Caring for a loved one with dementia is no easy feat, and only becomes more difficult and emotionally-taxing as their disease progresses. At a certain point, the right decision to make for yourself and your loved one’s wellbeing is to get them professional 24-hour care.
But when is the right time to make that decision? At what point do dementia patients need 24-hour care?
Do Dementia Patients Need 24 Hour Care? 3 Key Signs To Look For
1. Progressive Memory Loss
An early sign of dementia, memory loss is a symptom that continually worsens as the disease progresses. Over time, memory loss can start interfering with your loved one’s ability to do simple daily tasks and even affect health and safety, from forgetting to practice hygiene to wandering out of the home in the middle of the night.
As memory loss becomes more severe, dementia patients are at higher risk of injury unless constantly supervised, which can become unmanageable for their caregivers. Declining memory and judgment skills could indicate it’s time to consider 24-hour care options.
2. Increased Agitation and Aggression
Tantrum-like outbursts and even physical aggression are not uncommon effects of dementia, as the disease can impair your loved one’s ability to effectively communicate their needs and even cause false signals in the brain telling them to react aggressively.
You may notice that your loved one becomes increasingly irritable and aggressive in the evening. This phenomenon is known as sundowning. Around the time of sunset, more severe symptoms may appear such as anxiety, agitation, pacing, resistance to aid, wandering, shouting—even hallucinations can occur. Sundowning can make nightly routines very difficult for both the dementia patient and their caregiver, especially as symptoms intensify over time.
While frustration is understandable and quite common in dementia patients, acts of physical violence should be taken seriously. This behavior indicates that the disease is progressing in a way that may not be physically manageable or safe for you to handle as their caregiver. 24-hour, professional dementia care providers are trained to walk patients through these bouts of aggression safely and compassionately.
3. Hightened Caregiver Stress
As your loved one’s dementia causes further deterioration, more of your time and energy is required to ensure their safety and wellbeing. It’s completely understandable that you would want to do everything in your power to give your loved one the care they need, but you also need to consider the toll being a caregiver takes on you.
Ongoing stress can cause a variety of mental and physical health issues, from anxiety and depression to high blood pressure and diabetes. It’s important to care for yourself in addition to caring for your dementia patient. If you’re noticing signs of exhaustion, it’s time to get the support you need from a 24-hour dementia care provider.
24-Hour Care of Dementia Patients at New Perspective
Don’t take on the responsibility of helping your loved one alone. 24-hour dementia care professionals provide constant supervision and support to ensure dementia patients get the help they need to live safely. Tasks they handle can range from reminding patients to take medication to washing and bathing them, with care plans tailored to the specific needs of each resident. And 24-hour care givers not only help dementia residents with daily tasks and chores, but also offer companionship and understanding.
New Perspective’s memory care communities provide dementia residents with around-the-clock support, personalized care plans, amenities like housekeeping and chef-prepared dining, and social activities. Not only will your loved one be monitored by caring professionals in a safe, secure environment, but they’ll also be part of a warm, vibrant community of peers where they can socialize and build friendships.