Assessing Changes in Memory and Function


Center at Rock Creek, The

Posted on

Jun 29, 2021


Colorado - Northern Colorado

Share This
If you do not see an aging friend or relative often, changes in his or her health may seem dramatic. In contrast, the primary caregiver might not notice such changes or realize that more help, medical treatment, or supervision is needed. Or, the primary caregiver might not want to accept the fact that the health of his or her spouse or parent is failing. Sometimes a geriatric care manager or other professional is the first to notice changes.
To learn more about how to assess key changes that may relate to the onset of Alzheimers disease or another dementia from the National Institute on Aging.

Other Articles You May Like

7 Early Signs That Assisted Living May Be Your Best Choice

7 Early Signs That Assisted Living May Be Your Best ChoiceSeniors Are Living LongerIn the 1920s, the lifespan of the average American was just 58 years. But times were different. World War I had just ended in 1918. And by 1920, the world survived the Spanish flu pandemic, which killed 50 million people. The medical technology of that era seems barbaric by todays standards. And the leading causes of death were heart disease, pneumonia, and tuberculosis.By the 1950s, the average American lived to age 69.And todays average US lifespan is now 79 years. But that is just the average. Today there are more than 22 million Americans aged 75 or older. And there are almost 3 million aged 90 or older.Yes, we are living longer.However, our quality of living is not determined by our chronological age but by our physical, cognitive, and mental health. These factors determine our independence and the choices of where we live as we age.More than 90% of Americans want to age in place in the comfort of their home. That may be the best option for some. But for others, there might be safety issues like fall risks or worsening conditions like dementia or Alzheimers.If you are the caregiver for a senior loved one, how do you know when it is time to consider assisted living communities as the best option?Below are the most common 7 signs that assisted living may be your best choice.7 Early Signs Showing the Need for Assisted Living1. Declining HealthEven with state-of-the-art modern medicine, some health conditions will keep getting worse. Your senior loved one may have a chronic deteriorating health condition or the early stages of certain cognitive conditions. These are signs that they will eventually need more care than you can provide at home.According to the National Council on Aging, almost 80% of seniors over 65 suffer from two or more chronic and deteriorating conditions.And the leading causes of death among older adults in the U.S. are chronic diseases, like heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, Alzheimers disease, and diabetes.These diseases limit a persons ability to perform daily activities and cause them to lose their independence. Often, the care needed for these seniors is better provided in an assisted living setting. Even if you are willing to try and give this type of care at home, it may be time to let the trained staff at an assisted living community provide the best care for your loved one.2. Safety ConcernsYour loved ones may have increasing difficulty moving around their home due to declining physical health. Climbing stairs may become impossible. Taking a shower unaided might be too dangerous. According to The National Council On Aging, every 11 seconds, a senior receives emergency room treatment for a fall. The CDC states that 1 in 5 falls lead to serious injuries and bone fractures, with over 300,000 seniors being hospitalized for hip fractures every year. And, falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries in the US.Decreasing cognitive ability adds to the safety concern for your senior loved one. Alzheimers and other types of dementia can cause confusion, loss of memory, and increasing difficulty functioning without supervision. It is one thing to forget where the TV remote is. It is another to forget to turn off the stove or running bathwater. Increasing safety concerns are a significant sign to consider the assisted living alternative.3. IsolationMany seniors live alone and become isolated as they age. Their family may live far away. Physical factors like hearing impairment, the inability to drive, no close-by neighbors, and no social network can result in the senior becoming detached and isolated.Social isolation is a significant risk factor for early mortality and a worsening factor for chronic diseases, cognitive decline, and dementia.Even though you may want to be there for your aging senior, many times, jobs, geography, and other obligations make it impossible for you and your family members to visit often and consistently.According to AARP, signs of isolation include withdrawal, poor nutrition, worsening living conditions, and poor hygiene. Assisted living communities offer robust programs to keep your senior loved one engaged in a community setting and enjoying the best possible lifestyle.4. Increasing Difficulty Managing Daily TasksIs it becoming harder and harder for your senior loved one to perform routine daily tasks?Do they cook healthy meals with fresh foods, or is their diet becoming more and more microwave TV dinners? Do they keep up with daily showering or bathing, brushing their teeth, and shampooing their hair? Are they in a good mood, neat, and well-groomed? Or do they struggle and look more and more disheveled?Healthcare professionals call these basic day-to-day self-care tasks Activities of Daily Living. Your senior loved ones ability or inability to perform these tasks is a measurement used by healthcare professionals for assessing the ability to remain independent.ADLsBasic ADLs are self-care activities routinely performed, such as:Having the basic mobility to get from one place to the other throughout the day, which includes walking and getting in and out of a chair or bedMaintaining personal hygiene, grooming, and oral careShowering and bathingToiletingDressing, which includes selecting and putting on appropriate clothingSelf-feedingPerforming these ADLs usually takes longer and is a little more difficult as people age. Some health issues like a fall or stroke can make these daily tasks even harder to perform.Research shows that about two-thirds of Americans over 65 need assistance with day-to-day activities such as eating, bathing, cooking, and moving around. And almost half of seniors aged 85 or older have Alzheimers or another type of dementia. These cognitive conditions result in the senior eventually becoming wholly dependent on others for medical care and daily needs.While these tasks become more difficult for your senior loved one at home, trained assisted living staff can help with any of these needs.5. Self-NeglectWhen seniors cannot keep up with their ADLs, they often experience self-neglect. If you ever notice your loved one with greasy hair, dirty or long fingernails, or possibly needing deodorant, these are all signs for concern.Unfortunately, poor hygiene often results in seniors being unable to perform ADLs, but unwilling to ask for help.Other signs of self-neglect often include:Weight lossInadequate food in the houseUnopened mailClutter in the houseUnwashed dishesFailure to take needed medicationsPets seeming neglectedSelf-neglect is a serious health concern and is a bright red flag that your senior needs help with their ADLs. Assisted living communities are designed to ensure that self-neglect does not happen. They provide seniors with all the assistance needed to live a dignified and fulfilling life.6. Trouble With Bills and FinancesAfter decades of taking care of their own bills and finances, you might notice your senior loved one now has trouble with these activities. Forgetfulness and memory issues are often the early signals of cognitive difficulties.Besides health issues, these cognitive issues make seniors the target of financial fraud and abuse.Financial scams targeting the elderly are widespread and growing. According to the FBIs Elder Fraud Report, in 2021, there were 92,371 elder fraud victims, resulting in $1.7 billion in losses. This was a 74% increase from 2020.If you believe your senior loved one was scammed, contact the Department of Justices Elder Justice Initiative.7. House Upkeep IssuesWhen a senior has difficulty with their day-to-day activities, it is almost impossible for them to stay current with house upkeep and maintenance.Signs of upkeep issues include:Unkempt lawnsUnrepaired torn screensClutter throughout the houseUnswept floors and unvacuumed rugsMold and peeling paintBurned-out light bulbsAssisted living communities relieve seniors from the burden of home maintenance. Seniors can concentrate on living their best life in a safe, gorgeous, well-designed unit and leave all the maintenance hassles and worries to someone else.Your Next Best StepChoosing whether to age at home or move to an assisted living community is a big decision and can seem overwhelming.While most seniors want to age in place at home, sometimes an assisted living community is a better choice for health, well-being, and living the best life possible.Florida Senior Consulting helps seniors decide their next best steps.We have certified staff, licensed nurse advocates, and decades of experience in the field. We are a Florida-based company with expert knowledge of the Florida senior market. While senior options can seem confusing, this is all we do.Senior living should be on your terms, and the choice should always be yours.Let us help. Call us, and we will answer all your questions and help you decide what is best for you or your senior loved one.For peace of mind, call us at (941) 661-6196 or visit us at

