When Is Memory Care The Best Choice?
People sometimes refer to assisted living and memory care interchangeably. However, these are distinctly different service. Here at Ashford, we cater to individuals who need memory care and assisted living needs. We help families understand which is the right fit for their loved one. To help you decide which is the best choice for your loved one, we want to share what we tell the families we counsel.
When To Choose Assisted Living
Assisted living is for those individuals who struggle to manage day-to-day tasks but still have full mental capabilities. However, simple physical tasks may be a struggle for them, such as:
- Cooking meals
- Cleaning their home
- Doing laundry
- Reaching meetings with friends
- Simple home maintenance
If no family member lives close enough, many of these activities may go undone. A key danger is if the elder struggles with making healthy meals. Many turn to frozen/microwaveable foods to fix this problem. But this can create other issues.
Elders, in particular, are susceptible to malnutrition, and microwave-ready food isn’t particularly nutritious. It is also very high in sodium which can exacerbate many health issues elders struggle with.
These elders may find a transition to assisted living difficult initially as they don’t want to admit to lower physical abilities. However, they benefit greatly from the community aspect and having others take care of daily tasks that the elder had been struggling to complete.
When To Choose Memory Care
When it comes to selecting memory care for your elderly loved one, all of the above considerations apply to them as well. However, there are other concerns which can be signs your elder needs memory care and not just assisted living.
Your elder will need memory care under these conditions:
- Safety concerns – If you have concerns for your elder’s safety because of diminished mental capabilities, you should consider memory care. For example, have they started to forget where they live or whether they left the stove on for hours? These are early warning signs which family members should watch out for as they are indicators that the elder’s memory may be diminishing.
- Becomes combative – Dementia and other memory-loss related issues can cause some elderly loved one to become angry and combative. Without the proper training, this can become dangerous to both you and your elder. Memory care units have personnel trained in how to defuse a combative elder and keep everyone safe.
- Memory problems – Having one’s memory deteriorate can affect all aspects of life. Hygiene, health care, money, and more can be neglected if the elder cannot remember to fulfill these tasks. Usually, these become problems around the same time, so if you have noticed one of these issues, you should investigate to see if your elder is struggling elsewhere.
Lastly, caring for an elderly loved one who has memory issues can be exhausting for the caregivers. Many families find it hard to consider this aspect. We have had families feel selfish for needing to turn to a memory care facility for their loved one.
This is not the case. To maintain a healthy relationship and help your elderly loved one, memory care can be the best option. You can rest assured knowing they are receiving constant care and they can enjoy their golden years in comfort and safety.