An Alzheimer’s diagnosis is life changing for senior adults and their families, and it is common to be caught up in a wide range of emotions. While it is true that there is not yet a cure available for Alzheimer’s disease, there are many things that can be done to help a senior loved one throughout the slow progression of the illness. Begin by getting informed. Talk to your loved one’s doctors and understand the stage of his or her disease and its associated symptoms. Then, take these steps to help your family move forward post-diagnosis.
Educate Other Family Members
Following a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, it is important for all members of the family to understand what types of symptoms and medical care your loved one will experience. If your loved one will receive care from an hourly or live-in caregiver, emphasize the importance of maintaining your loved one’s routine. Also, teach everyone in the family how to help your loved one handle memory lapses, frustration and confusion as their disease progresses.
Get Legal Documentation of All Decisions
The early stages of Alzheimer’s are the best time to make serious decisions about how your loved one would prefer his or her care to be managed if unable to speak for his or herself. Begin by asking about your loved one’s preferences, and then make sure to prepare advanced directives. These documents, such as a living will and durable power of attorney, can be used to legally enforce your loved one’s decisions about end-of-life care.
Plan for Long-Term Care
Today, many seniors with Alzheimer’s are able to live independently longer than ever before. However, the majority of seniors will need additional support to ensure their wellbeing. If your loved one prefers to live in his or her home for as long as possible, consider professional Alzheimer’s care in Centennial. An experienced caregiver can promote a safe living environment, assist with meal preparation, and provide transportation to medical appointments among other things.
Find a Support Group
Supporting a loved one with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be stressful for the caregivers. Families can use this time to reach out to others who have similar experiences. In every community, support groups are available that can provide a welcome place to ask questions, share frustration, and provide encouragement throughout each stage of Alzheimer’s.
If you are interested in learning more about Alzheimer’s care or would like help managing your love one’s care needs, call Home Care Assistance of Centennial at 303.957.3100. A trusted Care Manager can schedule a complimentary in-home consultation and discuss our comprehensive Alzheimer’s care plans.