Knowing that your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, are you concerned that their memory is becoming more and more impaired? Because Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive condition, memory, cognitive function, and the ability to perform everyday tasks will become more and more impacted. As the disease advances, it can become increasingly challenging for families to provide the necessary care at home. That being said, recognizing the signs that your loved one may benefit from a memory care facility is crucial. Equally essential is ensuring that their Wisconsin estate plan is up to date and seeking guidance from a Wisconsin elder law attorney. During the month of November, which is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, and throughout the year, one of our priorities is to ensure that you and your loved ones have the support you need during this challenging time.

How will you recognize when your loved one with an Alzheimer’s Disease diagnosis might benefit from a memory care facility?  Even though every person has their own unique challenges, we want to share just a few of the signs that it might be time to consider transitioning your loved one to a memory care facility.

  1. You are becoming more and more concerned about their safety.  If your loved one frequently forgets to turn off the stove, struggles with basic mobility, or has had multiple falls or injuries, this can indicate that a safer environment with constant supervision is needed.
  2. Your loved one has difficulty managing activities of daily living. A definite decline in the ability to handle daily tasks such as grooming, dressing, and feeding can signal that a higher level of care is required.
  3. Your loved one has behavior changes. As the disease progresses, aggressive outbursts, mood swings, or periods of confusion, especially during the evening hours (often referred to as “sundowning”) occur. These changes can be emotionally taxing for family caregivers and may indicate that professional assistance is needed.
  4. Your loved one needs more and more medical care.  If your loved one requires regular medical attention, has frequent infections, or is experiencing rapid weight loss or gain, it may be challenging to manage their health needs at home.
  5. You are concerned that the caregiver for your loved one is gradually becoming more and more tired and seems to be burned out. Taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s is emotionally and physically demanding. If the primary caregiver is experiencing signs of burnout, such as exhaustion, irritability, or health problems, it might be time to consider additional support.
  6. Your loved one is beginning to wander more and more often. Wandering is a common symptom of Alzheimer’s and can pose severe safety risks, especially if your loved one becomes lost or ventures out during extreme weather conditions.

Now in addition to recognizing these signs, it is crucial to prepare legally and financially. Your Wisconsin elder law attorney can help you not only be sure that your loved one’s estate plan is current but help choose the right care and find a way to pay for it. Memory care facilities can be expensive. A Wisconsin elder law attorney can guide you through potential financial assistance options, including benefits, aids, and other resources that can help cover costs. Your attorney often will have a network of professionals who can provide insights into the best memory care facilities in your area, ensuring your loved one receives top-tier care.

We know that making the decision to move a loved one to a memory care facility can be heart-wrenching, but it is sometimes the best option for their safety and well-being. By staying informed and seeking the expertise of professionals, you can navigate this challenging transition with confidence and clarity, ensuring your loved one is cared for in the best possible manner.

We know this article raises more questions than it answers. We want to help you protect your aging relatives. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with attorney Alan Hougum today.