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When Should Your Loved One Transition to Memory Care?

  Caring for a loved one suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s can be very hard. Your loved one may have lost some communication skills, and diseases that cause dementia come with complex and subtle changes in behavior and function. Taking a proactive approach to your loved one’s future care needs is crucial. Here are some common signs that may indicate your loved one is no longer safe living alone. Forgetting about food cooking on the stove or in the oven Neglecting hygiene and/or personal care Unintentional weight loss Paranoia or hallucinations Difficulty carrying on a conversation Struggling with paying bills and managing finances Getting lost in familiar surroundings While having your loved one move in with a family member can be a positive temporary arrangement, as memory loss progresses, finding a memory care community may be the best option for your loved one’s future. Doing your research in advance ensures a smooth transition when your loved one is ready. When it’s time to consider a memory care facility, there are a number of factors to look at. While every community varies in structure and support, there are some vital components to consider. Here are the top tips to help you evaluate prospective memory care communities for your loved one. Staffing: A staff that is experienced and a low turnover rate are both good signs. Asking how many staff changes there are and how much additional regular training staff receive are indicative of the community’s standards of care. Environment: Because loved ones with memory loss may wander and get lost, even in familiar surroundings, it’s important that your loved one’s...

How to Help Adults Affected by Dementia and Alzheimer’s Eat a Healthy Diet

Mealtime can be a challenge for individuals living with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Researchers and staff of assisted living facilities have developed tips to help those living with dementia cope with the unique obstacles these diseases present. Common struggles associated with mealtime for individuals suffering from memory loss: Oral health: weight changes and/or gum disease can cause dentures to fit poorly over For an aging loved one, it can be hard to determine these underlying oral health issues if they have limited verbal communication skills. Coordination problems: Many adults living with Alzheimer’s experience struggles with hand-eye coordination. Modified silverware and food that is easier to eat can help a loved one avoid low self-esteem and preserve their dignity. Decreased appetite: Some loved ones living with memory loss may no longer recognize their body’s signals for hunger or thirst. Some medications may also cause a loss of appetite. Finding different ways to stimulate appetite can make mealtime more appealing. Attention span: People who are living with dementia or Alzheimer’s often have trouble focusing for long periods of time. Sitting down and eating can be challenging. If they are agitated or anxious, it can exacerbate the issue. If you have a loved one living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease who struggles at mealtime, here are a few tips to help: Use bright place settings: Bright, solid colored plates and settings can be helpful. One study from Boston University’s Red Plate Society found that adults living with Alzheimer’s ate 25 percent more food when served on red plates as opposed to white. Individual food groups: Serving each meal by food group, beginning with...

Is It Time to Make the Move? How to Handle Delicate Conversations about Moving to a Memory Care Community

For adult children, having a conversation about moving to a memory care community with their parent or parents can be extremely challenging. Often, children delay having the conversation until after a crisis because it can be intimidating and uncomfortable. However, putting off the conversation can be risky for the wellbeing of someone living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Looking for a community in the Dallas area can be a lengthy process as you want to make sure you find the right fit for your loved one. If your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, now is the time to begin this important conversation. Here are a few strategies to help ensure your conversation about memory care communities is empathetic and productive. Have realistic expectations. A single conversation is probably not going to solve the problem. Unless there is an emergency, expect that this topic is going to be ongoing over the course of several conversations. Especially so if you and your loved one have not previously discussed the possibility of moving to a memory care communities. Do your research and visit on-site. Before talking with your loved one, it’s important to have a base of knowledge about memory care communities. Being well-informed about the benefits and features of different communities in your area means you’ll be able to better answer their concerns and questions. Take time to do your research, and even consider scheduling an on-site visit before you begin the conversation with your loved one. Put yourself in their position. Before opening up the conversation, think about how you’d feel if you were in their situation. Your...

How to Prepare a Senior’s Home for the Winter

It’s no secret that the wintertime can be a more difficult as we grow older. Our bones are more sensitive to the cold and other forces of nature make wintertime more difficult for seniors. This is especially true if your loved one has a memory loss disorder such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. You may be contemplating whether or not to have your loved one reside in an Alzheimer’s assisted living facility. That choice is a tough one to make, so while your loved one is still living at home, the following will give you peace of mind this winter: Keep the pantry stocked. Weather conditions are unpredictable during this time of year and sometimes make grocery shopping difficult. Having a good supply of non perishables ready for these occasions is recommended so your loved one won’t need to get out in the weather as often. Respite care. While you navigate through your busy holiday schedule, respite care may be a good option. This allows your loved one to get care from a dementia assisted living facility but return home when you are ready. The Cottages offers expert respite care, with programs designed to fit almost any schedule. Check the gutters. This is the easiest way that unwanted water makes its way into the home during the winter. Making sure the gutters are cleared out will prevent this from happening, and save you time and money in the future. Maintain the furnace. No matter the heating system that is available in your home, keeping it in-check is key when it gets frosty outside. While simple repairs are possible from a...