At What Point Do Dementia Patients Need 24-Hour Care?

Here’s a shocking fact: the most prevalent kind of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, affects almost 5.8 million Americans. Most people with the condition can accomplish everyday tasks independently in the early stages. However, they can face forgetfulness, mood swings, coordination issues, and trouble picking up new skills. When the condition worsens and enters the intermediate and advanced stages, dementia patients often lose the ability to speak and frequently need assistance with everyday chores.

If you’re caring for a dementia patient, you’re probably wondering, “at what point do individuals with dementia need 24-hour care?” The truth is that it can be pretty challenging when you have to decide if a dementia patient should move into a memory care facility. Putting a loved one in a 24-hour care facility might make you feel worried or guilty. You may even feel as though you are letting the patient down or choosing the easy way out.

While each person with dementia is different, most will eventually need around-the-clock care to preserve their health and security. Still, it can be challenging for some to know when dementia patients need 24-hour care. To help ease the uncertainty, we have listed some signs to help you know the point at which a dementia patient needs 24-hour care. 

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Signs That a Dementia Patient Needs 24-Hour Care

Dementia progresses slowly for years at a time. Therefore, knowing whether to switch to full-time care can be challenging, especially for family members. While there is never a “perfect time,” there are signs that a dementia patient may require further help. Some include:

Caregiver Stress

Mental, bodily, and emotional weariness are the defining characteristics of caregiver stress. This condition typically occurs in caregivers who constantly put others before themselves. Caring for a loved one with dementia is often very trying and distressing. Additionally, mild medical disorders can get worse under stress, making the mental and physical elements of caregiving even more challenging. 

Caregivers must, therefore, look after themselves as well. Moving into a facility that offers round-the-clock care is advantageous for both the caregiver and the person with dementia.

Safety Concerns

Patients with dementia have impaired judgment and memory. They are also often vulnerable to household mishaps. 

Family members and caregivers should watch for a general decrease in their loved one’s health. Unexpected weight loss, a change in posture, or bruising are indications that a dementia patient is no longer secure at home. Additionally, dementia patients may require 24-hour care if they frequently fall, spend most of the day sitting down or are prone to wander around.

Unhealthy Living Conditions

It can be challenging to balance running a household and caring for a spouse or family member. If you observe outstanding bills, a backlog of dishes, food that has gone bad in the refrigerator, a general lack of hygiene, or any other indications of dangerous living circumstances, you might consider moving them into a more regulated setting with round-the-clock monitoring.

Social Isolation and Withdrawal

People with dementia become more and more disoriented, which frequently causes them to retreat from social activities they formerly enjoyed. This might result in social isolation, which can make dementia symptoms worse. Memory care facilities have carefully selected social activities that promote conversation and intellectual stimulation for dementia patients.

Difficulty Managing Medication

The National Institute on Aging estimates that 85% of older persons take medicine for at least one chronic health condition. As dementia advances, managing prescriptions may become increasingly challenging. However, most 24-hour care facilities will deliver a patient’s medicine while examining certain symptoms and difficulties that might indicate an underlying health issue.

Getting Thoughtful Care

At Thoughtful Care, we know the time and effort it may take to give your loved one with dementia the finest care available. We take great pride in assisting many families in Kansas City to continue caring for their loved ones and give them peace of mind knowing their particular requirements are met. To learn more about dementia patients, feel free to contact Thoughtful Care.