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How Do I Know My Loved One Needs Memory Care?

woman talking to her mother in a peaceful setting as she asks how do I know my loved one needs memory care

Of all the treasures one may find in their lifetime, few are more precious than family. Take away personal belongings, materialism, and objects of significance; an individual is left with only family and memories. Old age is often referred to as a time when one can enjoy and spend time with their family. Unfortunately, old age is also referred to as a time when the body becomes vulnerable to disease and decline. It’s never easy when a loved one begins to lose their memory. It can cause significant emotional distress and often floods the mind with questions such as “Will they forget about me?” and “Will they still love me?”. It can be an emotionally trying time, which is why it is essential to be aware of how memory can be affected by old age, and available treatments which may provide a solution.

One of the most common forms of memory impairment in seniors is dementia. Dementia is not a disease in and of itself. Instead, it is a collection of diseases whose symptoms work in tandem to impair memory, psychology, and cognitive ability. In addition to understanding how dementia affects the brain and body, it is also essential to understand the emotional impact family members may experience. A dementia diagnosis does not mean all family dynamics will change, but these dynamics will be affected. Rolls will change, relationships will be altered, and tough decisions may arise, but when a loved one needs memory care, being emotionally prepared can make a world of difference.

What Is the Emotional Impact of Dementia on Family?

It’s hard to say precisely how a dementia diagnosis may emotionally impact a family due to the various factors involved. Much of this emotional impact will be derived from witnessing a loved one experience the symptoms of dementia. The level to which they experience these symptoms depends on which stage of dementia a person has and the effects of other present ailments, medications, or medical issues. To put it bluntly, it can be scary to watch their loved one lose their train of thought, become lost, or forget their name, especially for younger family members. There’s no way of telling how family members will respond, but three responses are typical in this situation.

  • Guilt – guilt can be experienced in many ways. One may feel guilty about how they treated their loved one in the past, guilty over feelings of embarrassment regarding their loved one’s behavior, or guilty about becoming frustrated.
  • Grief and loss – grief and loss are felt by those who feel as if they have, or are in the process of losing, someone they love and that they may no longer get to make new memories together.
  • Anger – anger can result from frustration, which is not uncommon when living with someone with dementia. Frustration can arise over the loved one in question, over other family members who don’t appear to be helping enough, and with oneself over how they’re handling their current situation.

These are just a few of the many reactions family members might have when living with a family member with dementia. The key to healthily handling this experience is being open with one’s emotions and not being afraid to ask for help, whether from a family member or a therapist.

When Should Patients Go Into Care?

A difficult choice must be made when a loved one needs memory care. Dementia affects everyone differently. Someone may require a high level of care but not need a care facility because family members can meet their needs. In contrast, someone who requires a low level of care may need a care facility because they don’t have anyone readily available to assist.

The decision to go into care depends on two factors: the patient’s medical and cognitive requirements and the family members’ willingness to commit a loved one to a memory care program. It should be noted, however, that if dementia symptoms have progressed to the point where an individual is no longer able to take care of themselves and poses a significant risk to themselves or others, a dementia care treatment should be sought out regardless of a family’s ability to provide care. This is because of the complex nature of dementia and its care requirements. This form of care requires education, training, and resources that are not readily available to those outside of memory care treatment programs.

Find Quality Dementia Care at Buckner Calder Woods

When a loved one needs memory care, only the best will do. This is especially true regarding dementia, as the progression of the disease has been shown to slow down for those with an active daily routine and social life. At Buckner Calder Woods, we offer a wide range of memory care services specifically designed to treat those with dementia and other forms of memory impairment. For more information on living with loved ones who need memory care, contact our facility today at 409.407.7636 or reach out online.