Nursing Home Alternatives in Flower Mound, Texas

Nursing Home Alternatives

Many seniors fear being “put in a home”. For years, there has been a negative connotation associated with nursing homes. Seniors don’t want to be placed in nursing  homes and family members don’t want to jeopardize their relationship by forcing them into one.

This has resulted in many nursing home alternatives in Flower Mound, Texas coming to light.  While the new approach to senior care is geared towards providing seniors with comfort, security, and a quality life, not all nursing home alternatives are created equally. Determine which type of senior care is for your loved one by learning what separates them from one another.

Different Types of Residential Senior Care

There are many circumstances when it’s within your loved one’s best interest to move them into a facility. This can come with plenty of difficulty if you or the senior are unaware of nursing home alternatives in Flower Mound, Texas. Make the transition easier on everyone by fully understanding the options available and the benefits of each.

  • Independent Living Communities

Also known as retirement communities, this is one of the highly sought after nursing home alternatives in Flower Mound, Texas for seniors with few medical concerns.  In this community, seniors live in their own, fully equipped private apartments and receive meals, social outings and events.

  • Assisted Living Communities

Assisted Living Communities are designed for seniors who are unable to live on their own, but who don’t require the intense care provided in a nursing home. Residents live in their own apartment and receive regular assistance with medications, meals, daily activities, and housekeeping.

  • Residential Care Homes

4 Seasons Senior Living is an example of a quality, reputable Residential Care Home. Seniors live in a home with four to six others, along with a live-in caretaker who provides assistance with bathing, dressing, and daily activities.. Each senior has a room of their own, which they can decorate and personalize as they please. The homes are all within a safe and secure neighborhood in the Flower Mound,  Lewisville and Coppell, Texas areas.

  • Respite Care

Also known as short-term care for seniors, Respite Care offers temporary care within a facility for your loved one. 4 Seasons Senior Living provides respite stays for seniors, offering additional healing time following a medical treatment, rehab center and/or illness. Respite care is also an excellent nursing home alternative for seniors who are unable to stay at home for a short period of time. This is typically the result of their in-home care service provider being temporarily unavailable. Many family members who look after their loved ones also use respite care when they’re away for a short period of time and don’t want to leave their family member alone.

Different Types of In-Home Care

For seniors capable of living on their own, they can continue doing so. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to come at the cost of other family members’ freedom. With the vast array of in-home senior care available, family members can enjoy their time spent with their loved one, instead of becoming exhausted trying to take care of them. That’s also not to mention that not everyone is built for personal senior care. As a family member, you may feel obligated to help but it’s often within your loved one’s best interest to opt for professional senior care.

To help you determine which kind of in-home care for seniors is ideal for your loved one, here are some options to explore:

  • Health Aids

Health aids are formally trained and qualified nurses and nurse assistance that provide basic medical needs to patients.

  • Personal Care Workers

Personal care workers provide assistance with regular tasks throughout the home, such as cleaning and cooking.

  • Meals on Wheels

If your loved one can handle most of their daily tasks, doesn’t require regular medical attention but is unable to cook for themselves regularly, Meals on Wheels is a great option.

  • Adult Day Social Care

Adult Day Social Care isn’t an in-home care provider, but it does assist seniors who are still living in their own home by providing them with supervision and structure during the day. Seniors visit these establishments to receive therapy, meals and/or activities.

  • Adult Day Health Care

Adult Day Health Care is similar to the prior, whereas it isn’t an in-home care provider. It assists seniors who live in their own home by providing supervision, structure and medical services equivalent to what is provided in nursing homes.

As you can see, there are many nursing home alternatives in Flower Mound, Texas. Whether you’re in need of an in-home service provider or a quality residence for seniors that stays away from the “nursing home” appeal, you can find it today in Flower Mound, Texas.

Assisted Living Alternatives – Flower Mound, Lewisville, Coppell

Assisted Living Alternatives

Assisted living isn’t for everyone. Many seniors see it as a stepping stone towards a nursing home, and as a result, many refuse to put their foot in the door. Forcing someone into an assisted living facility can not only be a daunting task but one that can be detrimental to a relationship. On the other hand, allowing a senior to live at home on their own when it’s not within their best interest also comes with many risks. Fortunately, there are many quality assisted living alternatives in Flower Mound, Texas that’ll keep your loved one safe, healthy, and happy.

