As people get older, they may become forgetful, but if your loved one suffers from cognitive decline, they may struggle with dementia or Alzheimer's. When this happens, a traditional nursing home setting may no longer be enough to keep your loved one safe and happy. If you would like to learn more, check out these three signs your loved one needs a memory care facility.
They Struggle With Memory
Forgetfulness is a normal part of aging and happens as the connections in your brain slow. This may cause you to struggle to find the right word or mix up names of family members and pets. However, if your loved one struggles with cognitive decline, they may experience memory issues that are not considered normal aging signs.
Signs of serious memory issues include asking the same question repeatedly, struggling to follow directions, and getting lost in familiar areas. Seniors with memory issues may also struggle longer to find the right word or name than compared to someone their age without cognitive decline. Other signs include constantly misplacing items, inability to hold a conversation, losing track of the time of year, and poor decision making.
They Are Becoming Isolated
Isolation is a huge problem associated with elderly patients, but it is particularly bad for patients with cognitive decline. It's hard for them to hold conversations, so they may purposely avoid people to prevent frustrating moments, or other residents may avoid them out of confusion and misunderstandings.
If your loved one seems more isolated than normal, especially if they choose to isolate themselves, this may be a sign they need more attention. Unfortunately, caregivers in nursing homes are notoriously busy, so they may not be able to give your loved one the care and attention they need.
You may try to do it yourself, but this can become incredibly stressful and emotional, especially if your loved one suddenly forgets who you are. Memory care facilities, however, are designed to better cope with the negative side effects of cognitive decline.
Their Health Declines Rapidly
Last, if your loved one's health starts to decline rapidly, it may be a sign they can't care for themselves. For example, if your loved one lives alone, but you visit to find they haven't bathed in days, forgot to take their medications, are developing unexplained injuries, and have a stack of unpaid bills, there may be some cognitive decline.
Cognitive decline can also lead to depression, especially when it first starts, and depression is unhealthy for everyone, especially the elderly. Depression can cause physical health problems, which put extra strain on an already aging and worn body. Plus, many older patients have underlying conditions, which may be worsened by depression.
If you notice cognitive decline in your loved one, don't ignore it. Getting them the care they need is crucial for ensuring they stay with you for a long time. If you would like to know more, contact a memory care facility in your area.