Why Choose a Memory Care Community?
Some people don’t think about senior care until it becomes a pressing need – leaving little time to gain an in-depth understanding of what your loved one needs. If you’re confused about the benefits of memory care, when more care is needed, and what kind of care is best for your loved one, keep reading. We’re here to help you navigate senior living and find out what your parent or other family member really needs.
Knowing When More Care Is Needed
To make a more informed decision that will help your loved one continue to live their best life, it’s important to understand the early warning signs of dementia. One of the earliest signs most will notice is frequent, unusual bouts of forgetfulness. This isn’t the same thing as a “senior moment” – like briefly forgetting a name, searching for a word while speaking or missing an appointment. Instead, be aware if your loved one forgets things he or she has just learned or starts asking the same question repeatedly.
Five Things to Watch For
- Dangerous forgetfulness. This is one of the most immediately noticeable symptoms of advancing dementia, and one of the most hazardous. If your loved one is missing medications or consistently forgetting to do things like turn off the oven, be alert. This is a leading indicator that their dementia may be affecting their ability to live alone safely. At a memory care community, they’ll have a dedicated staff of caregivers who can keep them on track.
- Loneliness, anxiety or unhappiness. Due to psychological distress caused by changing cognitive ability, many seniors who have Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia may begin to withdraw from friendships and familial relationships. If your loved one seems less eager to speak up at family events – or if they stop showing up at all – they could benefit from the community and camaraderie of memory care.
- Wandering. It’s not uncommon for seniors with more advanced dementia to forget where they are and why – leading to feelings of discomfort that often result in exit-seeking, wandering and other worrisome behaviors. They may not remember that they’re at home, which can cause anxiety and a desire to flee. This is the common trigger of the many unfortunate news stories about missing seniors. The best way to avoid that is by making sure they’re in a comfortable, caring setting where exits are secured.
- Unexplained mood swings. Mood and personality changes are a common result of cognitive decline. Often, these changes lead to outbursts, which can become loud, violent and disruptive. Memory care professionals are trained to handle these outbursts through positive behavioral management techniques that redirect anger or negativity.
- Dangerous home conditions. For many seniors with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, it can become difficult to perform a lot of the regular tasks of daily living, like cooking, bathing and cleaning. This can lead to a number of extreme health hazards – from dangerous obstructions along footpaths in the home to unsanitary kitchens and bathrooms – that can present many vectors for injury and infection.
Why Memory Care Beats In-Home Care
Choosing a care option that suits your loved one’s needs isn’t easy. Apart from a memory care community, the other option that people commonly choose is to hire an in-home caregiver to visit their loved one and take care of their needs. This is an appealing option – after all, it wouldn’t necessitate moving your loved one – but it’s not generally the best choice.
Consider the fact that in-home health aides aren’t usually available 24 hours a day. While they may respond to calls and come out to visit on short notice, there may still be unpredictable gaps in care availability, especially in light of current events. Why is that a problem? Well, Alzheimer’s and dementia care is an all-day proposition. While home care visits might work for seniors with mobility issues, it’s much harder to make it work for memory support.
Also consider the fact that an in-home caregiver may not have a wealth of experience and education in caring for memory-impaired seniors. Compassion and patience go a long way, of course, but there’s no replacement for proven institutional knowledge.
The Stratford Commons Difference
If your loved one is showing signs of Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, don’t wait to find the care they truly need. Stratford Commons Memory Care Community stands ready to support you and your family throughout your senior living journey – and ready to provide compassionate, consistent support that will maximize your loved one’s comfort and happiness.
Our approach to care is designed to affirm the dignity of your loved one, offering individualized care plans, 24-hour on-site licensed and certified nursing, medication management and assistance with the activities of daily living. That’s what makes us one of the best care options for seniors in and around Overland Park.
To learn more about what our care can do for your loved one, reach out on our contact page. We’ll get in touch to discuss what comes next.