Approximately 47 million people worldwide suffer from dementia, and that number is expected to increase to 75 million by the year 2030.

If you have a parent or loved one whom you think might be showing early signs of dementia, keep reading.

Listed below are some of the most common dementia warning signs you should be on the lookout for, along with some tips on choosing a memory care center for your loved one.

Common Dementia Warning Signs

Some of the most common signs of dementia include:

  • Changes in short-term memory (remembering events from years ago but not what they ate for breakfast, for example)
  • Struggling to find the right words and communicate thoughts effectively
    Depression or mood swings
  • Apathy and a loss of interest in activities or hobbies they once enjoyed
  • Struggling to complete daily tasks
  • Struggling to learn new concepts or follow a new routine
  • Struggling to follow storylines on TV shows or in conversations
  • Deteriorating sense of direction
  • Asking the same questions over and over again

What to do When You Notice These Signs

If you notice your loved one exhibiting one or more of these common dementia warning signs, it’s important to get them into a doctor for a screening.

Where you proceed from here will depend on the doctor’s diagnosis and the severity of the symptoms your loved one is presenting. You may be able to improve their quality of life by implementing a strict routine and working with other family members or loved ones to make sure they’re cared for on a consistent basis.

In some cases, though, the dementia is too advanced to handle on your own, at least for an extended period of time. Sometimes, you need to look into working with a professional.

Does Your Loved One Need a Memory Care Facility?

If you’re noticing the following signs, it may be time to look into a memory care facility for your loved one.

  • You’re constantly worrying about their safety
  • You or other family members are feeling caregiver burnout
    Your loved one is unable to care for their health (eat a nutritious diet, take medications as prescribed, etc.)
  • Your loved one is feeling lonely and/or isolated
  • Your loved one’s physical appearance has changed (weight loss, weight gain, poor personal hygiene, etc.)
  • Your loved one is neglecting their finances or falling victim to financial scams online
  • Their living conditions are no longer safe (they’ve fallen or their home shows signs of fire or water damage)
  • They’re purchasing unnecessary items or hoarding

What to Look for in a Memory Care Facility

If you’ve decided that your loved one requires help from professionals working in a memory care facility, it can be hard to choose the right one for their specific needs.

Most facilities offer tours and will let you take a look around before making a decision. When you’re on these tours, you should be on the lookout for the following characteristics to help you determine whether or not it’s a good fit for your loved one.

  • Is there a medical director on staff to help with serious medical needs?
  • What is the staff-to-resident ratio? Are there enough people working there to make sure your loved one is supervised at all times?
  • What medical services are available? Do they offer physical therapy, occupational therapy, and lab work?
  • Are the members of the staff specially trained to help people with dementia and memory loss?
  • Are the rates all-inclusive?
  • What are their policies on things like patient stay, end-of-life care, emergencies, and family visitation?
  • Do they offer entertainment options and different outings for the residents?

If you’re satisfied with the answers to these questions, you may found the right memory care facility for your loved one.

Of course, it’s always hard to feel like you’re sending them away, but remember that, at a certain point, your loved one needs more care than what you and your other family members can provide. You’re doing them a service by making sure they’re living somewhere where they are properly cared for by trained professionals.

Author's Bio: 

Natalie Thongrit is a freelance writer who focuses primarily on fitness, health, and wellness-related content. You can connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn, or check out her portfolio to read more of her work.