It’s estimated that 6.5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease and that number keeps increasing. Around three out of ten adults with Alzheimer’s are below the age of 75, so it’s common for their children to still be raising families and working full-time jobs. Your mom has Alzheimer’s disease, and you’re not sure what to do. You want to help her as much as you can, but you have a full-time job and aren’t close to retirement age. How do you know when it’s time for Alzheimer’s care for your mom? Here are a few signs to look for.
She Fails to Take Her Medications
Here’s one of the most alarming aspects of the disease. Your mom forgets to take her Alzheimer’s medications, vitamins, and antidepressants. Or, she takes them and doesn’t remember taking them, so she takes more. Soon, you find she’s taken four antidepressants in one day because she couldn’t remember.
Alzheimer’s care aides can keep her pills locked in a cabinet and get them out for her to take. If she tries to take more, they can redirect her and assure her she’s already taken them.
She Can’t Drive
When someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the memory care team will recommend giving up the keys early on. You don’t want your mom driving around the city with no idea how to get back home.
When she has to stop driving, she doesn’t have to stop going out. She can have Alzheimer’s care services for transportation that accompany her to appointments and when running errands.
Your Mom is Wandering
You arrive to visit your mom and find she’s left her home. An hour passes and she’s not back, so you’re worried. You set off and find her wandering the streets. She didn’t recognize her home and had no idea how to get back. She needs someone with her 24/7 if she’s wandering.
Your Mom Forgets Food is Cooking
Your mom sets off her smoke detector because she forgot she’d started cooking scrambled eggs. When the smoke set off the alarms in her home, the eggs were on smoking. Thankfully, your brother was in the home and prevented a kitchen fire, but you worry about her doing this again.
She’s Becoming Incontinent
Often, people with Alzheimer’s lose track of simple things like when their bladder is full. They may not remember how to get to the bathroom in time. Incontinence is normal in the later stages of Alzheimer’s. It helps to have a caregiver to offer cues that your mom should go to the bathroom and help her get to the toilet and use it in time.
Once you know your mom’s care needs, talk to an expert in Alzheimer’s care. It’s not a disease that progresses the same with everyone. Some will slowly progress for years, while others seem to rush from one stage to the next. Pay attention to your mom’s abilities and arrange Alzheimer’s care as soon as you notice she’s struggling with self-care and housekeeping.