Having a loved one struggling with Alzheimer’s disease can be incredibly traumatic and challenging to deal with. It’s common to feel overwhelmed and not know how to offer them the support and care they need. You might not know how to help them through the symptoms that arise, how to prepare for what’s to come or even the right way to balance your own responsibilities while acting as caregiver.
Luckily, to overcome the damage and obstacles associated with Alzheimer’s disease, special Memory Care communities have been established that help those suffering from this debilitating disease find the support they need and get through their routine and daily tasks.
Here is what you should know about having a loved one with Alzheimer’s, Memory Care and choosing the right community for you or a loved one’s current and future needs.
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Before we get into the advantages of a secure Memory Care community, it’s important to first understand what Alzheimer’s Disease is.
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of Dementia, in which the functionality of the brain decreases, resulting in gradual memory loss and reduced thinking ability. The stages of Alzheimer’s disease can vary from mild to severe and commonly occurs in seniors at the age of 65 and above. However, people between the ages of 30 to 60 may develop mild symptoms that can worsen with the passage of time.
Did You Know: One in ten people age sixty-five and older is suffering from Alzheimer’s dementia.
Common Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease
Each person may exhibit different symptoms, but some of the more common signs associated with Alzheimer’s disease include:
- Misplacing and forgetting personal information
- Forgetting conversations, appointments, events, and familiar routes
- Poor management of daily routine, tasks, and activities
- Abnormal behavior while recognizing familiar faces
- Changes in vision or trouble recognizing colors and distances
- Forgetting names of friends and family members
- Lack of motivation and involvement in hobbies
- Depression and anxiety
Diagnosing and Coping With Alzheimer’s Disease
When attempting to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, a range of other abnormal behaviors and symptoms might present themselves. While there is no specific test or diagnostic tool for Alzheimer’s, a physician may review the patient’s family history in addition to conducting CT scans, MRI scans, and blood or urine tests. In many cases, the probability of tracing the disease to a genetic origin is likely.
Because the death of brain cells is permanent, there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. However, there are several medicines that can temporarily help reduce the severity of the disease and its symptoms. Due to the challenging nature of the disease, in some cases, antidepressants may be prescribed by doctors to help manage the situation.
Did You Know: Diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease at its early stages, can save up to $7.9 trillion in medical and care costs.
Choosing Memory Care vs. In-Home Care
When dealing with a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s; the time will come when you need to decide whether in-home care or a secure memory care facility is the right choice for them. Understanding the differences and benefits of these options can help make sure you are getting the support and care they need.
Although very often Alzheimer’s is too much to deal with at home, in some case in-home care might be the right option for your loved one. These tips and recommendations can help make sure you are creating a safe and conducive environment:
- Lock cabinets that have medicine, alcohol or other potentially dangerous tools.
- Prevent falls, eliminate hurdles and install handy tools like handrails.
- Take care of water temperature, and keep matches and lighters out of reach.
- Reduce frustrations by scheduling routine tasks, exercising patience while helping them, and avoiding visual distractions.
Memory Care Facility
While in-home care is an option for some, as referenced above it’s often not the best choice to deal with the frustrations and challenges that come from having a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. In these situations, a secure memory care facility and community can offer the ideal environment, support, and resources to help.
A memory care community provides services and experienced professionals that can help manage a routine and accomplish daily tasks in a nurturing and supportive setting. Memory Care units are supervised by responsible individuals and a highly trained staff with the experience needed to care for your loved one the right way.
When to Know It’s Time for Memory Care?
If you are unsure whether your loved one could benefit from a memory care facility, here is what you should consider and the questions you should be asking when trying to decide if the time is right:
- As a caregiver, is balancing their needs with your own responsibilities becoming too difficult?
- Is your loved one taking their medicine as per their schedule?
- Do they become fearful or suspicious of you or others unintentionally?
- Have they gotten lost in a familiar area while on a routine walk?
- Can they handle emergency situations like a fire?
- Do they have difficulty remembering their phone number, addresses, and daily routine?
Choosing the Right Memory Care Community
Alzheimer’s disease and other related disorders like dementia can become progressively worse as time goes on. So, it is very important to choose the right memory care community suited for your loved ones’ current as well as future needs. These considerations can help make sure you’re choosing the right memory care facility for a loved one:
- Request a Tour – Schedule a tour of the facility you are considering before coming to decision, to get a better idea of what you can expect and that they’re capable of offering the services you’re looking for.
- Level of Security – Make sure the facility you choose offers sufficient security that will keep your loved one safe and contained.
- Staff Training and Experience – Find out if the staff has the necessary training to manage the severity of the disease and has experience as an effective caregiver.
- Affordability and Pricing – Look for an affordable memory care community that is within your budget but still offers the quality of care and services needed.
- Extra Services – If your loved one is in need of extra care such as physiotherapy, exercise, vaccinations or special treatment; make sure to find out if those services are offered.
- Emergency Preparedness – Find out if the facility is equipped and ready in case of medical emergencies.
- Special Meal Requirements – Keep in mind any special meal requirements such as kosher meals or special dietary needs your loved one might have and find out if they are offered.
- Ratio of Staff to Residents – Ask about the ratio of staff to residents and make sure your loved one will receive the time, attention and care they need.
- Do the Necessary Research – Check online and make sure you do the necessary research to find the right memory care facility for your unique needs. There are memory care facilities across the U.S., and leveraging the tools at your disposal can help narrow down the decision and help make sure you’re making the right choice.
While moving your loved one to a memory care community is a big decision; it’s often a necessary one for them to feel comfortable and receive the support they need, as they deal with what’s to come.
If you are having trouble dealing with a loved one with Alzheimer’s; you should consider a top quality memory care facility like Yorkshire Village to help. Our Memory Care facility features built-in safety accommodations specially designed for those living with the cognitive challenges brought on by Alzheimer’s and dementia.
At Yorkshire Village, your loved one’s care and happiness is our top priority and most important consideration.