Dementia symptoms can be unique. Even in one person, symptoms can vary from day to day and from moment to moment. This can make it difficult to diagnose dementia and to know when to seek additional support.
We put together a list of signs that may help caregivers and families decide when to consider memory care from a senior living community like Sunset.
Changes in Behavior
Dementia affects more than just memory. It can also impact cognitive function, behavior, and emotions. Someone with dementia may start to act differently or do things that are out of the ordinary for them.
Someone who is normally very independent may be suddenly nervous about driving or going out on their own. A person with a lively and social personality may start declining social invitations or become withdrawn. Someone who typically takes great care of their appearance may start forgetting to do basic tasks like bathing or styling their hair.
Changes in behavior can be difficult to navigate with your loved one since they may not know how to ask for help or are too embarrassed to do so. These changes can also lead to your loved one feeling anxious or agitated without being able to explain why.
Difficulty with Activities of Daily Living
Another symptom of memory decline is having difficulty with activities of daily living. Your loved one may forget how to do things around the house like cooking, cleaning, paying the bills, or grocery shopping. They may also have difficulty with bathing, dressing, and remembering to take medication.
Likewise, they may also experience confusion or disorientation, which is dangerous if your loved one is driving a car and forgets the “rules of the road” or is out for a walk and can’t remember the way home. They could also experience a fall that results in an injury and not remember it even happened. Forgetting to eat regular meals or taking meds could lead to a decline in physical health, which is often a less obvious sign of memory decline.
All of these symptoms elicit safety concerns for your loved one and for others who may interact with them. As a caregiver, it’s scary to receive a phone call about your loved one, especially if you didn’t have any major concerns about their memory before the call.
Questions to Consider
Making senior living decisions can be difficult. Making the best decision for you and your loved one may not be the right choice for someone else. Here are some questions that may help you decide if memory care in a community like Sunset is the best option for you:
- Is it safe for my loved one to continue living in their current environment?
- Is their behavior likely to cause harm to themselves or others?
- What does my loved one want and need in this situation?
- What does their doctor suggest?
- Do we have the resources to help them safely age in place, or is a move to memory care needed to provide the appropriate care and protection?
Sunset’s Patient-Centered Memory Care
Memory Care services at Sunset Senior Communities provide more than a safe and secure environment. Our programs minister to the whole mind, body, and spirit of our residents with a wide variety of activities throughout the day.
In addition to caring for our residents, we also seek to provide support to caregivers. Caring for someone with a memory-affecting disease is a unique and challenging journey that can be hard to understand for those who have not experienced it. Our team works to support and encourage families who may not know what to expect when a loved one is afflicted with memory loss. Please reach out to us with questions or let us know how we can help.