Signs That a Family Member Needs Memory Care

Although memory loss is a common part of aging, the loss of memory can be problem that affects all parts of our lives.  Seniors are at an especially high risk when they cannot remember when they took their medication or where they are going when they travel.  It can be difficult to distinguish between regular memory loss and a more serious problem however there are a few common signs that you can look out for to know if your loved one is really struggling.

  1. Conversations and Speech

How is the quality of the conversations that you have with your loved one?  General forgetfulness is common however the inability to recall important names and dates could be a sign of a bigger problem.  It can also be helpful to watch for changes in speech, such as tone or speed, as slurring can be indication of medical concerns and agitation could point to Alzheimer’s or dementia.

  1. Physical Appearance

Basic hygiene and dressing can be difficult as the body ages.  Pay attention to their clothing and overall hygiene, how often do they change their clothes, brush their teeth, bath, etc.?  The inability to maintain proper hygiene can be a significant factor in choosing to move into a nursing home.  Make sure to pay attention to any possible weight loss and the state of their kitchen.  Messy kitchens, expired food, or limited supplies can all point to more serious concerns.  Senior healthcare programs can help provide consistent, well-rounded, nutritional, and medically approved meals

  1. Medication

Medication can be especially difficult to maintain and monitor.  There are easy risks in mixing up medications, over-medicating, or under-medicating and remembering complex medication schedules can be especially hard.  Senior care programs not only take care of all of those concerns, they also help keep a record of the medications they are taking and what doctor provided the prescription.

  1. Social Interactions

Not all seniors choose to remain active as they enter into retirement however a decline in socialability or an unwillingness to participate in events could be a sign of something more.  If they were members of a club, team, group, or other social activity, check in to see how often they attend. How often do they mention their close friends?  It can be difficult to maintain social schedules when mobility is an issue however seniors that suddenly stop or change their routine may be struggling with emotional problems, such as depression.  Many senior care facilities host ice cream socials, cookout, and other social events that can help with feelings of isolation.

  1. House

What is the state of their home?  Are there any areas that could be dangerous for falls? The overall maintenance of the house can be a huge indicator of whether a senior is struggling with independent living.  Is the kitchen or bathroom messy?  Keeping an eye on the state of the house, yard, garage, and car will help identify any gradual changes as well.  Some senior care programs can help outfit their house for any mobility problems they might have. There are also programs that can help with memory retrieval such as a memory wall that creates a timeline of important dates for seniors with mild memory loss.

 

Making the decision between assisted living, nursing homes, and in-home healthcare can be a complicated and stressful situation however each choice offers a multitude of options.  Each facility will likely offer some form of memory care however each facility will differ significantly. If you’re looking for more specialized care geared towards seniors with memory loss, start researching Alzheimer’s and memory care facilities.  Cognitive decline can be a profound and troubling concern therefore seeing a doctor is the first step in assessing any problems and finding the right help for your loved one’s needs.