Clover Care Corner

Tuesday, Aug. 15th 2017

Dementia Assisted Living – When to Choose A Home

At what stage of dementia do families of people in Kansas City choose a dementia assisted living facility for their loved ones? Defining the stage of the disease in your loved one helps physicians and caregivers determine more specific needs. Sometimes the stage of dementia is referred to as “early stage”, “middle stage” or “late-stage”, but often a more exact stage is assigned, based on a person’s symptoms. According to the Global Deterioration Scale for Assessment of Primary Degenerative Dementia (GDS) (also known as the Reisberg Scale) staging scales, which divides the disease process into seven stages based on the amount of cognitive decline, dementia assisted living is usually required by the mid-stage, when people require extensive assistance to carry out daily activities.

Seniors start to forget names of close family members and have little memory of recent events but remember details and events of earlier life. They have difficulty counting down from 10 and finishing tasks. Incontinence (loss of bladder or bowel control) is a problem in this stage. There may be profound personality changes, such as delusions, compulsions or anxiety and agitation may occur. The progression of this stage leads to inability to speak or communicate, and assistance is required with most activities (e.g., using the toilet, eating). People in this stage often lose psycho-motor skills, for example, the ability to walk. This stage usually lasts about 2 ½ years.

Another staging method sometimes used to describe the progression of dementia and helpful in determining when dementia assisted living may be necessary is the Functional Assessment Staging (FAST), which focuses more on an individual’s level of functioning and activities of daily living versus cognitive decline. Using this scale, a person may be at a different stage cognitively (GDS stage) and functionally (FAST stage).

The third most common scale used to determine when dementia assisted living is required is the The Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scale: a five-stage system based on cognitive abilities and the individual’s ability to function. This scale is commonly used in dementia research.   

While many seniors and caregivers would prefer to stay at home, an assisted living community offers benefits that aren’t always available to aging adults who remain in their homes.

We encourage families to get their older loved ones as involved as possible in the decisions  to choose dementia assisted living. If your loved one is too frail or too afflicted with memory loss to participate in the decision making process or to visit communities with you, carefully consider his or her personality and preferences, rather than your own, as you consider all the options.When you are at the point where you must select a dementia assisted living community for your loved one, Clover Care Home offers a tour and is available to answer your questions and make suggestions to help define your loved ones’ needs and meet their requirements. Please give us a call today or check out our website.


The care our mom has received at Clover Care has been nothing short of exceptional. The country setting helps to add to the inviting atmosphere in which our mom has thrived. The staff is always friendly, knowledgeable and caring. Clover Care has made a difficult situation seem like a natural transition in life. We would recommend it to anyone looking for long term care of a loved one.

- Jeanne D. & Vicki L.

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