This is not an easy decision. Let's face it, no one just wakes up one day and decides it is time to move their parent, spouse or someone else they love to a memory care facility.
Most likely, there have been months agonizing over this decision. Even after moving someone the guilt can continue the pain for a long time.
" I hate you!" she cried. " You don't love me anymore! You put me in this horrible place!"
The Dementia Was Talking
"I knew in my mind that it was the dementia talking. This was not my mother-in -law, my good friend saying these awful things. I could rationalize it all day long. But the truth is it hurt. It hurt really deep inside."
This disease does not have a straight line progression.
That's what can make this decision so difficult. One day Mom is perfectly clear. She seems normal. The next day she is extremely confused and maybe even agitated. It is easy for the family to second guess their decisions.
This decision should be based on what is best for everyone involved. This is not just about the person with the disease. When someone is ill if affects the whole family. Someone with Alzheimer's disease will require a lot of assistance and attention.
Here are a few Red Flags that may help you make the right decision.
Does Family Live Close If Mom is still living in her own home she will need a support system. In the beginning stages many people continue to live at home. But you need to make sure someone is available at a moments notice. Is there family living close by? This is critical. If the answer to this is no, you have a RED FLAG. While it may not be time for memory care it may be time for a more structured environment like an Independent or Assisted living Community. This way there will be people around to notice when changes occur. There will also be support, including meals and transportation.
Has Mom Wandered Away and Gotten Lost? Most people will agree that this is a huge red flag. Even if it only happened once and Mom "is just fine now", there is a strong possibility it will happen again. A safe and secure environment is needed. This is a RED FLAG
How Many Family Members Are Willing and Able to Help? If the answer is one or even two you may be in trouble.This is a challenging job. Both physically and emotionally. Caregivers need a lot of support and they need time off. This is a RED FLAG
Is Mom Lonely? Someone sitting at home alone all day will mentally deteriorate faster than someone who is engaged. An indication could be Mom calling you numerous times a day. This is a RED FLAG
One the the hallmarks of a good memory care place is how well they engage the residents. This is not just about how many planned activities they have. At Light Heart Memory Care residents are integrated into the environment. We accept their reality.
If any of these Red Flags are showing up for your family it's time to consider a different solution.There are a lot of choices for Memory Care in the Houston area. The key to remember is you are buying CARE. Nothing more. It is all about the care.
Pat Mack has been helping families make the right decisions to care for someone they love since 1997. Email Her Today for more information.
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