4 Seasons for Seniors has completely changed the idea of senior care. With the main goal being to provide dignified living for the elderly along with optimal care, your loved one will never feel uncomfortable with the decision to explore assisted living alternatives in Flower Mound, Texas.

Residential Care Alternatives to Assisted Living

If the prior assisted living alternatives in Flower Mound, Texas don’t meet your requirements, there are other options available. More importantly, if an in-home health aid or personal care worker aren’t sufficed, your loved one should be seeking residential care.

Temporary or Short-Term Stay for Seniors

Temporary or short-term care, also known as respite care for seniors, is an excellent alternative to assisted living. It’s designed to provide your loved one with the care they need on a temporary basis. Stays can be as short as one night or up to several months at a time.

This type of elderly care is commonly used for seniors who need additional time to heal post a hospital or rehab visit. It’s also used as a temporary stay for seniors who usually have in-home care but don’t for a short-time. This is sometimes the result of short staff, time off or family being out of town.

The short-term care provided by 4 Seasons Senior Living assists seniors with daily activities. Some of the tasks include but are not limited to:

  • Bathing assistance
  • Fall prevention
  • Meal preparation
  • Continual supervision
  • Secure environment

Long-Term Stay for Seniors

One of the best assisted living alternatives in Flower Mound, Texas for seniors who need to be placed in a facility is a long term stay at 4 Seasons Senior Living. Unlike a nursing home, seniors live in beautiful homes within our little community with four to six other seniors. This allows for staff to provide optimal care to each and every patient. Seniors don’t feel like they’re living in a facility, as the homes are structured for dignified living.

Some of the services provided include but are not limited to:

  • Bathing assistance
  • Fall prevention
  • Meal preparation
  • Continual supervision
  • Secure environment
  • Personal attention and companionship
  • Games and activities

The homes are renovated to accommodate seniors, such as widened door frames and easy access to bathrooms. Along with a quality, healthy, and happy living space, your loved one will also receive the assistance they need.

While your loved one will be living in a facility per se, they will have a place to call their own. They can hang photos of the family on the wall, paint their room if they choose and personalize the space into their very own humble abode.

In-Home Alternatives to Assisted Living

Depending on the needs of your loved one, they may be able to continue living in their own. In home care options bring the assistance required to live a quality, happy, and safe life right to the senior.

Health Aids

In-home care is an excellent alternative to assisted living in Flower Mound, Texas. This type of care allows your loved one to continue living on their own, while still receiving the health care they need. Such services can be hired for short-term and long-term periods, and many in-home health aids work with a select few patients for hours, days or weeks at a time. This allows them to visit their patients and provide quality care without having to rush off to another one.

Home caregivers, also known as home aids, are highly trained and qualified registered nurses or certified nurse assistants that come to the home to provide basic medical needs. Due to their formal training, they’re able to perform medical tasks that other in-home care providers can’t.  They’re also equipped to handle disoriented, uncooperative or irritable seniors.

Some of their responsibilities do extend out of the healthcare field, such as changing spoiled bedsheets, but their main duties are to ensure the health and safety of the senior.

Some of the duties of a health aid include but are not limited to:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Administering Medications
  • Applying an IV
  • Wound Care and Bandaging
  • Transportation Assistance

As such, home aids enable seniors to live comfortably and safely in their own home, while also providing them with the basic medical needs they require. 4 Seasons Senior Living has a sister company called Home Care 4 Seniors, to ensure quality living and care for seniors outside of their residential program.

Personal Care Worker

If your loved one doesn’t require medical care but needs assistance with personal care and household chores, hiring a personal care worker is an excellent assisted living alternative available.

A personal care worker, also known as a homemaker, personal attendant or senior companion, comes to the home on a set schedule to help with daily, weekly or bi-weekly tasks. You can hire such services on an occasional, hourly, short-term or long-term basis through a health facility.

