Memory Care for Alzheimer’s: A Necessary Decision?
If and when someone you love is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it helps to consider the future as soon as you can. I know it is often something you don’t want to face. You hope it won’t happen to you or your loved one. Denial is probably part of the process.
The best scenario would be to discuss it now, in case it happens. It’s easier to share your wishes while you have all of your faculties. Hopefully those wishes will consider not just yourself, but who will be the caregiver caring for you.
Once the diagnosis is there, eventually more care will be necessary. True, a lot of different circumstances will go into that decision. You may feel you can provide care at home, and maybe you can. But when you realize how long the process takes, you may agree that a facility is needed. Try to consider that need, and prepare for it, ahead of time if only in case you find it necessary.
ALZHEIMER’S VICTIMS — TOO MUCH TO HANDLE ALONE
Our family has been fortunate, if you can say that when our mother has had Alzheimer’s for more than fifteen years now. We are blessed though, that she is happy, quite content, and and so easy going. She is tearful occasionally, and that hurts all of us, but gentle, not combative or subject to other mood swings. Will that change? At this point I don’t think so, but sure, it is possible.
Other families are not always so fortunate. Many people with the disease become frustrated and angry, some very aggressive. You can have family members that wander, sometimes in the middle of the night.
Whatever their condition, I am very much in favor of Memory Care. Alzheimer’s is a 24/7 disease. Because of the numerous years it may continue, it is very difficult to do alone. So at some point it will be something many of us will need to consider.
WHAT’S BEST FOR THE PERSON
Realize too, that your loved one might do better in a safe facility. There are so many reasons they might thrive there. Not only will there be caregivers watching over him (or her), checking on him, on a very regular basis, but it will be a secure place where he (or she) can wander without getting lost. The planned activities and friendships there are stimulating, encouraging and distracting when needed.
Over the years that Mom has been in a facility, it’s been clear over and over that it’s a good setting for one with Alzheimer’s. Each of the residents I have met has such a distinct personality with different needs. They are met there with caring aides—many of them—to help. As I’ve seen them come in and get comfortable, it has been wonderful to see them settle in, form friendships, find the activities they enjoy. They connect. Most prefer to keep each other company, rather than be alone. That’s a relief and blessing to everyone, resident, family, and caregivers alike.
If you are going to read one book on Alzheimer’s disease, this would be the one I suggest. A good reference to have around should you need it, with over 600 pages. As the years progress, more is known about the disease, but what family members face can still startle. Within the 36 hour day, you will learn what to expect, what is not unusual when someone’s memory is impacted. It’s a bestseller on Amazon with good reason.
Another suggested reference is this little book of 300 tips. Brief, concise, and extremely helpful! It’s well laid out by stages, with suggestions of what to expect and how to handle thing in each stage. An easy reference to keep handy.