Alzheimer’s and dementia are not synonymous. Dementia is an umbrella term that refers to conditions caused by diseases or brain injuries that negatively impact a person’s behavior, thinking, and memory. This is a cause for concern especially for seniors because not only will it interfere with their activities of daily living but it will also compromise their safety.
If you are living with a parent who has Alzheimer’s, we know it’s a tough 24/7 full-time job. This means that you may have to give up some of your freedom to take care of your loved ones. Unfortunately, not a lot of people can commit to this care. In such a case, we recommend considering memory care in Elgin.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive form of dementia. Usually, people diagnosed with this disease are 65 years old and above. If your loved one was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s earlier than 65, it’s called early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease, but you can slow down its progression with the help of medical treatment. You may also help keep your loved ones safe by seeking memory care.
There are often times when you forget things, like when you forgot where you placed your car keys or as hard as you try, you cannot remember where you hid your birth certificate. The difference between a healthy individual and a person with Alzheimer’s is that the latter’s forgetfulness worsens over time. Examples of symptoms of Alzheimer’s you should look out for are the following:
Although medical experts have not singled out the main cause of Alzheimer’s, research has found several factors that can put an individual at risk for the disease.
It’s important to mention that just because you have these risk factors does not mean you will have Alzheimer’s. These are only factors that will increase your risk and your likelihood of developing the disease.
Alzheimer’s comes in stages. As mentioned, it is a progressive disease. It will start out with mild symptoms and continue to become severe over time. It can be summed up into seven stages:
First Stage – The first stage shows no symptoms at all, but you can be diagnosed if you have a family history of Alzheimer’s.
Second Stage – The earliest symptom of Alzheimer’s is forgetfulness.
Third Stage – In this stage, you will notice mild mental and physical impairments. Your loved ones will have a hard time concentrating and they are slowly losing their memory. This will not be apparent to friends, but will be obvious to those close to Alzheimer's patients.
Fourth Stage – By this time, your loved one would have already received a diagnosis. However, Alzheimer’s at this stage is still mild. The patient is not able to perform daily tasks efficiently and manifests evident memory loss.
Fifth Stage – Patients who are in the fifth stage of Alzheimer’s exhibit moderate to severe symptoms. It is no longer safe for them to be by themselves. They need the help and assistance of their loved ones or from caregivers that are trained in memory care.
Sixth Stage – When patients reach the sixth stage, they will require help even in the most basic tasks such as putting clothes on, oral hygiene, and eating.
Seventh Stage – The most severe stage in Alzheimer’s is stage seven. When your loved ones reach this stage, they will lose their speech as well as their facial expressions.
Memory care facilities are equipped to keep your loved ones safe from injuries and from getting lost. Imagine if you were busy with work and your Alzheimer’s-stricken loved one went out in the streets and couldn’t find his way back home?
Residents are safe in a memory care facility as it is designed to offer a safe and secure environment for patients with Alzheimer’s. The locks are on the exteriors of the doors so there is no way they can make their way out without informing the staff.
Some of these facilities have installed doorbells and keypads in exits and entryways just to help the staff monitor the movements of the residents. These devices will alarm them if ever anyone tries to leave the facility. Even the courtyards and gardens are designed to keep the residents safe. They can roam outdoors without wandering.
Memory care communities are also designed to reduce the disorientation and confusion that lead to wandering. The spaces are clean and clear, the apartments are personalized, they are well lit, and background noise is significantly reduced. The overall design of the facility is carefully thought out to keep everyone in the community safe.
Rest assured that the facility offers tranquility, familiarity, calmness, and more importantly – safety. Residents won’t feel that they are confined in an unsafe and clinical building because the design makes them feel at home.
If you can’t commit to caring for your loved ones and if you aren’t able to provide them the safety that they need, you should consider taking them to a memory care facility where they can receive round-the-clock care. Their needs are catered and their safety is assured.
At Senior Living Experts, our advisors will work closely with you and your family to give your loved ones superior quality care. Call us today to learn more about assisted living and nursing homes.