When To Ask for Help
Here are 5 Signs that it’s Time to Get Help for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia:
An outside point of view related to what others observe in the individual can sometimes be the most valuable input.
•Pay close attention to family and friends’ comments related to any changes or concerning patterns they’ve noted in the person’s behaviors, the content of their speech, or their apparent thought processes.
•Confusion, forgetfulness, repetition, disorientation, and abilities to learn or remember things are frequent signs.
- Reduced quality of life.
Mood disorders, including depression and anxiety, are common in people with Alzheimer’s or dementia and can often result in isolation from family and friends. Often times, emotional distress results from the person being frustrated by feelings that result from distorted thought processes, lack of awareness, or lack of insight into what they are or are not doing.
•A lack of appetite, changes in sleep, high agitation, and decreases in interests and hobbies may indicate a deterioration in mental health.
•Notice when a person requires frequent intervention or seems in a persistent state of emotional distress.
- Inability to perform routine activities of daily living.
A person with Alzheimer’s or dementia may require prompting in order to bathe, eat, and complete activities that others typically do as part of their usual daily schedules. It can be exhausting and overwhelming to live your own life as well as live someone else’s; don’t be afraid to ask for help.
•Look for changes in the upkeep of your loved one’s home, like spills that haven’t been cleaned up, lots of clutter, stale or expired food, mail piled in the mailbox, and general disorganization.
•If you notice expired medications in the house or if your loved one isn’t taking his or her medications on the indicated schedule, this could be a sign that they need help with medication safety.
- Difficulty dealing with schedules and finances.
These can be signs that your loved one is having trouble noticing, remembering or managing his or her time or money, which are common in early dementia.
•Does your loved one forget about or miss appointments, anniversaries, or family events? Are they unaware of the month or year?
•Do you notice unopened mail, especially bills or letters from creditors and banks?
- Disturbances in thinking, memory, and communication.
It’s easy to notice when someone repeats themselves or perseverates on a topic — insisting on the same things over and over. But, all too often, we rationalize these thought processes as “just part of getting old.”
•In many patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia, family members report hearing the person make delusional statements, focusing intently on what may seem like unimportant details, or not recognizing or remembering things that may seem obvious to others.
•When a loved one’s thought processes and abilities to learn, remember, and communicate are impaired, everyone suffers.
Professional help can bridge the gap between family members and a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia, so that interactions become less distressing and more meaningful.
Deciding to get help? As a caregiver, it’s tough to bring up the conversation of moving but it’s sometimes necessary and in the best interest of his or her health and safety. Many family members retrospectively acknowledge that placing their loved one in a Memory Care Living community was both the most difficult decision they had ever made, as well as the best. When a person becomes unsafe in their home, unmanageable without constant intervention, or unable to enjoy a good quality of life, daily professional support can bring families relief.
Curious about what our homes look like on the inside? Take a close-up, interactive, virtual tour of a Memory Care Living community.
Schedule a visit at one of our locations near you in: Chester, Montville, Green Brook, Princeton, Cresskill, Mahwah, Hillsdale (two locations), Paramus, Park Ridge, Ramsey, Woodcliff Lake or South River.