When is Memory Care Necessary?

When to Transition a Loved One to Memory Care

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If your family is feeling challenged by knowing when to transition a loved one to memory care, you’re far from alone. As dementia and Alzheimer’s progress, symptoms change, and so do caregiving needs. Your loved one may have needed assistance with minor tasks in the past, but now that may have turned into more intensive, frequent care and you’re not sure if memory care is the next step. 

While every person is unique, there are some signs that memory care might be a good fit. Consider these three major questions:

Is Forgetfulness Becoming Overwhelming?
Maybe bills that got paid on the dot every month are now arriving with past-due notices, or items are being placed in new locations — like a toothbrush in the refrigerator or car keys in the medicine cabinet. But there are more serious implications to forgetfulness as well, like missing doctor appointments, skipping medication or taking too much, or failing to follow up on treatment recommendations. Memory care can take care of all those important details, particularly medication and appointment management.

Has Loneliness Become a Factor?
Losing interest in social activity and friendships is very common in those with memory issues, but that can lead to a loss of purpose and meaning. Maintaining connection with other people has been shown to improve health outcomes, so if your loved one is starting to be more isolated, memory care can provide the interaction that helps them thrive. 

Are There Physical Changes That Are a Concern?
Many times, when memory issues are at play, older adults might decrease their amount of physical activity as well as cut back on cooking themselves nutritious meals. Sometimes, they simply forget to eat. This can lead to increased frailty, a major concern in terms of their health, especially because it raises risk of serious falls. Because memory care involves taking care of your loved one’s needs, from appropriate daily activity to regular nutritious meals, you can be assured that they’re being supported in a way that supports their health — physically, emotionally, and socially.
 

Mary Brooks

Five Star Senior Living Director of Resident Services Mary Brooks and her two daughters share their experience of building relationships with the residents.

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Five Star offers options and excellence, with 260 senior living communities in 33 states.