Veranda Club

At Veranda Club, we offer several different senior living options to ensure that our residents can enjoy the amenities they want and the assistance they need. We eliminate unwanted chores and home-related obligations like yard work and home maintenance so that our residents have the freedom to experience life both inside and outside of the community. Veranda Club senior living offers upscale independent living for seniors alongside our more attentive and personalized assisted living lifestyle options. To learn more or to schedule a free tour, call our Senior Lifestyle Counselors at (561) 448-4321.Visit our business at: 6061 Palmetto Circle N, Boca Raton, FL, 33433, USAHours of operation: Monday-Sunday: 8AM6PM, Appointments are encouraged for toursLearn more: Retirement communities in Boca Raton Florida Supervised independent living Senior assisted living Veranda Club assisted living Veranda Club independent living

Dementia and Staging

The Alzheimers Association uses a three stage approach for classification of dementia, including mild, moderate, and severe. Understanding these varying stages can make it easier to provide support, know what to anticipate, and prevent caregiver burnout. In dementias mild or early stage, most people can do things for themselves, are able to drive, and participate in favorite activities. However, they may require assistance with some activities and cues or reminders for keeping appointments or remembering words and names. They may also need help maintaining familiar routines, managing household bills, grocery shopping, or preparing full meals. Fluctuations often start early and happen throughout all stages.The moderate or middle stage of dementia is usually accompanied by difficulty with immediate recall, logic, situational memory, language, and organization. New daily care needs may arise when routine isnt enough. An individual may have more difficulty starting and completing tasks in order. There may also be more repeated comments or questions about the situation. They may experience confusion, depression, anxiety, agitation, irritability, suspiciousness, and repetitive behaviors. Sleep changes, physical and verbal outbursts, and wandering may occur. Loss of independence and privacy can be difficult. Instead of taking over, it may be beneficial to ask for their help or present steps in order with visual cues and participation praise.The severe or late stage is characterized by declines in environmental response, conversational skills, and movement control. Because of motor memory damage, most time will be spent resting. The persons immune system may weaken as the brain can shrink to 1/3 of its original size.Automatic movements like swallowing and eating can be challenging, and liquid can build in lungs. Infections or skin breakdown may result from poor nutrition. Repositioning, slow muscle movements, singing, playing music, or saying prayers may bring comfort and relaxation. Caregivers must read facial expressions, body language, and sounds to detect pain or discomfort due to a lack of communication.Dementia progresses differently for each individual, and their ability to function varies from week to week and day to day. Staging helps determine how much help and what kind of help loved ones may need. Its important to observe subtle changes and patterns and remain flexible as solutions may need to be adapted. Editors Note: This article was submitted by Michelle Pekich, Director of Marketing, for in-home care provider ComForCare Home Care. She may be reached at 724-759-7674 or by email at

Local Services By This Author

Center at Rock Creek, The

Rehabilitation Facilities 4880 Zeigler Road, Fort Collins, Colorado, 80528

This free listing made possible by Seniors BlueBook

Center at Rock Creek Assisted Living, The

Assisted Living 4880 Zeigler Road, Fort Collins, Colorado, 80528

Center at Rock Creek, The

Skilled Nursing 4880 Ziegler Road, Fort Collins, Colorado, 80528