Are you wondering what to do if you think your parent has Alzheimer’s? If your mom or dad exhibits early signs of dementia, you are not alone. Over 400,000 seniors in Texas have Alzheimer’s. Research the changes that may come to you and your loved one before visiting Houston memory care communities.
This form of dementia affects over 1.4 million family members in the state, says the Alzheimer’s Association. These relatives try their best to provide care to a loved one.
Learning the warning signs of Alzheimer’s symptoms can catch an early diagnosis and lead to positive outcomes. Recognizing the early stages of Alzheimer’s can give your family time to plan for long-term care options.
Educating yourself about the effects of neurocognitive decline can benefit your journey. It can help you plan for home care services or utilize a memory care facility in Houston.
What are the ten warning signs of Alzheimer’s?
Being forgetful from time to time is natural. When forgetfulness gets in the way of everyday activities, it classifies as a form of dementia. Alzheimer’s and dementia are not normal parts of aging.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the ten warning signs of Alzheimer’s include:
- Memory loss getting in the way of daily living
- Difficulty with planning or solving problems
- Difficulty with routine activities
- Not remembering the time or places
- Vision changes, trouble recognizing colors and judging distance
- Trouble with word-finding
- Losing items or the ability to retrace their steps
- Difficulty with decision-making
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Mood changes
People with Alzheimer’s progress through the three stages of dementia at different rates. Not every person with Alzheimer’s will experience all symptoms.
What can you do if you think your parent has Alzheimer’s?
A person with dementia is likely unaware of the changes others can see. If you notice memory problems in a loved one:
- Remain calm
- Educate yourself about cognitive impairments and symptoms of dementia
- Discuss your concerns only when prepared to do so
Use resources like the warning signs listed above to keep a detailed journal of what you notice about mom or dad:
- Note when problems begin.
- Note if these problems are triggered by a specific time of day or task.
- Note the frequency of these occurrences.
Ask your parent if you can accompany them on their next doctor’s visit. Discuss the detailed record with the health care provider.
At-home dementia tests are gaining in popularity. These exams can help people determine if a loved one is exhibiting the warning signs of Alzheimer’s. However, always check with a doctor for definitive results.
If you think your mom or dad might be living with dementia, talk to them about their desires for care as early as possible. While support and supervision may be minimal in the early stages, Alzheimer’s and most forms of dementia are progressive. Seniors in the mid to late stages will need 24-hour care.
Family members are often the first to act as caregivers. This heroic task isn’t a journey anyone should go through alone. Join a support group right away if you have made early detection that mom or dad lives with Alzheimer’s. Get insight into the first-hand experiences of people in similar situations.
Find additional support resources for caregivers with The Family Caregiver Alliance and The Houston & Southeast Texas Alzheimer’s Association chapter.
What’s the difference between home care and a memory care community?
Many people with dementia would prefer to continue living at home. It’s a familiar environment and can bring a sense of comfort. Caring for a parent with dementia in their living space is a common first step.
Providing senior care often falls on the shoulders of adult children. Nearly 85 percent of family caregivers never receive a break once they embark on the honorable journey. Providing support to a loved one can lead to caregiver burnout and negatively influence the health of both parties.
Senior home care may also involve modifying the living space. Deterring accidents and chances for wandering may result in expensive and inconvenient preventative measures. Home security adjustments may include:
- Ramps or assistive mobility devices
- Stove and cupboard locks
- Water heater adjustments
- GPS monitors
- Alarms and cameras
- New lighting
Managing medications can be a complicated and tedious process. Caretakers should handle this task to reduce the chance of prescriptions being taken incorrectly.
Memory care, also known as dementia care, is a resource to circumnavigate these issues and concerns. These communities are not nursing homes and supply a higher level of care than assisted living facilities. Some communities that provide memory care in Houston also offer assisted living to make the transition easier.
What is memory care?
Memory care is a specialized form of assisted living for older adults living with a type of dementia. Senior living communities often dedicate a secure section of the building to dementia care. These communities provide memory care residents with:
- Specialized nursing oversight
- Activities of daily living assistance like bathing, dressing, grooming, feeding, personal hygiene, etc
- Medication management
- On-site rehabilitation
- Purposeful activities and events
- Private or shared living spaces
- Housekeeping and home maintenance
- Brain-healthy meal service
Find Memory Care in Houston
We understand the burden of trying to take care of a parent living with a form of dementia. We are humbled to offer our evidence-based program to seniors and their families in Houston.
The Connections Program
Pegasus Senior Living Senior VP of Health and Wellness Dr. Sandra Petersen experienced a stroke over a decade ago. With the help of neuroplasticity therapies like body movement and brain challenges, she regained her mobility and overcame memory issues. Her experience also triggered an idea to confront dementia care similarly.
The personalized approach to care in the Connections program combines four primary principles:
- Engaging the Emotions
- Encouraging Movement
- Challenging the Brain
- Supporting Socialization
Connections refers to the new bonds residents can create in their neural pathways and with other community members. Take, for example, a resident who’s been a lifelong Houston Astros fan. Our specialized team can directly incorporate art projects, exercises, trivia, and social gatherings around that interest.
The Connections program provides a calm and secure environment for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Our community is a place for them to express themselves and feel purpose.
Elderly parents who are not experiencing dementia are welcome to explore the living options and various care levels in assisted living. Our community offers multiple floor plans to suit a variety of lifestyles.
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resources in Houston, Texas
If you think your parent has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, do not try to provide care alone. Contact The Farrington at Tanglewood for more information on caregiver resources and memory care options near you.