It’s normal for seniors to lose their memory as they age, and this makes them become more dependent on the people around them. While assisted living communities offer various services and amenities to support the senior residents, sometimes they are unable to handle their growing needs.
To ensure that your loved one receives the care they need, you need to transition from the assisted living facility to a memory care community such as https://vivanteliving.com/memory-care.
How do you know when to move from assisted living to memory care? Well, there are several things you need to look out for. They include:
- Changes in short-term memory
If there are clear signs that your loved one has changed their short-term memory, it’s time to think about transitioning them to memory care.
A classic example of a memory problem is when your loved one details events that happened over 20 years but can’t remember what they ate for breakfast. There is also a problem if your loved one can’t remember where they put something or walk into a room and can’t remember why they are there.
It’s normal for everyone to forget now and then, but if the incidences have increased, it’s time to think about a memory care community.
You should transition if your loved one keeps doing the same task multiple times. For example, if they clean the floor several times and it’s not dirty, there is a problem.
A person with a memory problem will also ask the same questions or keep talking about the same thing, as they can’t remember they just asked the question or gave the story.
- Language problem
Was your loved one an eloquent speaker, but they are now having a problem following or joining a conversation? They might need memory care. You should also care for them if they stop in the middle of talking, repeat themselves or take longer to finish what they are saying.
- Changes in personality
Dementia has been shown to alter judgment, which often leads to personality changes. Was your loved one an introvert, and they have suddenly turned outgoing and enjoy talking to strangers? Dementia is most likely creeping in, and you should get care for them.
You also should be worried when your once happy and positive loved one is now easily irritable, and they are no longer fun to be around.
- Increasing confusion
Confusion happens to the best of us, but sometimes it’s extreme, and you should be wary of it when you see it. For example, when your loved one can’t remember the faces of close family members or can’t tell time or where they are.
You also should be worried when they can’t tell what they are doing or where they are going.
The assisted living facility might not be able to help
As mentioned above, most assisted living communities can’t handle seniors who have dementia. If the assisted living staff have got in touch with you and said that they could no longer take care of your loved one, it’s time to move them to a memory care community.
How is a memory care facility different from an assisted living community?
There are several things that memory care facilities do that make them ideal for people suffering from memory loss. These things include:
- Emphasis on safety
Plenty of things can go wrong with seniors with moderate or advanced dementia. One thing is they can wander or even lose their ability to think critically and find themselves in dangerous situations.
Memory care communities don’t provide kitchens to their residents to keep the seniors safe, which significantly reduces the chances of fires and burn injuries. The communities also have trigger and CCTV cameras that ensure that no resident can exit the premises without being noticed.
These communities emphasize safety and try to keep the seniors as safe as possible while compromising their independence as little as possible.
- A more proactive approach towards daily activities and socialization
Besides losing their memory, people who have dementia also lose their executive function and social skills. Seniors living in assisted living facilities can manage their social lives. Unfortunately, it’s not the case with those in memory care communities.
Due to the loss of their social skills, the staff working in these facilities help the seniors socialize, decide how to spend their day, and even help them manage their relationships. Memory care communities offer plenty of structured activities that slow down the progression of dementia.
They also offer schedules that reflect a healthy circadian rhythm. They do so by taking advantage of the daylight so that the residents rest well, which comes in handy at mitigating sundowner syndrome.
- A team of knowledgeable staff
The memory care facilities have highly trained professionals that understand all facets of dementia. Besides memory loss, dementia also makes it difficult for someone to make decisions, think clearly, and maintain relationships.
Sometimes, it might bring about mobility issues and difficulties with grooming. Due to their knowledge and experience, the staff working in these facilities professionally handle the seniors and ensure they feel valued and get all the help they need to face their challenges.
- Attention to the sensory issues
Some people with dementia can be overwhelmed by unfamiliar sights and sounds, while others find great comfort in sensory stimulation.
The memory care facilities analyze what the different seniors respond to and keep them busy and engaged without feeling overwhelmed or threatened. To do so, these communities have programs, classes, and even offerings that calm, cheer, and stimulate the residents without making them anxious or worrisome.
If your loved one is no longer suitable for an assisted living facility, find them the right memory care community.
Although even the best facility won’t cure your loved one’s dementia or give you back what you have lost, it will manage and help your loved one lead a normal life.
Take your time to find a reputable facility that will take good care of your loved one. You wouldn’t want to take your loved one to a facility that causes more misery, would you?