How to Know When Someone with Dementia Needs 24-Hour Care
Dealing with a dementia diagnosis is an emotional journey for everyone involved, and it’s one that brings new challenges at every stage. Dementia symptoms may change quickly in the span of a few months or gradually over several years. Your loved one may have mild symptoms that allow them to manage pretty well on their own with family members checking in regularly. However, as dementia symptoms worsen over time, you may be facing difficult decisions about how to meet their needs in the next stage of the condition.
As dementia-related symptoms worsen, you may notice more problems with memory or changes in their behavior, and you may start to wonder: At what point does a person with dementia need 24-hour care? You want to keep your loved one safe and happy, but they may not be happy about the changes needed to keep them safe. There are no easy answers, but learning about the stages of dementia can help you prepare to make the best decision for your loved one and your family.
When Does a Person Need Memory Care?
Can someone with dementia be left alone? Although every situation is different, let’s discuss some of the signs that a person with dementia needs 24-hour care:
Escalating care needs. As dementia progresses, it’s common to see a decline in physical health and an increase in the need for help with activities of daily living. They may need additional help with preparing and eating meals, bathing, dressing, and moving safely around the home.
Wandering. It’s common to have problems with orientation and wandering during the moderate stages of dementia. Your loved one may forget where they are or leave the house because they’re looking for something or someone. When you notice increased confusion and start to worry about wandering, 24/7 monitoring is essential for their safety and well-being.
Changes in behavior. Challenging behaviors like anger, paranoia, agitation, eating problems, and repetitive behaviors can make caregiving increasingly difficult. Disturbed sleep patterns can lead to sleeplessness during the night and exhaustion during the day. If your loved one is going through changes in behavior that are difficult to manage, it’s essential to get the support they need in a safe environment.
Home safety concerns. Dementia can lead to a decline in mobility and increased risk of falls. Even if you’ve added age-friendly features to a home, it’s impossible to protect your loved one from all the dangers in a typical home. If you find yourself worrying about what could happen when they’re on their own at home, trust your instincts and help them make the transition to dementia care.
Caregiver stress. Caregivers need to take breaks and recharge to protect their own health and well-being as their loved one’s needs change. Increased demands on family caregivers can lead to caregiver burnout from the physical, mental and emotional burdens of caring for someone with dementia. If you feel stressed and worried when leaving your loved one alone at home, this is a clear sign that it’s time to seriously consider a long-term care setting providing 24-hour care for dementia patients.
Safe and Supportive Memory Care
Being aware of the signs that it’s time to move to Memory Care can help you be prepared to take action before dementia-related symptoms worsen. In fact, helping your loved one move to a Memory Care community while they still have the cognitive ability to comprehend the changes and adapt to a new routine may be helpful in making a smooth transition.
Memory Care communities like Walnut Place support residents and their families by providing long-term care in a safe setting designed to support those with memory loss. Calming therapies and soothing spaces help reduce agitation, minimize confusion, and provide a tranquil atmosphere. Secure entrances and exits prevent wandering, and secured outdoor courtyard areas provide spaces where residents can spend time outdoors safely.
Explore Memory Care at Walnut Place
When you’re ready to take the first step in finding care for your loved one with dementia, we’re here to help. At Walnut Place, we offer a nationally recognized approach to dementia care called Heartfelt CONNECTIONS — A Memory Care Program®. Our Memory Care program is designed to meet their needs in a secure environment where they have opportunities to live each day with joy and purpose. Contact us to learn more about our person-centered Memory Care at Walnut Place.