Knowing when it is time for memory support for a loved one can be difficult. Oftentimes, the signs and symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s unfold slowly over a long period of time and can be missed by family members until their loved one’s dementia becomes too advanced for them to safely care for themselves or live on their own anymore.
Once the signs and symptoms of dementia become noticeable it is time to consider memory support. If a spouse or family member does not act, their loved one could become a danger to themselves and others. Knowing the signs and symptoms of dementia will help you decide if your loved one needs memory support to keep them safe, healthy, engaged, and improve their quality of life.
Signs and Symptoms of Dementia
1. Changes in Health
Has your loved one lost a lot of weight rapidly? This may be an indication they are forgetting to eat. If your loved one has unexplained bruises or other injuries this is often an indication of progressing dementia. Falls, bumping into furniture, or slipping on the stairs can be signs of Alzheimer’s while visual problems and loss of balance are common for those living with dementia.
2. Changes in Personality and Mood Swings
If your generally calm and cheerful mother becomes quick to anger or seems overly agitated, she could be experiencing dementia or Alzheimer’s symptoms. People living with dementia are prone to angry outbursts, unreasonable fears, and frequent agitation, which may be caused by underlying issues related to the disease.
3. Concerning Behavior
If you find an elderly parent’s stove left on, water running unchecked, or your loved one wandering outside without a coat in the cold, these are potential symptoms of advancing dementia that can lead to harm. People living with dementia may forget to take their medication or take it multiple times per day. A pill bottle that should be half empty or a prescription that’s gone long before a refill is suggested can be dangerous signs of memory decline.
4. Poor Hygiene and a Change to Home Cleanliness
If your loved one’s personal hygiene seems neglected, such as unkempt or unwashed hair or clothing that’s been worn multiple days in a row, they may be struggling with dementia. If the cleanliness of their home has changed with unwashed dishes piled in the sink, unopened mail stacking up, or expired food in the refrigerator/pantry, they may be experiencing cognitive decline that requires immediate intervention and possibly a move to a memory support community to protect their health and wellbeing.
5. Frequent Confusion
If your loved one does not recognize you, can’t remember how to get from one room to the next, or often gets lost driving, they are most likely experiencing the symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s and need additional help.
When you see a friend or loved one struggling with signs of dementia, we recommend it’s time to step in and get them the memory support they need and deserve. At Sopris Lodge at Carbondale Senior Living, our specially trained team takes a whole-person approach to aging, and they understand the unique needs of each resident who is treated with patience and compassion. If you are uncertain about your loved one’s mental and/or physical health due to dementia or Alzheimer’s, please reach out to us. We are happy to answer your questions and help you decide if memory support is right for your loved one.
At Sopris Lodge at Carbondale, we’re committed to supporting seniors in our community to live well and age well. Call us at 970-251-1790 to learn more about our independent and assisted living and memory support services for those 55+.