When is it Time to Consider Memory Care?

May 2021  In the most recent Pittsburgh 55+ Magazine Dr. Joseph Maroon discusses one of the most important and often awkward discussions families sometimes have with a older loved one.  In his article, Dr. Maroon provides information on “Red Flags” indicating possible signs and symptoms a person with dementia might have and why additional care, like a memory care unit, should be considered.

The article is entitled, When is it Time to Consider Memory Care?. (On page 8 of the FREE online Magazine) Here is a quote from the article.

What to Look For
Forgetting the location of your car keys is annoying, but this alone does not necessarily mean you have dementia. Dementia is not a part of normal aging. This is why it is important to recognize signs early and get help. Dementia typically has a gradual onset with memory loss, initially short-term, becoming more and more impaired over time. Progression may lead to disorientation, mood and behavior changes, getting lost, poor judgement and social withdrawal. Changes related to age-related cognitive decline can be unique to the person and many people can learn to “hide” or adapt to their cognitive decline. One of the hallmarks of dementia is a lack of self-awareness and insight into the changes that are occurring. This is why families and friends are often the first to notice and to initiate the dementia discussion with their loved one.

Here are some common behaviors and examples that may indicate someone may need professional inpatient Memory Care.  

  1. Changes in behavior – A person may become more anxious or agitated.
  2. Confusion and disorientation that imperils physical safety – Getting lost or wandering.
  3. A decline in physical health – Not eating, weight loss or forgetting to take needed medications
  4. A caregiver’s deterioration – Caregiver may also develop cognitive decline or other incapacitating conditions
  5. Incontinence – More frequent and not related to a bladder condition

Here is what Dr. Maroon had to say about the importance of a Memory Care Unit.

Inpatient Memory Care is designed to provide a safe, structured environment with set routines to lower stress for people with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. Employees provide meals and help residents with personal care tasks. There are also professional staff that are specially trained to deal with the unique issues that often arise as a result of dementia or Alzheimer’s. They observe residents more frequently and provide an individual care plan, structure and support.

Currently St Barnabas Health System is offering a FREE Memory Care evaluation.  To LEARN MORE call – 724-443-0700