While a certification isn’t required to be a personal care worker, many are supervised by a social worker or licensed nurse to ensure quality standards and care. As a result, their main duties are to provide personal assistance, as opposed to health care assistance. Some of the duties of a personal care worker include but are not limited to:

  • Dressing
  • Bathing
  • Cleaning
  • Cooking
  • Running Errands

4 Seasons Senior Living’s sister company,  Home Care 4 Seniors, offers both kinds of workers. From companion care to aid professionals, there’s an in care professional eager to assist your loved one. Some of the services offered include:

With these assisted living alternatives in Flower Mound, Texas there’s an option for every senior out there.  Whether you’re looking for in-home care for seniors or a reputable facility to assist with living, you can find it in Flower Mound, Texas. More importantly, you can find it at 4 Seasons Senior Living or Home Care 4 Seniors.

Senior Caregiving Tips from the Pros – Lewisville, Flower Mound, Plano

Caring for an aging loved one is no easy feat.  It’s a huge responsibility to take on, and one you likely didn’t prepare for at this time in your life. You’re not alone. It’s rare for family members to be fully prepared to take on such a vital role in the quality of their aging loved one’s life. Most people know the caregiving responsibility is coming but don’t expect it to come right now. So, it can be quite overwhelming and exhausting. However, these words of advice from professional caregivers can help you through this transitional period to make it easier for both you and your aging loved one.

 

Give your family members the freedom to forget

Dealing with an aging family member losing their memory can be quite difficult and frustrating for family caregivers. The things your loved one likes to do, the places they love to go, and even the people they’ve always known can quickly change. So, it’s important to avoid making assumptions. Your loved one may no longer remember certain family members, friends, places and even personal preferences they’ve had their entire life. Instead, focus on the now, and give them the freedom to forget without trying to convince them of who they were in the past.

“Do not assume your family member remembers even the simple parts of life they’ve always known. Do not assume they like what they’ve always liked: music, television, current events, travel, past favorite foods, visiting in large groups of people. Do not assume they remember the person in church greeting them, or the neighbor next door, or even you. Allow them the space to remember and forget at their own pace.”

-Lori, Caregiver

 

Allow your loved one to change

With the prior mentioned, it’s imperative to allow your loved one to change. It can be tempting to try to convince them of what they liked to do, who they used to know, and ultimately, who they used to be. However, this can cause emotions to run high and frustrations to spark. So, allow and accept your loved one changing.

“Whether it’s a physical incapability or behavioral, realize that it is okay that your loved one is not the person you remember. Step back and realize the only way they can get peace is to let them be.”

– Jeannie, 2012 Caregiver of the Year

 

You deserve to take a break without feeling guilty

Family caregivers have a hard time leaving their aging loved one’s side. While it’s excellent that you jumped in to provide quality care when it was needed, it’s also important to take time for yourself. Juggling the responsibilities of caregiving, while trying to maintain your career, spend time with your family, keep your home clean, and still have time to see your friends is exhausting. You deserve to take a break and you deserve to do so guilt-free.

“The one thing I would advise a family caregiver is to allow themselves respite time, at least a couple times each month, without feeling guilty. A refreshed caregiver is a much better provider of care when they themselves have taken a much-needed break.”

-Maggie, Caregiver

 

Accept help when you need it

Often times, family members who take on the role of caring for an aging loved one feel like they have to be available 24/7. But as this caregiver implies, if you’re exhausted and overwhelmed, the quality of care will be jeopardized. So, ask for help and go on that family vacation, take a couple days to yourself, read a book in complete silence. That’s what respite care is for; we’ll care for your loved ones while you slip away for some well-needed rest and relaxation.

“You need to take care of yourself to take care of someone else. If people offer to help, accept the help.”

– Mariana, 2012 Caregiver of the Year

 

When they look great, they feel even better

Don’t let the age of your loved one fool you; they still want to look great so they can feel even better. Treating your family member to a new hair cut or to an updated wardrobe can work wonders for their spirits. So, take the time to help your family member look good and the positivity will extend well beyond what meets the eye.

“Washing their hair, getting a trim or a haircut can vastly improve how they feel and see themselves. Update their clothes as their size changes or they lose a lot of weight. Purchasing two or three brightly colored, patterned ‘senior bibs’ or ‘painting smocks’ that can be put on and washed every day can also extend the life of their clothes.”

