Aging comes with an expected decline in mental faculties. For many, this is simply a mild inconvenience. For some individuals, though, daily life can become a struggle. This is particularly the case for those with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other memory issues. Adult children watching their parents go through this are often left wondering whether it’s time for a memory care facility.
Anyone who doesn’t quite understand this form of assisted living should visit Blakeford Senior Life’s Memory Care Programs page to learn more. For those who are at the point where a decision must be made, however, the following signs may signify that it’s time to seek memory care for elderly parents experiencing cognitive difficulties.
Physical Safety Endangered by Confusion
One of the chief signs that it’s time for memory care is when a person’s physical well-being is in danger. Perhaps they forget basic driving rules and don’t yield to oncoming traffic. Maybe they injure themselves trying to navigate through their home. There are innumerable ways that memory issues can create physical dangers, and they can all signify that help is needed.
Between 2021 and 2050, the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s is expected to more than double. This doesn’t mean the risks that a person’s elderly parents face are increasing — but rather that the aging population has increased. Even so, recognizing when loved ones may need memory care is paramount to keeping them and those around them safe.
Financial Issues Have Come Up
Most people experience financial difficulties at some point in their lives. This can be a particular issue for the aging population after they retire. Fortunately, having to be more careful with money doesn’t mean a person suffers from a cognitive disorder. If it becomes apparent that they’re neglecting finances, however, it may be time to consider memory care.
Are late notices arriving at their home? Have collector’s begun calling? Was there a point when utilities got cut off — a danger in and of itself — simply because a bill was overlooked? It’s not uncommon for those suffering from dementia to completely neglect their financial responsibilities. If this starts happening, it might be time to seek out help.
Loved One Has Started To Wander
A tell-tale sign that it’s time for memory care — and one of the scariest — is when an aging loved one starts to wander around. Confusion and disorientation can lead them to this dangerous activity. They may have no idea where they are or how they can get back home. This can present dangers related to weather, traffic, crime, and more.
The design of memory care facilities reduces this danger. The properties are secured, and caregivers are always on-site. The importance of such safeguards cannot be overstated — because wandering is not merely an inconvenience. A full 30% of those who engage in this behavior will suffer an injury because of it. When it comes to wandering, “wait and see” is not an option.
Physical Health Begins to Deteriorate
When someone starts to experience memory problems, their loved ones often seek ways to combat the issue. After all, there are ways to boost mental health as a person ages. If someone’s physical health is beginning to deteriorate, however, it’s likely linked to more than just typical memory problems.
That’s because individuals with serious mental problems will unknowingly endanger their own health. This often occurs when they forget to take their prescriptions — or when they take them inappropriately. They may also forget to go grocery shopping or eat meals. If a loved one’s physical health starts to deteriorate, it may be time for memory care.
Unexplained Physical or Mental Changes
Adult children should pay attention to unexplained physical and mental changes — even if they don’t stand out as drastic at first. Weight loss, mobility issues, and even changes in posture may indicate cognitive issues. Changes in behavior can also signify that serious memory problems have developed. Caregivers should always be concerned regarding any unexplained change.
Deterioration of Health… in Others
The physical and mental signs that memory care may be necessary don’t just occur in the elderly. These problems can also pop up in adult children and caregivers. That’s because caring for a loved one with memory problems is a stressful situation. In some instances, aggressive behaviors linked to dementia can even create the risk of physical violence.
The simple fact is that it can be overwhelming to care for loved ones with memory issues. This can take a physical and mental toll on individuals in this position. Seeking out memory care shouldn’t be viewed as “abandoning” a loved one in this situation. If the problem has become so severe that it’s endangering others, it’s a dangerous issue for the elderly individual.
Recognize the Signs That It’s Time for Memory Care
It’s difficult for anyone to watch their parents enter mental decline. Unfortunately, it’s often just as difficult for those parents to admit they need help. That’s why it’s up to adult children to recognize the signs that their parents may need memory care. It’s no doubt a difficult decision to come to, but when the time comes to make that decision, it’s important to know it’s the right one.
At Blakeford Senior Life, our senior living facilities help aging adults safely continue on their journey. Whether you know it’s time to seek memory care or you have questions, our staff of professionals is ready to help. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer and how we can help your aging loved one.