Chicago, IL—Memory loss is something many aging individuals experience. Some develop the condition naturally while others experience it after being diagnosed with dementia or some form of it. While memory loss might be a concern for you and your loved ones, it isn’t necessarily a sign that you should move your loved one into a nursing home right away.
The fact is, if an aging individual is still able to recall certain events or is aware of his/her behavior, then they might benefit from assistance, not around-the-clock supervision. However, if their memory loss puts them at risk of getting hurt, then it may be time to consider the options that are available.
If you believe your loved one is suffering from memory loss, you are encouraged to read on below to learn about the early signs of memory loss and when you should consider hiring help or moving your loved one into a long-term care facility.
Early Signs of Memory Loss
With age, many find that they become more forgetful or aren’t able to recollect specific details about something from the past. While this isn’t necessarily a sign that someone is experiencing memory loss, the following signs are1:
- Forgetting commonly used words.
- Asking the same questions over and over.
- Getting lost while out walking or when going out for a drive.
- Misplacing items by putting them in odd places.
- Mood swings or changes in behavior without a reason.
- Taking a long time to complete familiar tasks.
When an individual begins to display any of the signs mentioned above, this could be a sign of dementia. Dementia is “a general term for loss of memory, language, problem-solving and other thinking abilities that are severe enough to interfere with daily life.”2 According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s is “the most common cause of dementia.”
When to Consider Hiring Help or Moving a Loved one into a nursing home
For some families, hiring help or relocating a loved one to a long-term care facility is not an option as they would prefer to provide their relatives with the assistance they need. For others who are unable to devote the time needed to monitor and care for a loved one who suffers from memory loss, long-term care might be their only option.
If you have begun to notice any of these signs, this might be an indicator that your loved one needs around-the-clock care.
- They need help with basic day-to-day tasks.
- Your relative has wandered out of their home more than once.
- Your relative experiences serious changes in mood that have you worried about their wellbeing while living alone.
- Your relative no longer recognizes familiar faces, sometimes even yours.
When family members have begun to notice that their loved one struggles from memory loss, they should consider having them evaluated by a medical professional.
What are the risks associated with moving a relative with memory loss into a nursing home in Chicago?
Although nursing homes do serve as a place for aging individuals to go and live when they can no longer care for themselves, there is some risk associated with moving a relative into one. Individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s are “at a greater risk of abuse,” and therefore, you need to be sure you research multiple homes before making your selection.3
The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has an online nursing home compare tool that allows you to look up nursing homes in your preferred area. Not only will the online tool identify homes that have been cited for abuse, but it will also provide detailed information about the most recent inspections that were conducted in a home.
Families are encouraged to use the online tool along with other resources to assist with the decision-making process.
Is there anything family members can do to prevent nursing home abuse?
While abuse can occur in any long-term care setting, there are some steps you can take to help reduce the chances of your aging loved becoming yet another victim. These include:
- Take your time in choosing a nursing home. As previously mentioned, you should read reviews, visit homes, and conduct extensive research before settling on a nursing home for your loved one.
- Visit them regularly. Once your loved one is moved into a facility, you should visit with your loved one on a regular basis. This way, you can look for any physical or emotional signs that something might be wrong.
- Identify issues and report them. If you notice something isn’t right or the facility appears to be understaffed, bring this to the attention of an administrator.
In the event you ever encounter an issue or believe your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, don’t wait to contact Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. Our team of dedicated Chicago, IL nursing home abuse lawyers will be happy to sit down with you to determine what can be done to rectify the problem. If your loved one has been abused, you can rest assured that our Chicago nursing home abuse law firm will fight to protect their rights.
You can contact Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. at:
221 North La Salle Drive, Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60601