Seniors suffering from dementia can require a significant amount of care depending on how advanced their disease has become. Caregivers can often provide the right amount of care for their loved ones while dementia is still in an early stage, but eventually the senior will benefit more from being at a dementia care center where the facilities and staff are prepared to offer specialized care.
The following are five signs you should look for to know when it’s time to move your loved one to a dementia care center:
- Safety is a concern
Not just for your loved one suffering from dementia, but also yourself and other people your loved one comes into contact with. For example, if they still drive but their abilities have declined significantly, they can be a hazard to everyone on the road. Your loved one may also start to wander, which is a common concern for dementia patients. A dementia care center can keep track of your loved one and ensure their safety.
- Difficulty performing activities of daily living
There are six activities of daily living: bathing and showering; personal hygiene and grooming; dressing; toileting, bathroom hygiene and continence; functional mobility, often referred to as “transferring,” as measured by the ability to walk, get in and out of bed and get into and out of a chair; and the ability to feed one’s self. As dementia progresses, seniors lose the ability to perform these activities without help, or sometimes cannot perform these activities at all on their own. The staff at dementia care centers are equipped to assist residents who need help performing these activities of daily living.
- Finances are out of control
If your loved one still lives alone but is suffering from dementia, it’s almost a sure bet that their finances are not being cared for properly. You may want to speak with an experienced elder law attorney about your options for stepping in to assist or manage your loved one’s finances with the help of a power of attorney document. It is possible to wait too long to obtain a power of attorney. Thus, this step should be one of the first taken when dementia is noticed.
- Personal care has fallen by the wayside
One important sign that your loved one is ready for a dementia care center is if you notice their personal hygiene is lacking and their house is a mess—especially if they were a clean freak in prior years. As the disease progresses, your loved one may forget that they need to take care of themselves and their house. Staff members at a dementia care center can ensure their hygiene needs are addressed and housekeeping services can keep their rooms clean.
- Isolation has taken hold
If your loved one does not get out as much as they used to because of their dementia, it could actually worsen their disease. Loneliness and isolation can lead to depression, which exacerbates the symptoms of dementia. Dementia care centers often have packed schedules to help their patients socialize and maintain better mental health.
If you have any questions about moving your loved one to a dementia care center, or if your loved one is in any stage of dementia and you’d like some advice about your next steps, please contact our Ohio elder law office at 877-653-3450 to schedule a complimentary initial consultation.