Feeling intimidated by the thought that your loved one might need memory care? You’re not alone. Here are some signs when you might want to pursue professional memory care:
- Cognitive issues. If you notice your loved one having trouble with tasks or activities that they used to be able to do easily, this could be a sign they need memory care. Examples include:
- Getting lost while traveling a route that used to be familiar
- Exhibiting signs of confusion when completing simple tasks, like making a grocery list
- Difficulty recalling words and names that used to be familiar
- Health decline. Signs of health problems can indicate a larger issue. These can include weakness, low energy, loss of appetite and rapid weight loss, lack of hygiene, skipping or taking too much medication, mysterious bruises or injuries, and other unexplained physical changes.
- Money problems. Are bills stacking up on the counter? Is your loved one having trouble keeping up with due dates and account numbers? Financial issues can be a sign that they are struggling with memory loss and other cognitive issues.
- Need for structure. Sometimes it’s clear that a loved one needs more structure. Whereas they used to be able to manage their own time and activities, suddenly they are overwhelmed with tasks and daily routines. This could be a sign that they need the structure a memory care program can provide.
- Need for social interaction. Is your loved one increasingly isolated and spending all their time alone? Social interaction is important for not only emotional well-being, but physical and cognitive as well. If your loved one is no longer able to interact with others on their own, they might benefit from the social aspects of a memory care neighborhood.
- Mood swings. Anger, irritability, and even aggression can be signs of a memory issue. This can be accompanied by confusion or disorientation. If your loved one’s moods become unpredictable, or they exhibit very different behavior than they used to, this could be a sign of an underlying issue.
- Diagnosis. If your loved one has been diagnosed with a cognitive issue such as dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, you have likely already observed some of the signs above. While a diagnosis may not mean that memory care is immediately necessary, it does indicate that you need to keep a closer eye on their symptoms, so that you can know if their condition is worsening.
Other than a diagnosis, any one of these signs could be an indication of healthy aging, and may be managed with some tweaks to their routine or household. But if you see multiple signs or a rapid decline in any one area, seek the advice of a memory care professional or trusted medical professional. Being prepared with information will make you feel more secure with your decision-making going forward.