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Never Forget - Memory Care for Aging Seniors and Veterans



NEVER FORGET - a powerful phrase in November. As we honor our nation's veterans and the memory of the brave soldiers who served our country, let's look at preserving their physiological memories as well. A failing memory is a frustrating and disheartening outcome of aging, and a difficult topic for many seniors as forgetfulness seems more common. Mental deterioration is often worsened with the onset of Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. Veterans may have further challenges stemming from past traumatic events or sustained mental pressures, so it's important to check in on your older family.


The good news is that specialized memory care programs are available, which help your elderly family members live safely and meaningfully with supervision and guidance. Many of these programs are offered both in-house and in secure residential communities. As a caregiver, it's useful for you to recognize when memory care would be beneficial for your loved one and have the resources to access it.


When should I seek a memory care consultation?

Although memory loss is expected as we age, it's highly recommended to monitor the extent of the symptoms and consult your physician if necessary. Forgetting minor events or difficulty recalling long-past memories are consistent with general memory loss. The effects may be more severe for military veterans, often coupled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or variants of anxiety or depression. Here are a few symptoms that may need a more thorough examination for medical concerns:

  • Forgetting significant events (e.g. weddings, birthdays, etc.)

  • Inability to recognize family or friends

  • Regular or intense episodes of confusion

  • Paranoia, psychosis or neuroticism

  • Lack of spatial or temporal awareness

  • Regularly trailing off topic

If you notice any of these symptoms or you find your senior having challenges in their living space, the possibility of a more serious mental illness increases and you should consider booking a consultation with a primary care physician or senior care manager who can guide you toward the right resources for your loved ones.


What are the options for memory care?

For patients with mild dementia or early signs of Alzheimer's who are still deemed to be high functioning, some families can opt to receive in-home support. Many senior centers and retirement facilities also offer trained staff to provide basic care to low concern patients.


There are also specialized memory care centers just a short drive from South Bay, where more progressive dementia patients can enjoy a fully supported lifestyle. It helps your loved one thrive in a safe and guided space where they can live peacefully. These centers are designed for 24/7 care with regular check-ins, daily activities, fitness, food and medication that are tailored for memory care patients. Memory care communities can be a great option for veterans, as the trained staff can help with additional mental stresses and emergency care, in case of traumatic episodes.


Memory care focuses on a nurturing and holistic approach to the resident lifestyle, which includes:

  • Physical activity to help limit the effects of cognitive decline

  • Social connection to stimulate community interaction and maintain relationships

  • Personalized care to ensure each patient gets the attention they need

  • Safe spaces to make the resident feel secure, comfortable and independent

Costs for both options vary significantly based on the required level of care, location and accessibility, support availability and other factors. A senior care manager can make the process much smoother by conducting a quick assessment of your situation and shop around their network to offer you the most valuable and affordable memory care plan.


So should I enroll my aging family member in memory care?

If your loved ones are not showing any serious signs or symptoms of memory failure, then it isn't immediately necessary to seek memory care services. A regular consultation with a primary care physician will help identify leading indicators to memory loss or mental diseases and can help guide patients toward the required specialists. It's also useful to plan ahead for potential memory deterioration by discussing and creating a holistic care plan with your senior care manager.


As an elder care manager in Torrance and the South Bay area, I have helped many families assess, plan and evaluate options for their loved ones who may need specialized memory care. Schedule a free initial consultation with me, or call (424)333-0081 to learn more about making senior living easier.


Please note this article is for informational purposes and based on personal opinion. Age Well South Bay LLC does not endorse or promote any product or service discussed on this page unless expressly stated. For any questions, please contact blanca@agewellsouthbay.com

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