Family Resources » Memory Loss Guide for Families » When Does Someone Need Memory Care?

How Do You Know If It's Time For Memory Care?

Many families want to care for their Mom or Dad with memory loss, Alzheimer's or related dementia at home assuming that staying in a familiar environment is the best option. Yet people with cognitive impairments need constant companionship, structured activities throughout the day, and personal care and programming techniques based on research, to thrive.

It's not just because we are in this business that we advocate for families to consider a residential treatment program. It's because we believe in it - we have seen the beneficial impact of our memory support treatment programs for individuals with all stages of memory loss - from Mild Cognitive Impairment to diagnosed Alzheimer's - over and over again.

Is Your Parent Ready For Memory Support Assisted Living?

If you answer “yes” to four or more of these questions, it may be time for Memory Care in an Assisted Living environment.

Look for Unopened Mail & Forgetfulness

  • Has your Mom or Dad fallen behind on bills? Is old mail piling up? Increased clutter?
  • Is your Mom or Dad unable to schedule and remember medical appointments?
  • Can your loved one not explain and follow through with his or her doctors' recommendations?
  • Is your Mom or Dad forgetting to take their medications?
  • Has your loved one been repeating themselves?
  • Does your loved one frequently misplace items? Do you ever find items in an unexpected place?
  • Does your loved one forget your recent visits or calls?

Inspect the Kitchen & Walk Around the House

  • Is your loved one unable to handle house work and yard work? Do you notice laundry piling up?
  • What is the condition of items in the refrigerator? Is food expired?
  • Any signs of a recent kitchen fire? How old are the electrical appliances?

Observe Your Mom or Dad's Social Life

  • Does your loved one interact in a socially appropriate manner for light conversation, and yet if the conversation becomes more complex, they do not follow or respond appropriately?
  • If you have one parent who you are worried about, does the other parent often answer for them?
  • Has your Mom or Dad lost interest in day to day activities and social activities?
  • Does your loved one make excuses why they don’t participate with friends or engage in social events or church activities?
  • Does your loved one seem to be withdrawn, fearful or depressed? Has his or her manner or character changed?
  • Do you think your loved one feels isolated, lonely, bored or agitated?
Observe Your Mom or Dad's Social Life

Look for Increased Frailty & Other Physical Changes

  • Is your loved one finding it difficult to shower and bathe regularly without help? Are you worried about their safety in the tub or shower? Has personal hygiene changed?
  • Is your loved one unable to cook proper nutritious meals? Is he or she not maintaining a healthy weight and not getting some form of exercise?
  • Do you worry about your loved one’s safety when alone and cooking?
  • Have you questioned if your Mom or Dad should still be driving? Has your loved one become lost while driving a familiar route?
  • Has your loved one experienced a crisis situation recently such as a hospitalization or an episode of wandering away from home and not remembering how to get back?

We know that concerns about a parent's memory loss is a very difficult topic to broach and that your Mom or Dad might simply deny any problems or refuse to discuss the situation. Siblings often differ about whether there is a problem and that can complicate matters, too. Keep trying to have the conversation about memory support if you feel it's time to make a move. Do your research and compare the options - we believe that the Assisted Living environment is optimal for individuals with memory loss, providing a secure, comfortable place to call home with programming that actually treats the symptoms of cognitive impairment and an array of supportive services and care, giving YOU peace of mind.

If you do decide to tour a Memory Support Assisted Living community, be sure to read this checklist of the 7 Things to Look For on Your Assisted Living Tour.

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