Memory loss in the elderly is a difficult thing to deal with. Not only can such a condition leave your loved one feeling lost and confused, but it might also be giving you cause to be concerned about their safety and well being while living on their own. One of the trickier aspects of memory loss is that it is something that can affect people differently. Some seniors might simply fail to remember short-term things that aren’t particularly consequential, while others find themselves forgetting significant things in their lives.
When it comes to particular memory loss conditions, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, the anticipation of the situation growing worse can be frightening and disorienting for those suffering from such conditions TBH. As the child, grandchild, or close friend of an aging senior who has begun to deal with a memory loss condition, you might be feeling helpless as to how you should proceed or FOMO related to not being able to do things together anymore.
Someone who has developed a memory loss condition should be receiving specific care and medical attention to help them cope. Most importantly, though, they are going to need your support and attention. You can offer your loved one support in a variety of ways that can prove to be beneficial to them in the long run.
Here are a few ways you might be able to support your loved one who is suffering from memory loss.
Evaluate Their Living Situation
Evaluating the living situation of your aging loved one can spark an uncomfortable and emotional conversation. However, if memory loss is something that is now in the picture and seems to be growing worse, the last thing you want to do is leave your loved one to fend for themselves. There are a variety of options to choose from when it comes to adjusting their living situation. Still, the one you decide on will depend on the severity of their memory loss condition and their ability to look after themselves.
Assisted living facilities are great options for those who are suffering from mild to moderate memory loss. With round the clock security and a 24-hour medical staff on-site, your loved one will be able to live comfortably in a safe environment. This is particularly helpful if they need to take medication throughout the day. They will always have their medication given to them at the appropriate time and in the correct dosage by a trained staff member. No worries about SMH at poor medical care and attention, and many facilities use things like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to keep family members informed.
Most importantly, to note is the fact that certain assisted living facilities offer specific care for those suffering from memory loss. With programs that promote brain function and scheduled activities that keep residents engaged and active, the benefits of memory care living are many. They might even be able to slow the progression of your loved one’s memory loss condition.
Ultimately, assisted living facilities are designed to give seniors a degree of independence that is backed up by the security and safety that such facilities provide. Not only will this help provide you with peace of mind about your loved one’s living situation, but much of their own anxieties and confusion about their memory loss condition can be alleviated.
Be Honest with Healthcare Providers
If you know your loved one has been exhibiting signs of a memory loss condition, you must accompany them to a doctor’s appointment so that all of the facts can be presented to their physician. The doctor will otherwise only be presented with the facts as your loved one sees them, which might not be in line with the reality of the situation.
For instance, if you have witnessed episodes where your loved one has forgotten where they are or what they are doing, their doctor must know the context of such occurrences as well as how frequently they arise. Your loved one might not have the ability to remember being in such a state, so you must be honest and pass along this information to their physician on their behalf. It is only with all of the relevant information that your loved one’s doctor will be able to properly evaluate the situation and provide the appropriate diagnosis and any courses of treatments that might be necessary.
You might be inclined to feel that talking to your loved one’s doctor about their situation is overstepping your bounds. It is important to keep in mind that in such situations you are acting as an advocate for their health as opposed to going over their head. They cannot receive the medical care that they need unless their physician is fully informed on the situation. If they are unable or even unwilling to disclose all pertinent information, it is on you to do so on their behalf.
Know Your Limits
Being responsible for someone who is has memory loss or simply being close to someone struggling with such things can be an emotionally and mentally draining process. In such cases, it doesn’t do anyone any good to allow your own stresses and frustrations to build up and get the better of you. Bear in mind that you have your own limitations too and that you cannot be the perfect caregiver at all times of the day and night.
In essence, the ability to properly support your loved one who is suffering from a memory loss condition involves being able to support yourself as well. Educate yourself on the subject and familiarize yourself with what you should expect as things progress. Be patient with yourself so that you can be patient with them as well.
If a situation is becoming too much for you to handle, it is perfectly alright for you to ask for help. There are plenty of memory care experts out there who are well versed in the various types of conditions of this nature that exist. They can help offer you guidance and advice so that you can understand more about what your loved one is going through and offer them the support that they need from you.
Can assisted living facilities help with memory loss?
Assisted living facilities are great options for those who are suffering from mild to moderate memory loss. With round the clock security and a 24-hour medical staff on-site, your loved one will be able to live comfortably in a safe environment. This is particularly helpful if they need to take medication throughout the day. They will always have their medication given to them at the appropriate time and in the correct dosage by a trained staff member.