Deciding whether or not to place a loved one suffering from dementia in an assisted living facility can be both difficult and conflicting. Of course, you want to do what is right for your loved one and ensure that they receive the highest quality of care possible. Finding a trusted Denver memory care facility that is right for the specific needs of your family members can make all the difference in the quality of life that they are able to enjoy for the remainder of their lives.

There are certain stages of dementia that require advanced, around-the-clock care that most individual caregivers are simply not capable of providing by themselves. This is why it is so important to make a timely decision that is made in the interest of your loved one.

If you have a family member who is suffering from dementia, then it’s critical for everyone involved to understand the different stages of their condition that a patient will display as it progresses to determine when the time is right for 24-hour care.

The Different Stages of Dementia

Dementia is a debilitating and degenerative condition that progresses significantly with time. Each patient struggling with dementia will experience their own unique combination of symptoms and progress at their own individual pace. However, there are many commonalities that have been found during the various stages of dementia.

During the early stages of dementia, many patients live a relatively normal life but will begin to experience more sporadic forgetfulness and momentary lapses in their typical cognitive behavior. This may have a minor impact on their everyday life, and they will usually remain in their homes.

However, as the condition progresses, the patient’s symptoms will become more noticeable and begin affecting their ability to perform more of the everyday tasks that they had been accustomed to performing. Symptoms such as memory loss, confusion, and difficulty reasoning begin to increase and become more prominent, which can substantially affect their quality of life. At this point, it is often recommended to consider memory care.

During the final stages of dementia, the symptoms become ever-frequent and more severe, which typically requires constant care. Limited cognitive function and physical abilities usually demand a level of care that a single caregiver is unable to provide at the patient’s home.

When Are the Signals That a Dementia Patient Needs Memory Care?

With a progressively degenerative disease such as dementia, there are almost always warning signs that present themselves during the early stages. These signals can help you prepare for the road that lies ahead for your loved one.

Here are some of the common signs for when you should consider an assisted living facility:

  • Mental State: It may be time to consider an assisted living or memory care facility when the patient begins to struggle with noticeable changes in personality and mood, memory loss and forgetfulness, increased irritation and agitation, paranoia, isolation, or hallucinations.
  • Physical Health: Deteriorating physical health is one of the most prominent warning signs of dementia. Weight loss, poor nutrition due to forgetting to eat or take medications, and decreased coordination or control of various movements can be telling factors as well.
  • Ability to Perform Daily Living Activities: Many patients will struggle with basic personal hygiene, forget to eat and take their medication, get lost or confused around the house, and encounter simple mobility issues that prevent them from performing the daily activities that they had grown accustomed to doing on their own.
  • Safety Concerns: The leading concern is always the safety and well-being of the person dealing with dementia. Many patients will wander off for extended periods of time, leave appliances on, experience falls, and other signs that put their own physical safety at risk.
  • Caregiver Burden: As the patient’s condition progresses and their needs begin to significantly increase, it places added stress and fatigue on their caregiver.

In general, the sooner, the better it is for a dementia patient to move into an assisted living and memory care facility to help them manage their symptoms, maintain a higher quality of life for as long as possible, and prevent the condition from progressing as rapidly. This will often leave both the patient and their caregiver with less stress.


Q: When Is the Best Time to Move Someone With Dementia?

A: Typically, it is recommended to move a person struggling with dementia before they have reached the final stages of dementia. Before the symptoms become more severe and require around-the-clock care, such as with limited cognitive function and physical abilities that demand a level of care that a single caregiver is unable to provide at the patient’s home.

Q: How Long Can a Person with Dementia Live at Home?

A: There are a wide variety of factors that determine how long a person with dementia can continue to live at home. Each individual case of dementia is unique, as are the resources available to each patient. Some patients see their condition deteriorate rapidly and need to be moved to a memory care facility after just a year or two, while others progress slowly and can have in-home care that can satisfy their individual needs for 20 or more years.

Q: What Are the Three Golden Rules of Dementia?

A: The three golden rules of dementia are as follows: don’t ask direct questions, listen to the person with dementia (and learn from them), and don’t try to contradict them.

Q: What Are the Signs that Dementia Is Progressing?

A: Although there are typically many signs that dementia can be progressing in a person, the following are common signs that should be carefully observed: declining mental state, deteriorating physical health, decreased ability to perform basic daily living activities, concerns regarding their physical safety, and an increased burden to their primary caregiver.

If you have a family member who is suffering from dementia and in need of a new home, Rocky Mountain Assisted Living is here to help you during this emotional transition. Our memory care facility and experienced staff can provide the 24-hour care and support that your loved one needs as they transition through the later stages of the disease. Feel free to give us a call or schedule a tour of our facility to see how we can help.