Dementia is an illness that affects people’s cognition, memory, and behavior. Dementia is a progressive condition; therefore, symptoms may be mild at first and worsen over time. People with dementia can require professional dementia care, which varies depending on symptoms.
Those with severe dementia symptoms can require 24-hour care. However, the question is, at what point do dementia patients need 24-hour care?
Signs a Dementia Patient may Require 24-Hour Care
Due to the gradual nature of dementia’s progression over the years, it’s tough to determine when it is time to switch to 24/7 care. Although there is never a “good time” to start, here are some indicators a move to 24-hour-care could be a good move for your family:
Difficulties with Drug Adherence
Most seniors require medicine to manage at least one chronic illness. The National Institute on Aging reports that roughly 85% of people aged 65 and up have one chronic medical condition and 60% have two or more. Medication management may become increasingly challenging as dementia worsens. Most places that provide round-the-clock care, such as a dementia care unit or in-home caregiver, will also administer the patient’s medicine and keep an eye out for any problems that may arise.
Poor Living Conditions
When you see water and electricity bills accumulating, dirty dishes, spoiled food in the fridge, a lack of personal hygiene developing, and so on, it may be time to look into around the clock care. It can be tough to manage your home and your loved one’s while they are struggling with dementia, so looking towards a professional can make life better for every party involved.
When Safety isn’t Guaranteed
Caregivers and family members should monitor the health of their loved one. In dementia patients, a loss of weight, a change in posture, or the appearance of bruises are all indicators that they are no longer safe in their homes. People with dementia face a higher risk of falling due to difficulty maintaining balance. 24-hour care for dementia patients is required if a loved one has frequent falls or cannot move much throughout the day. Six out of ten people with dementia tend to wander, which can lead to falls and other risky situations. Dementia caregivers have the skills to control these behaviors and keep their patients from wandering.
When the Primary Caregiver is Far
In particular, long-distance caregiving becomes extremely challenging when the patient cared for has a degenerative disease like Alzheimer’s or another kind of dementia. Remote help and supervision are pretty demanding. Many trust long-term care institutions to properly care for their loved ones. People with cognitive impairments always benefit from the support of the workers at a memory care center or a professional in-home to provide care that you might not be able to always offer due to distance.
Stress levels can rise quickly while caring for people with dementia. In addition to the already taxing physical and mental demands of caregiving, stress can take a toll on your life and schedule. Caregivers should not neglect their mental health and well-being. Both the primary caregiver and the person with dementia may benefit from a move to 24-hour support if the situation seems to be causing issues in you and your loved one’s life.