When your loved one's independence becomes more of a hazard than a help, you may find yourself considering supportive care options. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to know where the line is between in-home support and an assisted living environment. If your loved one is showing any signs of early dementia, you'll want to consider assisted living. If you're not familiar with the early indications of dementia onset, here's what you should know.

Significant Mood Changes

Dementia can alter a person's personality, judgement and mood. You may start to notice persistent signs of depression, anger, sadness and frustration from your loved one. In fact, dementia can cause a mixture of these emotions on any given day as your family member struggles with coordination problems, cognitive declines and other struggles. Any significant change in personality of an older family member is sufficient cause for a general health exam.

Subtle Changes in Daily Life

Dementia is progressive, so it often begins with subtle symptoms that can be easy to overlook. Some of the first signs of dementia start with short-term memory issues. You might find that your family member can't remember why he or she went from one room to another or if they had lunch that day. Other symptoms include difficulties remembering new people or recent experiences.

You might also start to notice that you're hearing the same stories or comments over and over again. If this persists for more than a week or two, it's important to consider early dementia care and possible assisted living, because the repetition is an early indication of changes in cognitive processing and memory function.

Gradual Loss of Motor Skills

Arthritis and other conditions that occur in advanced age can lead to some reduction in fine motor skills. However, if your loved one is showing sudden problems with fine motor skills, particularly on one side of the body or the other, it might be an indication of a more serious medical concern, from dementia to stroke. It's essential to be aware of these subtle changes, especially if he or she isn't good at communicating when something happens.

Deciding to move a loved one into an assisted living facility isn't always easy, but in most cases, it's the right choice for your family member's safety and well-being. It's a particularly good choice for those who are showing signs of dementia, because the progression of the condition can be a serious safety risk. The more attentive you are to these signs, the easier it will be to know when your loved one is ready for a senior living environment.

For more information, contact a company like Crimson Ridge Meadows.