For at-home caregivers, knowing when it’s time for professional, round-the-clock memory care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia can be very difficult. Not only do caregivers have questions about what is best for their loved ones and when, the decision itself can be a highly emotional one.
You may have questions like: “Are we still able to give mom the care she needs here at home?” “Will dad think we are abandoning him?” “How do we know if we’re doing the right thing?” “When is the right time to make a decision?”
Consider What Is Best for Your Loved One and You
Elaine Austin, Executive Director of Provident Village at Creekside in Smyrna, GA,says, “For families of loved ones requiring memory care, there are many questions, but few clear answers.
“However, experts tell us that one thing is certain. As your loved one’s memory loss progresses, so will their need for higher levels of care and supervision. And so will the demands on your time, energy and resources in trying to provide them with the care and safe environment they need.
“Both the Mayo Clinic and the Alzheimer’s Association advise that eventually there comes a time when the person with memory loss will need more care than can be provided in the home setting.
“They say that during the middle stages of Alzheimer's, it becomes necessary to provide 24-hour supervision to keep the person with dementia safe. And as their memory loss progresses into the latter stages, round-the-clock care requirements become even more intensive.
“Thus, providing the appropriate quality of care is normally beyond the reach of families – despite their very best efforts and intentions.
“Understandably, making the decision to move your loved one to a memory care community is often very challenging emotionally. However, what ultimately matters most is your loved one’s well-being. Taking appropriate measures that are in the best interest of their safety, comfort and lifestyle is always the right decision.
“And the good news is that there are professional resources available that provide you with the objective criteria you need for deciding when the time is right for full-time memory care.”
Help for Recognizing When Residential Memory Care Is the Best Solution
One excellent source is the Alzheimer’s Association’s “Residential Care” overview, which provides useful guidelines for families who are trying to make the best decisions. This guide lists keyindicatorsthat you can use to decide if your loved one would be best served in a specialized memory care community that offers round-the-clock professional care seven days a week.
The important criteria include:
- Personal Safety – Is your loved one with Alzheimer’s becoming less safe in their current home? Do they have difficulty climbing stairs, toileting and bathing? Are they at risk of falling?
- Health Status – Is the health of your loved one or your health as a caregiver at risk? Have symptoms of the disease progressed to the point where they are becoming very challenging for you to manage in the home, e.g. incontinence, dehydration, aggression, paranoia and wandering?
- Their Care Needs and Your Capabilities – Are your loved one’s care needs progressing beyond your physical abilities? Is your loved one becoming increasingly dependent on you for help with activities of daily living such as eating, dressing, bathing and toileting?
- Caregiver Stress – Are you becoming a stressed, irritable and impatient caregiver? Are you feeling depressed, hopeless and having trouble sleeping?
- Your Other Responsibilities – Are you neglecting your work responsibilities, your family and yourself?
- Quality of Life – Would the 24-hour professional care, security, support services, social interaction and life-enriching activities at a memory care community benefit your loved one with dementia?
These expert guidelines can help you to make an objective decision that is in your loved one’s best interests as well as your own.
Vibrant Memory Care that Combines Dignity and Joy Every Day
Adds Elaine, “At our beautiful new Smynings Square Memory Care Neighborhood,your loved one receives personalized care that meets their unique needs and preferences, even as they may change over time. Recognizing that everyone has their own unique life story, our person-centered programming offers a purposeful, fulfilling lifestyle that emphasizes residents’ preferences, strengths and abilities.
“Our memory care residents live a vibrant, joyous lifestyle in the safe hands of our loving caregiver team. Each team member is dedicated to making sure that our residents experience meaningful days filled with respect, humor and fun.”
Your Family Resource for Assisted Living and Memory Care Information
In addition to providing exceptional care for loved ones, Provident Village at Creekside also serve as a valuable source of information, resources and support for area families. We invite you to read our regular articles and tips on important senior care topics as well as to join us for our free public education programs each month. We also welcome you to call us with any questions you might have.
Live Vibrantly! at Provident Village at Creekside
At Provident Village at Creekside, we believe vibrant days ensure bright tomorrows, so we've created a community where seniors, quite simply, Live Vibrantly! Whether it's in our Assisted Living Community or Memory Care Neighborhood, each day we celebrate the individuality and strengths of each resident.
At Provident Village, to Live Vibrantly! means that days are filled with joy, vitality, growth and security. It means residents are socially active and personally empowered, with access to the personalized care and support they need to live fully. It means residing in a community where intellectual, social, emotional, spiritual and physical care are seamlessly integrated into everyday life.
Our compassionate Care Partners dedicate each day to enriching the lives of our residents. They customize the level of attention and activities to each resident's specific needs and abilities. Our living environments are warm and inviting, with comfortable furnishings, beautiful fixtures and natural elements that bring the outdoors inside.