Whether or not it is time to move your parent with dementia into memory care is a difficult decision many of their children face. While it can be a tough and emotional decision, it may be necessary when considering your parent’s safety and well-being. It is best done when the care your parent needs exceeds your ability to meet it regularly.
Dementia symptoms can vary from moment to moment, and it can be hard to tell if memory care is the right choice on the good days. However, the services offered by memory care communities are designed to help enrich the lives of seniors with dementia. Here are some things to consider when deciding if it is time to move to memory care.
First, it is important to understand what dementia is and how it affects your parent. Dementia is a term used to describe a decline in cognitive function, including memory, language, and problem-solving skills. Various factors cause dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of brain damage, and it’s often seen in older adults.
As dementia progresses, your parent may have trouble remembering things, communicating, and completing daily tasks. Healthcare experts commonly refer to these skills as activities of daily life (ADLs). They use them to show how well an individual can care for themselves. Keep an eye out for the following signs that it may be time to consider memory care:
- Ignoring personal hygiene
- Trouble with taking medications and missing doctor appointments
- Having trouble with daily routine
- Wandering off on their own
- Shakiness and becoming more at risk of falls
- Struggling with isolation and depression
- Severe memory loss
Your parent may also experience changes in behavior and personality. Watching your parent go through these changes can be challenging. Still, it can be helpful to remember that it is a part of the disease and most often not a reflection of your parent’s true self.
Deciding When it’s Time for Memory Care
When deciding whether it is time to move your parent with dementia into memory care, there are several factors to consider.
Memory care communities are designed specifically for individuals with dementia and have safety measures to prevent accidents and injuries. Memory care may be a good option if your parent is at risk of falling or getting lost.
As dementia progresses, your parent may require more assistance with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, and medication management. Memory care communities have trained staff who can provide this level of care. If you cannot offer this level of care or are concerned about your parent’s care needs, memory care may be a good option.
Memory care communities often have structured activities and programs designed specifically for individuals with dementia. These activities provide socialization and mental stimulation for your parent, which can benefit their overall well-being.
It is important to note memory care can be more expensive than other options, such as in-home care or assisted living. Consider your budget and what you can afford when deciding on memory care. It may be helpful to speak with a financial advisor or your parent’s healthcare provider about options for paying for memory care.
Quality of Life
Ultimately, your decision to move your parent with dementia into memory care should be based on what will provide the best quality of life for them.
Discussing Memory Care with Your Loved One
Transitioning to memory care can be difficult for both you and your parent. Communicate with them and involve them in the decision-making process as much as possible. It may also be helpful to visit the community beforehand and get a sense of the environment and staff.
Remember that you are not alone, and resources are available to help you through this process.
Choosing a Memory Care Community
If you have decided that memory care is the right choice for your parent, we recommend researching and choosing a community that meets their needs and your expectations. Here are some things to consider when choosing a memory care community:
- Location: Your community should be close to your parent’s support structures. Regular visits from family and friends can benefit your loved one’s overall well-being.
- Reputation: Research and look for a community with a good reputation. This research can include reading reviews, visiting the community, and speaking with staff and current residents.
- Care services: Consider the types of care services offered in the community. Proper memory care should be designed for individual needs. This design can include things like medication management, therapy, and activities for residents. Make sure the community can meet your parent’s specific care needs.
- Amenities: Look for a community that offers amenities that will improve your parent’s quality of life. A community should provide outdoor spaces, private rooms, and recreational activities.
- Cost: Consider the cost of the community and whether it fits into your budget.
Making the Move
Memory care may not be a permanent solution, and your parent’s needs may change over time. Reassess your parent’s care needs from time to time and consider their options as their condition progresses.
As a child of a parent with dementia, it can be a challenging and emotional journey. However, it is important to remember that you are not alone. Fox Trail Senior Living at Ramsey is here to answer any of your questions. Contact us today if you’re trying to figure out the best future for your parent with dementia.