Dementia is a scary prospect. Watching a loved one struggle with memories or the inability to perform everyday tasks is heartbreaking. Whether it’s your spouse, parent or a family friend, signs of cognitive decline as they age might be easily recognizable. However, recognizing the difference between harmless forgetfulness and the advancing stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s might not be as simple.
If you think your loved one may need specialized memory care assistance, consider some of these factors to help in your decision process.
Signs of Advancing Dementia
The truth is that it can be difficult to spot the differences between regular forgetfulness and the advancing dementia that is often associated with Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, Lewy Body dementia, Parkinson’s disease dementia, and other forms of dementia.
Moderate dementia includes:
- Forgetting events and personal history
- Feeling moody, especially in socially challenging situations
- Inability to recall personal information like an address or phone number
- Confusion about location or day
- The need for help choosing appropriate clothing
- Bladder or bowel control problems
- Changes in sleep
- Increased tendency to wander or become lost
- Significant personality and behavioral changes
Advanced dementia includes:
- Losing awareness of surroundings
- No awareness of recent experiences
- Inability to respond to things happening in their immediate environment
- Changes in physical abilities such as walking, sitting, or swallowing
- Difficulty communicating
When someone is facing moderate or advanced dementia, their care needs change, and specialized memory care can provide a higher quality of life.
What Are the Differences Between Regular and Specialized Memory Care?
Regular memory care is designed for people with early or mild cases of dementia. Such patients are able to provide high levels of self-sufficiency, and memory care supplements their needs. It ensures that they eat properly, have access to exercise and community, and can receive medical care as needed.
Specialized memory care is designed for patients with more advanced cases of dementia. With this level of care, a team of CNAs and RNs provides direct care, led by an overseeing staff physician. They provide a closer watch and more direct, hands-on care for patients on an around-the-clock basis.
How to Know If a Loved One Needs a Higher Level of Memory Care
Answering “yes” to some of the following questions is an indication that someone may need a higher level of care:
- Are they struggling with self-sufficiency while living at home or at an assisted-living facility?
- Do they need more consistent care than they are currently receiving?
- Has their living situation become dangerous?
- Are they presenting with personality changes or changes in behavior?
- Do they have trouble with self-expression through speech?
- Do they have difficulty eating the food on their plate, walking or getting up?
- Do they forget to ask for help when they need it?
- Do you feel they may need more than one person supervising them around the clock?
Diamondback Healthcare Center Is Here to Help
You don’t need to be an expert in dementia — that’s our job at Diamondback Healthcare Center. We specialize in all types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s dementia. If you’re not sure what level of care is appropriate for a loved one, call us at (623) 303-2882 to schedule a visit or contact us online to see if our specialized memory care pavilion is right for them. We’ll be happy to answer all of your questions and provide all of the information you need to make an informed decision about caregiving.