By nature, Alzheimer’s disease is progressive and degenerative. Cognitive changes occur gradually, and symptoms emerge slowly. Because of this, families often have difficulty knowing when their loved one with Alzheimer’s has reached the point of needing professional memory care. Sometimes, caregivers have a hard time realizing that their loved one’s needs are beyond what they can manage.
Experts say that by the middle stages of the disease, 24-hour professional memory care and supervision is usually needed to allow the person with Alzheimer’s – and their family members – the best quality of life possible. This inevitable necessity rarely makes the move any easier though, as Nancy Clanton, Community Relations Director at Tuscan Gardens® of Venetia Bay in Venice, FL, explains: “For families of Alzheimer’s patients, the question of moving their loved one to a memory care community is no longer one of if, but when, and this difference carries a whole new kind of weight.
“We’ve seen families struggle with conflicting emotions, feeling both guilty for stepping down from their caregiver role and relief knowing their loved one will get the care they need. It’s a difficult step to take, but when families recognize that their loved one’s safety, health and happiness depend on professional memory care, the choice is easier to make.”
How to Know When the Time Is Right
Every family’s situation is different, and there’s no singular way to know when it’s time to make the move to a memory care community. Based on your family’s resources, needs and your loved one’s condition, you will have your own unique concerns that influence this decision.
Nonetheless, memory care experts such as those at the Alzheimer’s Association, have created guidelines to help families know when the time is right to move to round-the-clock care. Here are some important questions experts suggest asking yourself to help you evaluate your situation:
- Is my loved one unsafe?
Are they at risk of harming themselves by falling or wandering outside? Are you concerned about your loved one’s vulnerability to a severe household emergency or falling victim to scams?
- Is my loved one’s health at risk?
Have the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease progressed to the point where they are too challenging for you to manage at home? Are symptoms such as paranoia, aggression, dehydration or incontinence beyond what you can manage to keep them well on your own?
- Are my loved one’s needs beyond my abilities?
Has the progression of the disease made your loved one increasingly dependent on you for help with daily living activities such as eating, dressing and bathing? Do they demand more of your time than you are able to give?
- Am I becoming a stressed, irritable, impatient caregiver?
Are you feeling depressed or hopeless or having trouble sleeping? Are you neglecting your work, family or self? Caregivers suffer from increased physical and emotional health risks, including depression, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke, brought on by the stress and exhaustion of caring for loved ones.
- Would the care, environment and social interaction benefit my loved one?
Do the advantages of a memory care community exceed the lifestyle your loved one has currently? Do you think they could experience better health, safety and happiness surrounded by trained caregivers and their peers?
It’s easy to feel a tinge of guilt when answering “yes” to any of these questions, but acknowledging that you’re unable to provide the best care for your loved one doesn’t mean you’ve failed. In fact, seeking ways to give them the best quality of life possible proves you have their best interests at heart. Additionally, Ms. Clanton says, “When loved ones move to get the care and attention they need from professionals trained in memory care, both they and their families experience far less anxiety.
“Families are able to spend more quality time together. Instead of family time spent worrying about meeting the loved one’s needs, they finally return to a place where they can joyfully focus on what truly matters – their relationship.”
Memory Care from Compassionate Hands
When caring for a loved one with memory loss becomes too much to bear alone, Tuscan Gardens of Venetia Bay offers a community of trustworthy caregivers who will treat your family as their own. “We understand the responsibilities of caring for those with memory loss,” says Ms. Clanton. “We understand the challenging symptoms and train our team to not just care for our residents’ bodies, but for their spirits as well. Every interaction from fixing a cup of coffee to soothing an anxious mind is buoyed by compassion and respect.
“We’ve designed our memory care in such a way that families experience great peace of mind knowing that their loved ones are in our hands. We’ve created the perfect combination of support and security and a lifestyle brimming with purpose and pleasure. Memory care should never be viewed as a one-size-fits-all system. We personalize our services based on each resident’s individual strengths, abilities, interests and character. Through extensive training and, most importantly, genuinely caring about the people we serve, residents of Tuscan Gardens truly become family.
“We invite you to learn more about our memory care lifestyle and the remarkable community we’ve built for your loved ones.”
The Art of Living
At Tuscan Gardens® of Venetia Bay, we’ve mastered the art of living. We’ve perfected the balance of personalized support and an uplifting lifestyle, helping our residents experience independence, joy and meaning every day.
Offering supportive independent living, assisted living and memory care services for families in Venice, Florida, Tuscan Gardens of Venetia Bay was founded with one simple, yet profound goal – to create a community worthy of our parents. In all we do, we are guided by the principles of family, culture and engagement, working to represent the remarkable way of life our families deserve.
Luxury, intimacy, opportunity, passion and beauty combine to create what the Italians call sprezzatura – a culture of effortless elegance. The essence of our community is made up not only of mere aesthetics, but an artfully designed lifestyle to bring out the best of what each day has to offer. From dedicated care that respects residents’ individuality and dignity to a lifestyle that nurtures their love of life, Tuscan Gardens was built to be more than just a residence, but a place to call home.