It's common for seniors to experience memory issues as they age. A name or face may slip your loved one's mind. They may forget a word during a conversation or briefly wonder what day of the week it is.
Occasionally forgetting things is a normal aspect of growing older and not necessarily a sign of dementia. As the human body ages, it begins to slow down, and the brain naturally does too. This isn't usually a reason for alarm, but if memory issues begin to affect your loved one's quality of life or personal safety, it might be time to consider a memory care program here in Loveland, such as the one in Park Regency.
To help you understand the difference between natural aging and a more significant memory issue, here are three signs your loved one might be ready for memory care.
It isn't unusual for a senior to occasionally forget to add a few items to a grocery list or need a reminder to pay a bill. It isn't normal, however, for older adults to consistently need help using familiar devices such as the microwave or their cell phone or to miss bill payments on a regular basis.
Other signs you should speak with your loved one's medical care provider about a potential memory issue is if they lose their way walking or driving in familiar locations or they regularly lose track of what day and season it is.
When talking with the doctor, be specific about the issues you've noticed, how often these things occur and why this isn't normal behavior for your loved one.
In addition to providing their own examination, the doctor may recommend an evaluation by a geriatrician and other specialists who can help assess your loved one's condition.
Specialists use various tests, including cognitive assessments and brain scans, to diagnose issues and determine a current baseline for your loved one's overall condition and abilities.
At Park Regency, our nurses and caregivers use baselines such as these to monitor seniors' abilities and well-being so that we can quickly catch changes. Our person-centered care plans include one-on-one assistance and supervision each day so our staff members get to know individuals and recognize differences in their behaviors and mannerisms, which lets us respond with additional care, therapy and treatments as needed.
Memory issues often cause older adults to continuously ask the same questions even after receiving an answer and to forget the names of items or people during conversations.
Though it's normal to momentarily forget a word or name during conversation as we age, older adults with cognitive impairments often forget words to the point talking becomes difficult and stressful.
If your loved one is struggling to complete sentences because of their memory, they may choose to stop socializing with family and friends due to feeling embarrassed or frustrated by the situation.
One of the fundamental functions of memory care programs is to engage seniors and help them to overcome communication barriers. Care approaches such as Teepa Snow's, which is used here in Park Regency, are carefully incorporated into therapies and activities designed to promote positive interaction in an uplifting group-based setting.
Seniors may choose to skip a meal or shower once in a while according to their mood, but it may be a sign of a larger issue if your loved one begins to lose weight or is inconsistent about their hygiene routines.
For seniors with memory issues, it can be difficult to keep track of how often they've showered, ate or drank, which can cause them to experience complications such as constipation, bladder infections and skin issues.
Memory aids, daily calendars and checklists can help your loved one track their care routines, but if you feel these aren't enough to support your loved one's well-being, you may want to explore the care options available in an assisted living community.
One of the basic services of memory care programs is scheduled assistance with bathing and grooming, and meal programs carefully designed to meet seniors' unique nutritional requirements.
For many of our memory care residents, the daily schedule and support helps them stay clean and healthy and gives them a sense of independence and peace of mind that they don't have to worry about risking a fall as they shower alone.
At Park Regency, we know that worrying about memory issues can cause a heavy burden on seniors and their families. The good news is that your family doesn't have to face these worries alone. There are many trained professionals and resources, such as memory care programs and therapeutic treatments available in Loveland, CO, to help support you and your loved one during this season of life.