A diagnosis of dementia can be devastating for seniors and their loved ones. Dementia can cause cognitive decline that can affect all aspects of life. This can require changes in living arrangements and the assistance of a caregiver. If your loved one was recently diagnosed with dementia, you can alleviate some of the stress and be prepared for the challenges that lie ahead by creating a plan.
Educate Yourself about Dementia
The first thing you need to do is to educate yourself about the specific type of dementia your loved one has. Different forms of dementia progress in different ways. The type of care required will depend on the form of dementia your loved one has and any other medical issues. The Alzheimer’s Association is a good resource with information and support for family members of people with dementia.
Evaluate the Current Situation
Assess the current situation and seek out help for problems your family is currently experiencing. A social worker or expert on dementia might be able to help with issues such as communication, confusion, emotional responses to frustration, medication, money management, and safety concerns. Figure out whether it is safe for your loved one to live alone now or whether he or she would be better off in an assisted living facility or living with a family member. Think about whether that is a viable long-term solution and what will happen if circumstances change in the future. Consider possible changes in circumstances that might force you to change the living arrangements.
Begin to Plan for the Future
It is important to begin making plans for your loved one’s future care as soon as possible. If your family member is able, have conversations about issues such as power of attorney and authorizing you or another family member to handle financial and medical decisions. Ask your loved one about his or her preferences as far as issues such as future living arrangements. Check your family member’s insurance coverage to find out what resources are available. Also look into government programs and other sources of funding.
Take Care of Yourself
Being a caregiver for someone with dementia is stressful. Be sure to take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat right, exercise, and take time to relax. You can’t take care of a loved one if you don’t take care of yourself.
A Caregiver from Dependable Care Can Help
Dependable Care can help you care for a loved one with dementia. Our caregivers can provide a wide range of services, including help with cooking, cleaning, laundry, errands, medication reminders, and personal care such as toileting, bathing, and dressing. We can provide care for a few hours a week or several hours a day. To learn more about how Dependable Care can help your loved one with dementia, contact us today.