After your senior loved one is diagnosed with dementia, you may feel uncertain about what to do next. Navigating a dementia diagnosis can be challenging for both you and your loved one, so it’s best to have a plan. Here are seven strategies you can use to manage a dementia diagnosis.
1. Tell Others About the Diagnosis
Seniors recently diagnosed with dementia may be hesitant to share the news with others. The task of telling friends and family often falls to the caregiver. When sharing a dementia diagnosis, be prepared to answer questions and offer compassion. Friends and family members may not know how to react at first, and you should give them the space they need to come to terms with the revelation.
Dementia is one of the most serious health issues older adults are susceptible to. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Waterloo home care company you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.
2. Talk to Your Loved One’s Doctor
When navigating a new dementia diagnosis, you need to become as informed as possible. Talking to your loved one’s doctor is one of the best ways to learn about dementia. The medical practitioner can help you understand how the condition will progress and give you specific treatment guidelines. You should feel comfortable talking to your loved one’s doctor, as he or she will be an important source of information.
3. Do Research
After talking to the doctor, it’s time to do some research. Read books on dementia such as The 36-Hour Day by Nancy Mace, and seek out pamphlets and resources from local dementia centers. Support groups are also helpful, as they provide new dementia caregivers with the assistance they need as they navigate their loved one’s diagnosis.
4. Understand Insurance
You also need to consider the financial realities of the situation. Find out what provisions your loved one’s insurance plan makes for dementia, and take a look at his or her finances.
5. Change Your Approach to Care
After a dementia diagnosis, you may reflect on the prior months, realizing you reacted in frustration or anger to behavior caused by dementia. Now that the diagnosis is known, you should change the way you interact with your loved one. Don’t try to argue with your loved one, as people with dementia can’t follow a logical train of thought. Be on the lookout for situations that trigger feelings of anxiety or fear, as it may provide a better understanding of your loved one’s condition and allow you to help him or her mitigate these negative feelings.
Consider hiring a professional dementia caregiver if you’re having difficulty caring for your senior loved one. Find out how a Waterloo, ON, caregiver can help your senior loved one enjoy a higher quality of life by reaching out to Home Care Assistance. All of our professional respite and live-in caregivers are trained in comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care, and they can also assist seniors with basic daily tasks like exercise, cooking, bathing, and light housekeeping.
6. Use Memory Aids
Establish patterns that help your loved one remember. Consider using a system of sticky notes on the refrigerator to remind your loved one to complete basic tasks like feeding the dog or doing 20 minutes of exercise. You can also set alarms to remind your loved one to take medication.
7. Cherish the Time Spent with Your Loved One
After a dementia diagnosis, the condition will continue to progress. Treasure the time you have with your loved one right after the diagnosis. While research and preparation are important, you should strive to make new, positive memories with your loved one while he or she is in the early stages of the disease.
Many families have no experience in specialized home care for seniors, which can make life a bit more challenging when an elderly loved one is diagnosed with dementia. The Waterloo, ON, dementia care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. We designed a program called the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, which uses mentally engaging activities to slow the progression of dementia, and all of our live-in and respite caregivers are expertly trained in dementia care. To learn about our high-quality in-home care plans, call one of our professional Care Managers at (519) 954-2111 today.