Signs It’s Time to Consider Memory Care
Memory care combines compassionate intervention with proven strategies to help seniors navigate the journey of dementia.
Memories define us. They are the sublime storehouse of a life richly lived. Yet our precious past—filled with emotions, relationships and defining events—can be stolen by a relentless disease called dementia.
Yes, we joke about our “senior moments,” about misplacing the car keys or wondering why we are wearing two different colored socks, but it’s laughter that masks fear, as we attempt to lift the threat of memory loss and diminished cognition caused by degenerative brain disease as we grow older.
Small wonder that Memory Care communities are emerging across our landscape, safe and secure places where trained caregivers use progressive methods to palliate symptoms and revive joy. MorningStar’s Lavender Sky memory care philosophy combines compassionate intervention with proven strategies to help the memory-impaired navigate their unique journey.
What Are Signs That It is Time to Consider Memory Care?
Memory care programming meets the needs of those who have developed dementia. Early stages of dementia include forgetfulness and mild confusion. But as dementia enters advanced stages, more serious manifestations of brain disease can negatively impact quality of life: agitation, delusions, disorientation and major mood swings.
Here are the most common milestones that signal the need to look closer at the benefits of memory care:
#1: Concern About Personal Safety
If you spend most of the day worrying about the safety of a loved one who has dementia in any form, then the time has come to consider memory care. Wandering or exit-seeking is a prevalent danger for many with dementia. Specially trained caregivers at memory care communities maintain a watchful eye on residents.
#2: Concern About Caregiver Safety
When dementia advances, it is common for people to lash out in their distress. A dramatic personality change can turn even a mild-mannered personality into a volatile one. Professional caregivers, certainly those at MorningStar, receive extensive training on how to detect abrupt changes in mood and behavior, as well as diffuse tension and bring calming solutions.
#3: Unable to Manage Finances
Many who suffer from dementia live alone, which means they might forget to pay bills or throw away bank statements that contain overdraft notices. A decline in money management is frequently one of the first signs of dementia.
#4: Neglecting Personal Care
Another sign of dementia is the lack of personal care. From wearing unwashed clothes to neglecting to take regular baths, a person suffering from dementia can let slide the most basic personal hygiene issues. Caregivers at a reputable community such as MorningStar ensure residents receive the highest quality of personalized care.
#5: Isolation and Loneliness
One of the most difficult issues facing those with dementia is isolation and loneliness. Both emotions can lead to more significant mental health problems like depression and acute anxiety. Whereas in memory care communities social calendars keep residents engaged in meaningful activities that both calm and stimulate.
#6: Unexplained Physical Changes
We might joke about forgetting where we put the car keys, but it is no laughing matter when someone with declining cognitive function forgets to eat. Drastic weight change underscores a major problem with memory that requires nutritional oversight by compassionate caregivers in a memory care community. Other physical problems include posture changes and loss of mobility.
Incontinence is a predictably growing problem for someone with cognition loss. When the brain and body do not work in sync to communicate the functions of bladder and bowel, it can quickly create an unsanitary environment. Caregivers at memory care communities pay close attention to the bathroom routines of residents.
#8: Restore Relationships
Familial relationships (between husband and wife, parent and child or grandchild) dramatically change when one becomes the caregiver of the other. You spend more time managing care than enjoying what should be a more balanced relationship. When you move a loved one into a memory care community, it can help restore the relationship you once had.
#9: Take Care of the Caregiver
Taking care of someone with dementia is mentally, physically, and emotionally draining. Memory care specialists are trained to serve around the clock as a coordinated team. When your own health suffers because the demands of caregiving are so high, it may be time to consider a memory care community.
MorningStar created its Lavender Sky memory care philosophy and programming around an ambition of entering, embracing, exploring, all in loving support of those with cognitive loss. With empathy and compassion, our approach helps residents in our Reflections neighborhoods (and their concerned families) return to a healthier quality of life.
Contact MorningStar to learn more about our Lavender Sky approach to memory care.