Is It Time For Mom Or Dad To Get Full Time Memory Care?

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Intergenerational program at Sunshine Care’s assisted living homes.

When a loved one in your life is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, you and your family will face many tough decisions. One of the hardest decisions to make is knowing when to move your parent, your spouse, or your sibling into a memory care facility.

When Is The Time Right?

When your loved one was first diagnosed with dementia, you probably researched everything you could about it and learned that the disease progresses through specific stages. It all looks so clear and clean on paper (or a computer screen). Reality is very different. Your loved one’s symptoms will progress, but it will be over months and years, making it extremely difficult to notice changes from day to day. You may not even realize how much more support your family member needs in comparison to last year, how much extra time you’re spending with them, and how it’s truly affecting you.

The holidays can actually be an important “eye-opening” experience, because family and friends from out of town will often drop by. These are the people who haven’t seen you and your loved one on a regular basis and who may be able to give you important insight into how much your loved one has changed.

No one wants to consider putting Mom or Dad in a memory care facility over the holidays, but the beginning of a new year can be a very good time to start looking into the facilities nearby.

How To Know When

There is no exact moment when your loved one goes from being safe and comfortable under your care to requiring the support of a memory care facility. Every person’s experience with the disease is different, and their familial support structure is different too. It’s not just about whether you can keep caring for your parent or loved one, it’s also about how much of your time, energy, and patience you can sacrifice without it harming your own life. You must also take care of yourself and know when the requirements of your loved one’s care are just too much.

Here are some important questions you can ask yourself to help decide if the time is right to consider a memory care facility:

  • Does my loved one seem comfortable and safe?
  • Have there been any accidents (falls, stove left on) in the past month that may indicate that this is no longer a safe environment for my loved one?
  • Is caring for my loved one interfering with my career, my time with my family, my hobbies, or my quality of life?
  • Do I find myself constantly worrying about my loved one and staying home to take care of him/her?
  • Does my loved one need constant supervision so he/she doesn’t wander or have an accident?

Ask yourself these questions at least every three months so that you can help yourself recognize how your loved one’s care needs are changing. Don’t be afraid to get other family members involved, even if you are the primary caretaker. They may have important insight and opinions.

Ask the Experts

If you are still on the fence about whether it’s time to bring Mom or Dad to a memory care facility, why not start looking at some of the facilities in your area? Schedule a tour and a consultation. Every facility should have a family coordinator on staff who can explain all the services that the facility provides and discuss your family’s unique situation with you. This person has no doubt spoken to dozens and dozens of families just like yours who were struggling with the same questions.

The truth is, once a family begins considering whether now is the right time to move a loved one to a memory care facility, that almost always means it is. Once a family starts touring care facilities and sees how they are set up to keep memory care residents safe and well-cared for, all their doubts melt away, and most realize that the move is the right decision.

If you would like to keep your loved one in the San Diego, Poway, North County San Diego area, then contact Sunshine Care Assisted Living Homes at 858-674-1255 x 202. We are a unique alternative to assisted living. We would love to give you a tour of our beautiful, well-monitored, and safe campus and introduce you to our experienced and compassionate staff. We can also discuss your family’s situation and answer any care questions that you have.

We also invite you to attend our monthly family support group. It can be such a relief to connect with other families who are experiencing the same challenges as you!



Categories: Memory Care

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