  • Theresa, Caregiver

 

Refrain from making your loved one feel incapable

One of the most difficult things aging seniors struggle with emotionally is feeling incapable. All of their life, they’ve taken care of themselves, along with everyone in the family. Now, they have someone else making decisions for them and enforcing rules, limitations, and/or boundaries. This can cause some hurdles for the family member providing care if not handled carefully. So, remove the word, “no” from your vocabulary and come up with new ways to enforce your role without making your loved one feel incapable. It sometimes takes a bit of creativity.

“Be considerate about things that may be embarrassing to them (e.g., helping them out of a wheelchair). Be as creative as you can be. If they’re confused about what is going on, ease the confusion by asking questions about their past and suggesting activities like going for a drive and pointing out all their favorite locations. Do what you can to make it feel like they weren’t denied anything.”

  • Jeannie, Caregiver

 

Be patient and respectful

If there’s one piece of advice you take away from these professional caregivers, let it be this one. Every aging loved one deserve ultimate respect and care, and this often takes a lot of patience. So, always treat your aging loved one the same way you want your loved ones to treat you when you’re in a similar position.

“Regardless of the reasons they need care, it is important to provide loved one’s care in ways that are respectful of their dignity and independence. You need to be patient.”

  • Mariana, 2012 Caregiver of the Year

 

With these pieces of advice, providing optimal care for your aging loved ones will come to you like second nature. However, for the times when you need to take a break, ensure the same quality of care with the senior living options available at 4 Seasons Senior Living.

Caring for Aging Parents: You’re Not Alone

As family roles reverse, many difficult challenges arise. You’re suddenly faced with the responsibilities of caregiving for your aging parent and likely have no idea where to start. You know what your loving family member needs but are unsure as to how to provide exactly that. You are not alone. Many adult children struggle with challenges and responsibilities of caring for an aging parent. To help you better understand how to care for aging parents, we’ve created a list of caregiving tips that’ll ensure optimal care and a quality experience for both you and your aging parent.

Don’t quit your job without careful consideration

Trying to juggle the tasks of caring for your aging parent on top of maintaining a career can be exhausting. However, it’s important to never quit your job without careful consideration. While it may seem like the right choice for the time being, it’s imperative to think long-term.

Thoroughly consider the effects quitting your job will have on your benefit and retirement plan, and chances of employment in the future.  If quitting your job isn’t ideal, there are many short-term and long-term senior care options available that’ll allow you to work, while also ensuring optimal care for your family member.

Make a caregiving budget

As you being to care for your aging parent, it’s important to establish a budget to avoid any financial discrepancies in the future. You want to ensure that there’s enough money for comprehensive care for your loved one for as long as they need it. So, determine where the money is going, and how much it’ll cost to care for them in and out of house. Then, you can explore the different resources available to help you better allocate the funds without risk of financial consequences in the future.

Take advantage of free or low-cost resources and senior activities

Speaking of finances, there are several options available that’ll help you save money without sacrificing the quality of senior care your loved on receives. With a bit of research, you’ll find plenty of free or low-cost senior activity centers, events, and resources available across Texas, which will help manage the costs of caregiving.

Analyze the costs of keeping your aging parent in their home

Your aging parent is likely adamant about staying in their own home but this isn’t always the safest or most affordable option. Discuss the pros and cons of both in-house care and senior residential care. If it’s the best option to place your loved one in a residential senior care, highlight the benefits of doing so. For example, at 4 Seasons Senior Care, your parent will have their own room which they can decorate to their liking for optimal, dignified living. Senior care has come a long way and educating your parent on the changes can make the choice and transition easier on the both of you.

Evaluate the benefit of receiving professional help

As the child of an aging parent, you feel responsible for taking care of the family. However, you don’t have to do it on your own. There are many options available that’ll allow your aging parent to receive the meticulous care they require from a highly-qualified professional. It takes a certain set of skills, patience, and understanding to provide optimal care and often times, it’s best to leave the caregiving to the professional. You may feel guilty for handing the duties over to a caregiver but it’s likely the better option for your parent.

