Is Memory Care Assisted Living Something a Family Should Discuss When an Aging Parent (or Grandparent) Has Recently Been Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s?

Roger was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. At 73, he still considered himself fit and healthy, at least for his age. The diagnosis wasn’t a complete surprise, though it wasn’t easy to hear or accept. He had been dealing with memory loss and other similar challenges for a couple of years; he just kept putting off a visit to his doctor because he didn’t want to know something like this. When he was initially diagnosed, his family was thinking about all the prospective options available to him, including memory care assisted living.

Assisted Living in Spanish Fort AL: Talking About Memory Care

Assisted Living in Spanish Fort AL: Talking About Memory Care

They didn’t discuss this with him, though.

They were afraid of how he would respond to the topic being brought up. After all, being in relatively good physical condition, having great strength for someone his age, they knew he would want to be home for as long as possible. However, they also understood this was going to place undue pressure on his wife as the disease progressed.

Instead, the family talked among themselves about various care options in the years ahead. When Roger was 76, it became clear his memory loss was so significant that he was not safe when left alone. This meant his wife had to wait for a friend or other family member to stop by to look after him just to get out for a little while. It was taking a serious toll on her and that’s when the topic of memory care assisted living was discussed again.

At the time, Rogers still had lucid, cogent moments, but had a difficult time accepting the prospect of assisted living. He became nervous, anxious, and worried. The concerns he had weren’t about being unsafe in a new environment, but not having the same familiarity he had at home.

Roger mentioned that it sounded like a great idea, but he just wished they had talked about this from the beginning, when he could have contributed more to the discussion and determined that this would really be the best option for him. If it was the best option, he said, he would have liked to have moved sooner rather than later.

When somebody is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia or has other memory related challenges, it’s important to discuss assisted living as soon as possible. That doesn’t mean the senior needs to move in right away, but since dementia is a progressive disease, contributing to these decisions and discussions can become much more challenging and potentially frustrating for the senior by waiting.

Don’t wait; talk about it as soon as possible.

If you or an aging loved one are considering assisted living in Spanish Fort, AL, contact Ashbury Manor Specialty Care and Assisted Living at 251-317-3017.

About Cindy Johnson

Ashbury Manor’s Administrator since 2008, Cindy Johnson is a long-time expert in the assisted living field. Prior to her arrival at Ashbury Manor, Cindy managed acquisitions and crisis management for existing and new larger senior care project developments for eleven years. As regional manager for an Oregon-based assisted living management company, Cindy was directly responsible for operations for five 50-65 bed assisted living facilities. As manager during the transition to new ownership, Cindy reorganized internal operations and conducted leadership training for Executive Directors. As a result of her management and expertise, one of the company’s facilities (in Ocala, Florida) received a deficiency-free survey, resulting in the lifting of a moratorium on operation.

A nurse for 36 years, senior care has always been Cindy’s passion. Desiring to work more closely with residents, Cindy became a Category II Administrator in 2005. As Ashbury Manor’s Administrator, Cindy understands the complexities associated with dementia and cognitive impairment and she has fallen in love with seniors with dementia or cognitive impairment and their families.

Cindy is Treasurer of the local “Senior Coalition” chapter. She enjoys mentoring new candidates who want to become administrators.

As a 16-bed facility, with Cindy's training and experience, our residents and their families can be sure Ashbury Manor’s carefully selected staff provides the expertise of a larger facility while maintaining the individualized personal care of a small special needs home.
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