Dementia Diagnosis: What’s Next?
Dementia is a progressive diagnosis that generally affects senior citizens. While there are risk factors that may contribute to the early onset of this disease, there is no definitive cause, and almost anyone can be affected at any time. Unfortunately, there is no cure for dementia. But it is important to remember to stay positive after diagnosis and focus on what you can do going forward, including choosing live in home care.
Regardless of the situation, families need a strong support system in place when you or your loved one is diagnosed with dementia. At Senior Helpers Boston, we strive to provide you with dementia care essentials for the whole family as you journey through the future with your loved one.
Hearing the Dementia Diagnosis
When your loved one is diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's, it is scary. This is why our approach is to make sure that everyone feels comfortable, safe, and happy as they move forward from the diagnosis.
It requires you to consider how you will move forward. You can choose around the clock care in a facility or to care for your loved one as they age in place. Our hope is that you will choose to let them age in place. It is the option that will be most rewarding for you both!
Coping With Dementia
You need to understand that it is an umbrella diagnosis that means there are memory and cognitive issues for your loved one. It is an illness, so there are medications that can help control it, but it does not go away. Luckily, there are several things you can do as a live in home care provider to cope with dementia and help your loved one through "bad days.” These things include:
Make the Most of Good Days. If caught early, your loved one will likely have good days or bad ones. They may have times that their memory is clear, such as early in the day when they are well-rested. When you know your loved one is doing well, you should use that time wisely. This means trying to get them to talk about care wishes, make out a will, or give power of attorney to someone they trust. This is also a great time to make memories with your loved one. Encourage them to tell you stories, work on projects, and more.
Ask for Help. A diagnosis of dementia is not something that just affects the patient. It is an illness that affects the entire family. You can be the primary caregiver, but you still need to make time for yourself while providing consistent senior care. As the disease progresses, caregivers often feel stressed, depressed, isolated, and much more. Seeking help from family, a 24-hour home care service, or church groups can take some pressure off you.
Live for Today. It is possible for you to emotionally bond with your loved one, even if they are experiencing mood swings. When they are confused about a past event, encourage them to laugh it off. If they are scared, urge them to refocus on other things. You can also help them do things that they love doing. For instance, if they love gardening, now is a great time for you to plant with them. It will keep them focused, and they will feel in control.
Establish Routines. By setting up a routine for you and your loved one, you will notice that things become more relaxed.
When to Ask for More Help
Providing senior companionship doesn't have to be overwhelming. You should know that it is okay to ask for help — if not from friends or family, then from a live-in home care person.
If you live near Boston or the surrounding area, Senior Helpers is here for you and your loved one. Simply contact us, and we will guide you in turning this difficult experience into something positive for you and your loved one.