of senior activities to keep you engaged and social. If not, find your nearest senior center and join in the senior activities they offer.

Move into an assisted, or independent living community – if you live alone and are finding it too hard being on your own or are just lonely, think about moving into an assisted or independent living community. You will have much more social interaction and there is always something going on in the communities.

If you are feeling lonely or isolated or if you notice someone is isolating themselves, please reach out for help.

There are many places and organizations that can help alleviate that feeling. The holidays are especially difficult for many people, don’t go it alone. Assisted Living Made Simple has your back! Call us today!

Alzheimer’s Awareness With Early Screening

The importance of Alzheimers Early Screening

Why should you get checked for Alzheimer’s disease?

As I state in all my blog posts, early detection is the key!!

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but if detected early you can control it with medication and proper living.

This will also give you the time you need to decide if a memory care community would be best for you or your loved one. 

The importance of Alzheimers Early Screening

How do you know if you should get checked?

If you notice any of the signs below, please see your doctor immediately.

Signs of Alzheimer’s disease are:

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  • Challenges in planning or solving problems
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  • Confusion with time or place
  • Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
  • New problems with words in speaking or writing
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  • Decreased or poor judgment
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities
  • Changes in mood and personality

The signs above may not even be Alzheimer’s, but if they are an early diagnosis allows you the following benefits…

Benefits of an early diagnosis:

  1. Access to treatment options earlier; this may help lessen the intensity of the disease on your brain. The medications for Alzheimer’s are effective at slowing the progression of the disease so an early diagnosis may help in keeping your current cognitive functioning.
  2. You will have the option to participate in clinical trials which may provide more medical benefits. Many of these trials are open to those with early stages of Alzheimer’s thus allowing you to participate and perhaps making it easier for you to benefit from the trial medications.
  3. You will be able to record the memories you have so when the disease progresses you can look back at the things that were of importance to you. Take pictures and create a photo book, write a journal, or make a video, however you choose to record the memories will serve as a cherished keepsake.
  4. You will have the chance to improve your health now. You can make healthier changes to the way you live your life; quit smoking, exercise, control your blood pressure and get out there and be active physically and mentally. All of those can help to improve your cognitive functioning.
  5. An early diagnosis gives the caregiver time to prepare for what is coming; it will give them the opportunity to understand what is going to happen and learn how best to support the person with Alzheimer’s.
  6. You will have the opportunity to plan for the future concerning your health care. You can designate your health care surrogate and power of attorney while you’re still of sound mind. You are able to make your financial decisions during this time as well.
  7. This is the time to become informed about what to expect as your disease progresses. Visit support groups with your caregiver to become educated on what your caregiver will be dealing with to help prepare them as well as yourself.

As you can see, there are many reasons for early screening for Alzheimer’s disease. This is a very debilitating disease and can wreak havoc on a family that is not educated. Assisted Living Made Simple holds three Alzheimer’s caregiver support groups a month; don’t try to do this alone!

Should you feel the time has come for a memory care community, we can help with that also. Please call us first! Our service is free! We care about YOU and YOUR loved one and are here to help! 386-847-2322