When Cognitive Decline Might Require Senior Living

Sometimes, the need for senior living becomes obvious. Maybe a loved one has suffered a fall. Maybe they had a fender bender or a close call while driving. Maybe their spouse passed away and they need the support and social life of a community.

But sometimes the question can be more complicated when there isn’t an emergency or obvious, acute need.

If a loved one is showing signs of cognitive decline, or has a diagnosis of mild dementia or Mild Cognitive Impairment, it can become a delicate situation. They might still be able to perform many day-to-day tasks, and thus be reluctant to consider the possibility of assisted living or memory care.

But the effects of cognitive decline will continue, and it’s important to have honest conversations with your loved one about their needs and how they can be best supported.

Here are a few things to look out for that could signal that it’s time for them to move into senior living:

  • Managing Finances Becomes More Difficult

Between the mortgage, insurance, groceries, internet, gas and all the other bills we all have, balancing a checkbook is not easy. But it’s an increased challenge for someone with cognitive decline. There’s the chance that bills get paid multiple times, or not at all. And of course, they are more susceptible to scams.

  • Keeping Track of Medications

Many older adults have the weekly pill trackers – the little boxes where they put all the pills they need each day of the week. Except, as cognitive decline sets in, organizing those prescriptions gets more difficult. Which ones are the pills you take once a day versus multiple times a day? Which ones are daily and which are more spread out? What gets taken in the morning and what gets taken before bed? Many older adults have multiple prescriptions, and not following the directions can have serious effects.

  • Housework In, and Outside, the Home

Keeping up with house and yard work can be daunting for anyone, but even more so for an older adult living with cognitive decline. And if the to-do list keeps growing, it can be overwhelming for someone struggling to retain details to manage everything that goes into home and yard upkeep. And if someone falls behind in tidying up their home, it could cause clutter to pile up, which then become a danger for tripping and suffering a fall.

  • Driving Becomes Dangerous

Driving is often a source of conflict among family members. But memory loss can cause a loved one to get lost even on familiar routes. In addition, they’re more easily distracted and their judgment isn’t what it once was. They are possibly a danger to themselves and others, and while you may recognize that it’s time for them to give up driving, they may not see it the same way. It creates a delicate situation where a family member is placed in a position of being seen as “the bad guy” as they try to address the situation, leading to pushback from their loved one. 

Let Prestige Help You Take Care of the Details

We have a series of resource guides on the topic of senior living, including entries on choosing the right level of care and an introduction to memory care.

We also encourage to you find the community nearest you and schedule a tour, where our team can get a sense of the challenges you’re facing and help showcase how Prestige can provide support for your loved one to allow them to flourish and live each day with joy and fulfillment.