Discuss legalities with your aging parent

It’s important to understand what your parent wants, should they be unable to make decisions on their own in the future or if they were to pass away. While the conversation may be uncomfortable for the both of you – as no one wants to discuss the ‘what ifs’ – it’s imperative to have a thorough understanding of your parent’s desires. This will give you confidence making decisions on their behalf, as you’re already well aware of what they want and can act in their best interest.

Recognize the warning signs that indicate a need for long-term senior care

Lastly, it’s important to recognize the warning signs that it’s time for your aging parent to enter a long-term senior care facility. Although your parent may insist on staying in their own home, it could be unsafe for them to do so. So, recognize the signs and know when it’s time to make the transition into senior residential care. Things such as drastic weight loss, injuries, and excessive confusion are all warning signs to pay attention to.

 

Being a family caregiver will come with many challenges, mishaps, and responsibilities. It’s important to recognize that there are many other quality senior living care options available to help you manage the daily tasks of an aging parent. You don’t have to do this alone.

6 Ways on How Seniors Can Prepare to “Age Well”

Aging is inevitable, but aging well takes a little bit of effort. It’s important to educate and discuss the various ways your aging parents can prepare to enjoy their later years to the fullest. While regular exercise, doctor visits, and a clean diet are a given, there are many additional ways to ensure quality, dignified living for your loved ones as they grow into their elder years.

Encourage regular strength and balance exercises

Regular exercise is a key to optimal health well throughout one’s lifespan. However, as your parents’ age and become less mobile, their physical activity is likely to decrease. As such, it’s important to get them active to ensure optimal health and dignified living as strength and balance exercises will increase the amount of time your aging parent is able to live independently.

Make it a priority to educate your parents on the types of exercises they can do to improve strength and balance, and encourage them to join an aqua fit group or yoga class. Being able to maneuver around their home and access the items they need will prepare them to age well. Regular exercise will also help prevent falls, one of the most common injuries for seniors.

Adapt the home ahead of time

As soon as you see a decline in mobility, it’s crucial to take the proper steps to adapting the home to suit your aging parent’s needs. Often times, these changes are only done once problems and safety concerns have emerged.

By adapting the home today, you can prevent hazards moving forward. So, evaluate your loved ones’ aging condition and see where you can make some changes to improve their quality, independent living. It could be as simple as installing safety bars in the bathrooms or as complex as widening the door frames to fit walkers and wheelchairs.

Explore senior care help options

There are various options for senior living help available to increase your aging parents’ quality of living if they’re unable to fully provide for themselves in the future. Put a plan put in place for the proper course of actions to take for different scenarios. For example, discuss who in the family wants to take care of meal preparation, home repairs, house cleaning, transportation, finances, etc.  If no one is able to assist, there are professional services that can fill the job.

It’s imperative to have this planned ahead of time to decrease the number of inconveniences and discrepancies in the future.

Consider senior care options and create a plan for the future

In order to avoid difficulties down the road, it’s recommended to discuss your aging parents’ future living arrangements while they’re still healthy. While every senior wants to remain living in their own home independently for as long as possible, it’s crucial to have an idea of their desires if their current situation is to change. Furthermore, discussing the proper course of action to take, if need be, allows for you and your family to create financials plan to ensure optimal, dignified living for your loved one as they grow older.

Create a plan for emergencies

As your parents’ age, it’s important to have a plan put in place in case of an emergency. Determine whether your loved one needs an emergency medical button installed in their home, create a list of emergency phone numbers for them to use, and if needed, consider getting your elderly parent a cell phone. It doesn’t have to be the latest iPhone nor does it have to be anything more than a cell phone with large buttons and a bright screen. Adjust the settings so the font is easy for them to see, and it’ll give the entire family peace of mind.

Discuss the things no one wants to bring up

Bringing up the topic of ‘what to do if you pass away’ is never an easy thing to do. However, it’s one of the most important steps to ensuring dignified senior living, even after their passing.

The only way to honor and fulfill your parents’ wishes is to discuss their desires while they’re still here. Knowing exactly what your parents want when they pass away will give you the confidence and reassurance you need to make the right choices in the future. So, as uncomfortable as it may be, discuss your parents’ will, determine who will be the power of attorney, write down the passwords to their online accounts, and have a clear understanding of what their wishes are. Make sure both you and your parents have signed copies of the documents, and the most important yet stressful decisions following a passing will be already done for you.

