How do family members deal with an aging loved one who is losing more and more memory?
It looks very difficult, up to and including the moment when driving privileges are removed and frustration, guilt and anger intensify. Then the decision about home safety, nutrition and hygiene followed by assisted living and/or an extended care facility and/or hospice. It looks like a downhill course toward the patient's ultimate demise. How do families know what to do?
Family Physicians often become facilitators for families, while evaluating the patient for their ability to perform their Activities of Daily Living (ADL's) and their Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL's).
From "Activities of Daily Living: What are ADLs and IADLs" by Gilbert Guide on Caring.com:
Activities of Daily Living: Hygiene (bathing, grooming, shaving and oral care), Continence (urine and/or stool), Dressing, Eating ( feeding oneself), Toileting (using a restroom), Transferring (e.g., going from a seated to standing position and getting in and out of bed).
"In an assisted living facility, the amount of help one needs with ADLs determines the resident's needed level of care. Typically, the cost of care for each individual is based on the level of care he or she requires.
IADLs are more nuanced and complex social activities than ADLs. IADLs can include, but are not limited to:
- Finding and utilizing resources (looking up phone numbers, using a telephone, making and keeping doctors appointments)
- Driving or arranging travel (either by public transportation,... or private car)
- Preparing meals (opening containers, using kitchen equipment)
- Shopping (getting to stores and purchasing necessities like food or clothing)
- Doing housework (doing laundry, cleaning up spills and maintaining a clean living space)
- Managing medication (taking prescribed dosages at correct times and keeping track of medications)
- Managing finances (basic budgeting, paying bills and writing checks)"