For most people living with dementia, the symptoms progress gradually over time. Depending on how rapidly their cognitive functions are on the decline, there will be time to prepare for their care. In the early stages, family members may be able to provide the care that the person with dementia needs. As the dementia symptoms worsen, the level of care required will change. Eventually, your loved one may be better off in a care facility that specializes in providing for dementia patients. Watching for certain signs will help you decide when it’s time for your loved one to enter a dementia care center.
Concern for Safety
When your loved one’s cognitive functions have declined to the point where you are worried about their safety, it may be time to think about finding care for them. You may also find yourself concerned about the safety of those who are around the person with dementia. For example, if dementia has affected their ability to drive, they could be a danger to others on the road. They may also be at risk of wandering off from their home which can be dangerous for them. Staff members at a care facility can keep track of your loved one and make sure that they’re safe.
Finances are in Chaos
Someone with dementia will eventually begin to have trouble with their finances, especially if they live alone. They may forget to pay bills or file taxes, they may misplace checkbooks or debit cards. Scammers have also been known to target the elderly, and someone with dementia would be even more susceptible to being victimized. Working with a Tampa lawyer who focuses in elder law about setting up a Power of Attorney so you can manage your loved one’s finances may be necessary. If your loved one has declined beyond the point that he or she is deemed incompetent to sign legal documents, a qualified elder attorney can help you file for an Adult Guardianship for the right to manage his or her affairs here in Florida.
Problems with Daily Living Activities
As the symptoms of dementia worsen, the person will eventually have difficulty performing the basic functions of daily living — eating, dressing, bathing, using the toilet, maintaining continence, and transferring. Initially, they may be able to handle these functions with just a bit of help. Once they’re no longer capable of doing these things on their own, the staff at a dementia care facility will manage these activities for them.
Personal Care is Declining
You may notice over time that your loved one living with dementia isn’t caring for themselves as well as they used to. Their house may become messy and their personal hygiene may be lacking. Forgetfulness associated with dementia could be the root of these issues. At a dementia care facility, your loved one will receive assistance with personal hygiene and housekeeping.
Isolation and Lack of Socialization
Some individuals with dementia may cut back on their social activities because of the symptoms of their dementia. As a result, they become isolated and lonely which can lead to depression. Depression often makes the symptoms of dementia even worse. One of the benefits of a dementia care center is scheduled activities that keep residents engaged in social activities which often helps improve their mental health.
If you have concerns about finding a dementia care facility or you want to explore your options for helping your loved one who is in the early stages of dementia, contact the Tampa Law Office of Laurie E. Ohall at (813) 438-8503 to set up an appointment with an elder law attorney today.