Understanding Dementia Signs And The Need For Assisted Living

Posted on: 1 September 2016

Sometimes it's hard to recognize when an aging loved one has crossed the line between the need for some in-home supportive care and the need for an assisted living environment. If you're concerned about your family member's well-being and safety, you need to understand when it's time to take that next step. If he or she is showing signs of dementia, that's an important time to think about it. Here are a few of the things you should be attentive to.

The Effects On Daily Life

Sometimes the daily life changes are hard to spot because they happen progressively. That means you have time to adapt because the changes are subtle and slow. Some of the earliest things to watch for include things like short-term memory struggles that interfere with their ability to complete daily tasks. For example, forgetting to eat lunch or not remembering when their last meal was may be a real cause for concern.

Your loved one may also start recounting stories many times, forgetting that they have already shared that story with you in the past. Be attentive to this kind of repetition because it's important that you address it with ongoing treatment, including the potential for assisted living to help address cognitive changes.

The Changes in Motor Skills

As people age, conditions such as arthritis can affect fine motor skills and range of motion. However, when an aging loved one is showing signs of significant physical impairment and gross motor skill changes on just one side of the body, this can indicate anything from stroke to some degree of dementia. You'll need to be able to spot those signs to know when it's time for more extensive treatment such as an assisted living environment.

The Prevalence Of Mood Swings

Dementia can have a significant effect on a person's mood regulation. You may notice an affected loved one struggling with anger, sadness, frustration, and depression. Sometimes these mood changes can even happen several times throughout the day. Problems with cognition and memory can leave loved ones feeling like they have lost some degree of themselves or are losing their independence.

Understanding these early signs of dementia changes will help you to recognize when your loved one needs more attention and care. Sometimes, assisted living is the best option when this happens because it can help ensure that your family member is getting the care, treatment, and support that they need to stay safe. Don't let your loved one's insistence on independence interfere with your ability to spot dementia signs. The information here can help, as can a local assisted living facility, like United Methodist Village.