Age well with dignified living

With these six steps, every senior can age well and with dignified living. Some situations are bound to change as times goes on and your parent could even become adamant about remaining in their home despite agreeing to senior housing previously. You may have to make difficult decisions that aren’t necessarily outlined in these six steps to ensure optimal living for your parent but having this guideline will certainly help.

Emotional Signs of Senior Caregiver Stress

With the high demands of taking care of a senior, a great deal of stress in inevitable. Many family members take on the responsibility of caring for their aging parent, without the extensive stress management training professional caregivers undergo. An overload of caregiver stress can lead to a lower quality of care, and a risk of health and well-being for yourself and your loved one and should be addressed immediately.

However, professional caregivers aren’t exempt from taxing demands and stress associated with the job, despite their valuable training. They too can become overwhelmed with the circumstances and emotions associated with the job.

Whether you or a caregiver is providing care for your aging parent, it’s crucial to know the emotional signs of caregiver stress so proper changes can be made moving forward to provide your loved one with the quality care and dignified living they deserve.

Depression and Anxiety

Depression and anxiety are typical symptoms of caregiver stress. Symptoms include continuous sadness, increased amount of crying and feelings of hopelessness. A caregiver suffering from depression and/or anxiety may feel anxious about their job, daily tasks, and may even have a hard time going to work each day. They may also feel the need to withdrawal, whether from their friends and family or activities they used to enjoy.

Anger

When caring for an elderly parent or patient, anger is one emotion that needs to be kept at bay. The daily tasks of caring for a senior can become incredibly frustrated at times. Professional caregivers are trained to handle their emotions and situations properly and away from the client. If you or your caregiver have been yelling at your loved one and losing control of their temper, this is a clear sign of caregiver stress.

Furthermore, family members caring for an aging parent often experience anger because they’re sacrificing their own needs to care for their loved one’s needs. This is not a healthy situation for you or your aging parent, and it’s strongly recommended to search for alternative care.

Exhaustion and Insomnia

One of the first things that seem to take the brunt of caregiver stress is one’s sleep patterns. If you find yourself or your caregiver consistently tired, emotionally and physically, this could be a sign of caregiver stress. It’s crucial to address this situation immediately, as insomnia and/or exhaustion on the job can lead to poor decision-making, and even life-threatening mistakes such as giving your loved one the wrong medications.

Health Problems

For someone experiencing caregiver stress, common colds and flu may become way more common than normal. A decreased immune system is a strong indicator that the daily tasks of caring for a loved one or a senior is causing too much stress.

 

What to Do if You’re Experiencing Signs of  Senior Caregiver Stress

Family members often feel obligated and sometimes even pressured to take care of their aging parent. However, if your health is being sacrificed, so is the health of your loved one. If you’re providing care for your loved one at this time and notice these emotional signs of caregiver stress within yourself, it’s imperative to address the situation.

There are many senior caregiving options, from respite care to live-in senior residence stays, that can relieve you from the rigorous tasks of caring for your aging parent. Professional caregivers are trained to handle the stress that comes with the job, to ensure optimal care for the senior.

 

What to Do If Your Current Caregiver is Showing Signs of  Senior Caregiver Stress

If you have reason to believe your caregiver is showing emotional signs of caregiver stress, it’s important to confront the issue immediately. A caregiver unable to handle the stress and daily task of senior care puts your loved one’s health and quality living at risk. So, speak with your caregiver. See if there’s anything in particular that’s causing them to show these emotional signs of caregiver stress, and pay attention to their behavior moving forward. If you continue to suspect emotional signs of caregiver stress, it’s likely within you and your loved one’s best interest to opt for alternative senior care.

Everyday stress is normal and caregiver stress is inevitable. However, quality professionals are trained to handle the demanding requirements of providing senior care and the emotions that follow. So, put yourself at ease and opt for reputable, dignified living for your aging parent.

Early Signs of Dementia or Just Aging?

Alzheimer Society reported almost 40% of people over the age of 65 experience some form of memory loss.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also conducted a study that revealed 1 in 8 Americans over the age of 60 to be experiencing worsening memory in the past year.

