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Understanding the Signs: When is Memory Care Needed for Your Aging Parents?

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As our parents age, they may need more care and attention than they once did. One of the primary concerns that many family members face is the decline of memory and cognitive abilities in their loved ones. When changes in cognitive health become pervasive and interfere with daily life, a conversation about Memory Care becomes essential for families to have.  

Transitioning into a Memory Care community can help people with dementia live a more comfortable and fulfilling life. With information gathered from trusted sources like the Alzheimer’s Association and Mayo Clinic, here are some notable signs it’s time for memory care 

  1. Memory Loss That Disrupts Daily Life: According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s disease (the most common cause of dementia), is memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information [1] 
  2. Difficulty Performing Familiar Tasks: People with Alzheimer’s can find it hard to complete daily tasks, such as preparing a meal or remembering the rules of a favorite game [1] 
  3. Changes in Mood or Personality: The Mayo Clinic’s website discusses how changes in mood or personality – such as becoming confused, suspicious, or anxious – can be a sign of dementia [2] 
  4. Challenges in Planning or Solving Problems: Anything from difficulties with following a plan to issues keeping track of monthly bills might indicate the need for Memory Care [1] 
  5. Misplacing Things and Losing the Ability to Retrace Steps: If they are putting things in unusual places and are not able to go back through their actions, this indicates cognitive decline [1] 
  6. Social Withdrawal: Mayo Clinic’s research states that individuals facing memory problems might withdraw themselves from hobbies, social activities, or work projects [2] 
  7. Poor Judgment: This can be displayed through less attention to personal hygiene and cleanliness or uncharacteristic changes in dealing with money [1] 
  8. New Problems with Words in Speaking or Writing: They may have trouble following a conversation, often repeating themselves, or struggling to add to a conversation. At times, they might even invent new words [2] 

Memory Care is a specialized type of long-term care that directly caters to the needs of those experiencing cognitive decline. A memory care facility provides a structured environment that mitigates the conditions of their disease progression and helps maintain their quality of life.  

Early-stage detection and intervention are critical when dealing with memory and cognitive issues. Please remember that if you notice any signs, consult with a professional healthcare provider to discuss possible diagnosis and treatment.  

Helping your loved one’s transition to Memory Care can feel difficult, but knowing the signs makes the path clearer, and it’s always comforting to remember that taking this step is all in their best interest.  Learn more about Journey’s Memory Care Program

  • References

    [1] Alzheimer’s Association. (n.d.). 10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s. www.alz.org/alzheimers-10-signs. 

    [2] Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Dementia – Symptoms and Causes. mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dementia/symptoms-causes 

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