According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1 in 9 people over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s disease, and millions more have other forms of dementia. At some point, many of them will benefit from transitioning to the safe, supportive environment that a Memory Care community provides.
Brandermill Woods in Midlothian, Virginia, is home to Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care communities, and our team has helped many families decide when to transition their loved ones from one level of care to another. In this post, we’ll share some of the most common signs that it may be time for a change, and what to do when you observe them in order to make an informed decision about your loved one’s care.
Signs That It May Be Time to Transition
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are progressive conditions, meaning that symptoms change and can become more severe over time. However, each person who develops memory impairment is unique, so symptoms evolve at different rates. This means there's no one-size-fits-all timeline for when your loved one may require Memory Care support, making it important that you’re on the lookout for the following signs that they may benefit from a change.
Changes in Memory
Memory loss can be a normal sign of aging, but when forgetfulness disrupts your loved one’s daily life, it could be a sign of Alzheimer's disease or dementia. If your loved one’s memory problems are making it hard for them to maintain their personal hygiene, eat regular meals, remember to take prescribed medications, and perform other everyday tasks, moving from Assisted Living to Memory Care could provide that extra helping hand they need.
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can cause personality changes. Your loved one may become upset with you and the staff at their Assisted Living community more easily, or they may seem suspicious or fearful of those around them. In some cases, changes in mood may be accompanied by physical aggression. The staff at a Memory Care community is specially trained to help your loved one cope with feelings of irritability, anger, and fear in a compassionate way, and the daily activities are designed specifically for the emotional needs of those with memory issues.
As memory issues progress, your loved one may seem confused. They might wander away from their apartment or the Assisted Living community, or they may get lost within the building and have difficulty finding familiar places like the dining room or recreation area. A Memory Care community that's secure, self-contained, and easy to navigate could be a big help to your loved one.
Struggling With Communication
Memory problems can make it more difficult for your loved one to express their feelings and make their desires known. If they display frustration with getting the staff at their Assisted Living community to understand them or are struggling to participate in social events, moving to a Memory Care community where care and activities are custom-tailored to their needs and abilities may be beneficial.
What to Do if Your Loved One is Exhibiting Symptoms of Memory Loss
If your loved one is exhibiting symptoms of memory loss, start a conversation with them. Describe what you’ve noticed, and find out if they have noticed them too. Discuss your own thoughts and feelings, and encourage them to do the same. Urge them to see their health care provider, and offer to accompany them to the appointment.
A medical professional can help you determine whether what they’re experiencing is just part of the normal signs of aging or early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. They can also provide you with advice on how much care your loved one currently needs to remain safe and enjoy a high quality of life.
How Brandermill Woods Can Help
The Holly Inn is Brandermill Woods' dedicated Memory Care community where you’ll find a knowledgeable, friendly team committed to ensuring your loved one receives the highest-quality care. We provide a safe, warm environment, plenty of social activities, and a host of services and amenities. Moreover, we tailor the support we provide to each of our resident’s likes, dislikes, and individual needs.
If your loved one is currently residing in an Assisted Living community and you believe they may benefit from moving to a Memory Care community, we’re here to help with every step of the transition and will fully support you along the way. Contact us today at (804) 744-1173 to learn more and schedule a tour.