Furthermore, almost 13% of people over 60 reported confusion or memory loss so significant that it interfered with the work, living and/or social activities of the senior.

As such, it’s common to think that memory loss is just another sign of your parents getting older. However, don’t be mistaken as many early signs of dementia are often subtle and quite similar to the signs of normal aging. It’s important to recognize the differences between “typical aging” and early signs of dementia to ensure optimal living for your aging parent moving forward.

 

Normal vs. Concerning Behaviors

Occasionally vs. Frequent: Forgetting things, conversations and events

It’s exceptionally common to forget things, conversations, and events once in a while. After all, everyone does it, regardless of their age or mental health.

However, frequent memory loss about things, conversations and events, especially ones that occurred recently, could be an early sign of dementia.

If you notice your loved one continuously forgetting things they should know or that have occurred within the past year, it’s important to have this looked into.

Being unable to identify or recognize acquaintances vs. family members

Names aren’t everyone’s métier. It’s common for anyone – especially seniors –  to forget the names of acquaintances, such as the neighbors down the road or the nurse at the doctor’s office. So, this isn’t something to be too concerned about.

However, if your loved one is unable to recognize the faces of people they know or the names of family members, it could be an indicator of dementia development. It’s recommended to take note of how often this is happening and who’s name they’re forgetting. Your parent forgetting your name is a little more drastic than them forgetting their 17th great-grandchild’s name who they see once a year. So, keep a diary of their behaviour to help the doctors determine whether dementia is of concern.

Stumbling over the right words vs. frequent pauses and substitutions for words

After various decades on this earth, seniors have a plethora of words in their vocabulary, and it’s common for them to stumble over finding the right ones.  However, this becomes a possible sign of early dementia when a senior is regularly forgetting words and/or is frequently pausing or substituting wrong words in sentences.

For example, if your loved one is asking for the orange juice when they’re pointing to the milk or calling the dog a hamster – things they should know regardless of their age – it’s something that should be addressed.

Being worried about their own memory vs. being unaware of their own memory

Most elderly people are aware of their own memory loss. Many even joke about it, accepting that it’s typically nothing more than normal aging.

The real concerns come when the entire family is starting to notice extreme memory loss but the senior is completely unaware and possibly in complete denial that their memory is a problem.

So, if your aging mom or dad is still cracking jokes about their lack of memory, they’re likely not experiencing dementia.

 

Signs of Normal Aging

To provide you with more information on normal signs of aging, here are some common things you may experience with your aging parent.

  • Takes longer to process information
  • Less physical and mental flexibility
  • Slower body and brain, with their intelligence remaining stable
  • Difficulty remember names and/or places
  • Occasionally losing items
  • Occasionally forgetting and/or becoming confused with which words to use

 

Signs of Early Dementia

Generally speaking, if your aging parent is only showing one sign of early dementia, it doesn’t necessarily mean a diagnosis will be made. However, you should keep your eyes open for other signs and symptoms, which are:

  • Frequent memory loss on recent events, occasions, conversations and things
  • Memory loss that affects their daily life
  • Decreased intelligence (forgetting how to read, write, speak, etc.)
  • Difficulty understanding language (reading, writing, speaking, etc.), symbols, and maps
  • Repetitive questioning
  • Increased confusion
  • Erratic moods
  • Being unfamiliar with familiar places and faces
  • Difficulty focuses on a task and/or problem solving
  • Change in hygiene and/or eating habits
  • Repeat falls, injuries or loss of balance
  • Odd behaviour
  • Increased apathy
  • Failing sense of direction

Dementia isn’t easy to detect in the early stages. Symptoms often walk the line between signs of “normal aging” and concerning signs of aging, which can make it difficult to decide what the proper course of action should be. These guidelines will help you, and if you have reason to be concerned, it never hurts to seek medical attention.

Furthermore, if your loved one is diagnosed with dementia, it’s crucial to explore the options of senior care available. Dementia can be extremely dangerous if not monitored closely. More importantly, dementia doesn’t have to disrupt your loved one’s quality of living. You just need the right kind of senior care and one that focuses on dignified living.