The signs and symptoms of memory impairment often come about slowly over time. Sadly, by the time you realize your loved one may be suffering from some form of dementia, they may need advanced memory care. If you have any doubts whatsoever, it might help to know how to recognize the signs of dementia so that you can make an informed decision on the type and level of care they need.
Table of Contents
1. Differentiating Normal Lapses in Memory from Dementia
Anyone at any age can momentarily forget a word or name and that is really not uncommon. However, if you notice a pattern of your loved one forgetting names of people whom they’ve known all their lives, dates that are important, and even paying bills timely, this could all be indicative of some deeper level of memory impairment. It could be age-related dementia which doesn’t have all the physical consequences of Alzheimer’s disease but conversely, it could be the latter.
The first thing to do is get your loved one into their doctor to schedule tests to determine what the cause is so that proper treatment can be prescribed. Unless the ongoing memory lapses are due to something as easy to rectify as a prescription medication, then you might want to start vetting services at residential memory care services like those at Monarch Communities.
2. Safety Above All Else
It is also normal for your loved one to want to stay at home in a familiar place as long as possible. This is where they have lived for many years and where they are comfortable. Of course, you can only talk to them during times when they are lucid, but when they are experiencing those frightening moments of not knowing where they are or even who you are there is no way to tell them what you experienced.
They will not remember any of it. Sometimes the hard decisions will fall into your hands but with the support of their doctors and a verifiable diagnosis, you can take legal steps to ensure their safety.
3. Declining Health
You will also notice that there is a definite decline in their health. However, don’t automatically think that it’s Alzheimer’s because that is the main difference between age-related dementia and a degenerative disease. It just could be that they are forgetting to eat! Even that is dangerous, but not necessarily a sign of Alzheimer’s. Since they are more and more prone to memory lapses, they probably will not be able to get on a healthier regimen without memory care oversight.
It isn’t going to be an easy task set before you, but your primary concern is the wellbeing of that loving mother, father, grandparent or even an aunt or uncle. When you have been tasked with seeing to the best course of action going forward, make sure to get a proper diagnosis before making plans for your loved one’s future.
Residential memory care services might be the best way forward and for that you will need to stay strong. Just know that you are doing everything you can to ensure a quality of life for the ones you love.