Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer and no one-size-fits-all support and care solution for loved ones with memory loss. The best advice: Understand what options are available and be honest about current and future care needs (and caregiving limitations).
Signs of Normal Aging vs. Signs of Alzheimer’s
While some forgetfulness is just part of getting older, frequent lapses or being unable to recall items later may be signs of something bigger. The Alzheimer’s Association outlines 10 early signs of Alzheimer’s and dementia and shares key differences between typical and atypical age-related changes.
Typical age-related change: Forgetting someone’s name but remembering it later.
Warning sign: Forgetting important dates or anniversaries, asking the same questions repeatedly or relying on memory aids (like notes) to help with things they used to handle on their own.
Typical age-related change: Occasionally needing help with a household appliance or working a remote control.
Warning sign: Having difficulty with everyday tasks like organizing a grocery list or driving to a routine location.
Our brains begin changing in our 20s and continue throughout our lives. As we near age 70 and these changes compound, they can become more apparent. If changes to memory, thinking and reasoning impact the safety or everyday function of yourself or a loved one, it may be time to consider outside care and support services.
What Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care Options Are Available Near Lombard?
Depending on you and your family’s specific needs and goals, you may find remaining at home to be a good option. You may also decide that a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) can help your loved one as their dementia progresses. Or maybe it’s somewhere in between. By understanding the types of memory care support offered near you, you can help make an informed decision.
Adult Day Center
For structured, safe social engagement, adult day centers offer programming and activities to support those suffering from memory loss. Depending on the center, counseling, health services and other therapies may also be available.
When a caregiver is going on vacation, needs support during regular intervals or is otherwise looking for time for themselves, respite care offers a safe, structured environment for those with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.
In-home services include both medical and non-medical assistance and can run the gamut from housekeeping and companionship to skilled licensed care. Though the cost can vary widely depending on type and frequency of care, in-home care services can help lessen the day-to-day responsibilities of loved ones and their caregivers.
Residential Memory Care
The most comprehensive care option, residential memory care services offer specifically designed environments and personalized, structured programming to support those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. By emphasizing the safety and security of residents, memory care residences strive to lessen stress for community members.
Prepare for a Care-Needs Discussion
When diseases like dementia or Alzheimer’s progress, more and more responsibilities can fall to the caregivers. According to a recent Alzheimer’s Association report, there are nearly 11 million unpaid caregivers providing an estimated 15.2 billion hours of care each year. It’s easy to understand how caregivers can get burned out and forget to take care of themselves.
As you begin to understand the diagnosis or disease progression of your loved one, it can be difficult to know when they can no longer live independently. When you get to the decision-making stage, be prepared for potentially difficult, frustrating and emotional conversations. Checking in with other family members, neighbors or local support groups can shed light on what may lay ahead.
Opening up discussions with your loved one can often be the most difficult part. Remember to be reassuring, patient and supportive. And also be prepared to have multiple conversations before you’re able to develop your Alzheimer’s care plan.
Beacon Hill’s Memory Care Services
When residents and their loved ones choose Beacon Hill in Lombard, Illinois, they choose a supportive, engaging neighborhood striving to focus on abilities rather than inabilities. Whether joining our community as an Independent Living resident or choosing the Lilac memory care neighborhood, you’ll find a full continuum of care to support your loved one’s health journey.
Specially designed programming allows participation at any stage of Alzheimer’s or other dementia, including cooking and baking, painting, crafts, education opportunities, physical well-being and so much more.
If you’re ready to understand how Beacon Hill can support you and your loved one, please contact us. We can offer more personalized details about care options.