Seeing a loved one age can be very hard on the family and friends. Someone who might have previously been very capable and independent is no longer able to do simple things. One of the hardest things to watch is dementia. It is very challenging and emotional to see someone's mind fail him or her. However, one of the best things that you can do for your loved one is to get them the help that they need at the right time. Here are some things you should be looking for in your loved one to know if they need more care.
1. Your Loved One Is Letting Go of Basic Hygiene
As someone ages it is normal for them to care less about their appearance. They may not be getting as dressed up as they used to, but they shouldn't be neglecting basic hygiene. For instance, if when you visit your loved one you see that they have been in the same clothes for days, they look as though they have not taken a shower, or they have yet to change out of their pajamas, this is a problem. It may be that they are physically unable to bathe and change themselves so they avoid it, or it could be that they forget that they aren't dressed or caring for themselves. Someone with dementia may go to the bathroom to bathe, only to forget what they were doing by the time they get there. If you notice this, it may be time for more assistance with basic needs.
2. Your Loved One Is Wandering or Missing Important Things
Dementia affects the short-term memory. This means that your loved one may be remembering the birthday of their best friend, but unable to remember that you were coming over, even if you called them an hour before to remind them. They may miss important events, or forget completely that you talked about it. This will even be with reminders.
In addition, the person may leave the house to go to the grocery store or to meet you for something and then forget what they were doing and spend a day out wandering or doing random things. In the beginning it may just be frustrating that they are unreliable, but it can actually become dangerous. Your loved one might forget how to get home or get lost somewhere.
Talk to a senior care facility near you to find out what your next step should be if your loved one is exhibiting signs of dementia.