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  • Patricia Riley

When is it time for a loved one with Alzheimer's to be placed in a memory care community?

Because Alzheimer’s is a disease that is continuously progressing, it can be a challenge to know when it’s time to consider moving a loved one from home to a memory care community. With that said, there are several signs that caregivers can look for that will help determine when it’s the right time.

The signs include:

1. Aggression—Physical, sexual or violent aggression frequently happen in those with Dementia and caregivers or other family members may suffer or begin to feel frightened and/or resentful. If this is happening, it may be time to consider long-term care.

2. Caregiver Stress—Caregiver symptoms like insomnia, irritability, disability anxiety, hyper-vigilance, and increasing health issues are signs that it may be time to think about moving a loved one with Dementia.

3. Escalating Care Needs—The way to determine this is to ask the question, “Are my loved one’s needs beyond my physical abilities?” or “Is the health of my loved one with Dementia or my health as a caregiver at risk?” If the answer is yes to one or both of these questions, having the “tough conversation” with other family members about finding a memory care community that provides the care your loved one needs may be your next step.

4. Home Safety Concerns—Assessing the safety of the home where a loved one with Alzheimer’s is living is essential to determining if he/she may be at risk for injuries, falls, getting lost outside the home, etc. If the caregiver has concerns about the safety of a loved one with memory impairment, particularly if he/she lives alone, it’s time to consider other options.

5. Sundowning—Sundowner’s syndrome, very agitated behavior that becomes more pronounced later in the day, is a common characteristic of those with Alzheimer’s. This can take a heavy toll on caregivers and when it begins to severely disrupt family routines, it may be a sign that the caregiver is unable to handle the situation.

6. Wandering—In later stages of Dementia, the risk posed by wandering becomes much greater. Individuals with Dementia can wander, leaving a room and/or house, even when the caregiver just takes a few minutes to go to the bathroom. In addition, the probability of falls and injuries increases at this stage.

If you or someone you know needs assistance with determining when it’s time to place a loved one with Alzheimer’s or Dementia in a memory care community, Vista Cove can help. Our knowledgeable and experienced team is available to answer your questions and provide the information needed to make a decision.

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