Dementia can present a unique set of challenges for those suffering from it and the family members caring for them. Unfortunately, there may come a time when 24-hour care in memory care homes is the best option for your loved one with dementia.
Knowing when that time has come can be difficult. To help you decide, here are five vital signs that show it’s time for 24-hour care in a memory care community.
- Struggling with Daily Hygiene
One of the most evident signs that your loved one needs 24-hour memory care is when they begin struggling with basic daily hygiene tasks. Say your family member has lost interest in personal grooming or no longer understands how to do self-care tasks. This behavior might indicate that round-the-clock supervision is necessary. Fortunately, memory care facilities provide people with dementia with round-the-clock care and support.
- Poor Nutrition and Weight Loss
Poor nutrition and weight loss are the most important signs that indicate your loved one may need 24-hour care in a memory care community. This can be especially concerning for individuals with dementia as they require specialized diets to maintain their health and well-being.
Caregivers should look for common signs of malnutrition, such as decreased appetite, unintentional weight loss, dehydration, or constipation. Suppose these problems are not addressed quickly and correctly. They could have severe implications on the individual’s physical and mental health.
- Increased Agitation and Irritability
When caring for a loved one with dementia, knowing when they need extra care can be tricky. In many cases, signs of agitation and irritability are some of the first indications that special care is something they need. Agitation and irritability are common symptoms associated with dementia.
As the disease progresses, these behaviors can become more frequent and intense. Signs your loved one may need 24-hour care in a memory care community include the following:
- Increased pacing or wandering,
- Aggressive behavior such as hitting or throwing things,
- Refusal to eat meals
- Increased forgetfulness or confusion
Other physical changes like restlessness at night are warning signs your loved one isn’t getting the help they need to manage their condition.
- Difficulty Communicating
One of the most important signs that your loved one needs 24-hour care in a memory care community is difficulty communicating. Consider this option if your family member has trouble expressing themselves or understanding what you’re saying.
Regarding communication problems in those with dementia, there are several possible issues. They may struggle to find the right words or have difficulty making sentences that make sense. Additionally, they might not understand what others say or respond inappropriately when asked questions due to confusion about the topic.
- Decreasing Independence
Dementia is a common condition among the elderly, and one dangerous side effect is decreased independence. When dementia reaches this stage, providing 24-hour care in memory care communities is critical. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy for family members to know when that level of care is necessary for their loved one who has dementia.
Certain signs indicate when 24-hour memory care is needed, which the family should monitor carefully. Signs include an inability to remember recent events or conversations and confusion regarding places they have visited. Keep an eye out for difficulty with basic activities such as bathing or dressing, increased anxiety or aggression, frequent mood swings, and wandering alone without purpose or direction.