How Do I Know It’s The “Right Time” to Place a Loved On in Memory Care?

February 7, 2022
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Placing a loved one into a memory care community is one of the hardest decisions someone will ever have to make. It’s so incredibly emotional on many different levels whether you’re a spouse, adult child, family member or trusted friend.

We often get asked the question from our clients of “when will I know the time is right?”. The short answer is, it never will be. There will always be second thoughts, guilt and reasons why you can justify keeping them at home. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best decision for them or you as the Caregiver.

When deciding if placement is the right move, here are some things to consider:

  1. Their safety: It’s important to have an honest look at their ability to stay safe while at home. Frequent falls, potential wandering/elopements and the many risks that come with heightened confusion and lapses in decision making create so many risks to them, as well as the Caregiver. Having to monitor them and their habits 24/7 is unrealistic for anyone. Even trained, professional caregivers get a shift break! 

If your loved one is no longer safe while at home, it’s important to proactively consider placement into memory care to avoid a serious crisis that will force the decision.

  1. Their ability to engage: Are simple things at home that have kept them interested and engaged no longer a factor? This could be their ability to recognize family members like a spouse or child, or no longer having any interest or recognition for passions or hobbies that at one point were a focal point of their life. As a family Caregiver, if you are out of ways to keep your loved one engaged and it’s creating complete isolation, this can lead symptoms of dementia to be exacerbated. 

Memory care community staff and programming are professionally trained to find unique ways that increase physical, social and emotional engagement of residents.

  1. Your health. And we mean physical AND mental health. Being “on” 24/7 is incredibly difficult physically, mentally, emotionally, financially and spiritually. Realistically, you can only care for your loved one if you are physically and mentally ABLE to. You can’t pour from an empty cup.

Unless you’re able or willing to utilize respite tools such as private duty caregiving, short-term stays at a memory care community and consistent support from other family/friends to avoid inevitable caregiver burnout, it’s important you consider placement BEFORE a breakdown or crisis occurs. 

If you’re in the process of weighing and researching your options to decide if placement is needed for your loved one, reach out to us. Sunways is a free service to make sure you have the information and insight needed to make the best decision. Call us at 941-867-0803 or schedule a call at www.sunwaysseniorliving.com .

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