Getting the news that a senior loved one has been diagnosed with dementia can be difficult. This family guide provides tips on what to prepare for after the dementia diagnosis of a senior loved one: from making necessary adjustments, such as changes in communication styles and modifications to their living environment, to planning for the future.
Understand the Facts of Dementia
Learning about dementia is the first step in preparing for a loved one with the diagnosis. Know the different types and causes of dementia and how it can be managed. Find out what support systems are available to your family, such as respite services, home healthcare agencies, and support groups. Knowing these will help you make better-informed decisions for your senior parent.
Adjust your Care Practices and Finances
As you learn more about dementia, you will make adjustments to the care plan. This could include reconsidering the home environment to make it safer and more accessible for them to navigate. From a financial perspective, it is essential to anticipate future costs and research potential funding sources such as long-term care insurance or government programs for seniors with dementia.
Get Support from Community Resources
Another important thing to prepare for after a dementia diagnosis of the senior patient is to reach out to a local support network for advice and guidance for caring for your loved one with dementia. Having a strong community of supportive people around you can help alleviate the stress of caregiving. In addition, look into resources such as caregiver-support groups, respite care services, financial assistance programs, and recreational activities specifically designed for seniors with dementia.
Find Educational Activities to Help Maintain Mental Wellbeing
When dementia is diagnosed, it can be challenging to identify the best ways to keep a loved one’s mental health up. Participating in educational activities such as art therapy, music therapy, or puzzles and games can help to engage them mentally, maintain their awareness and stimulate the brain. These activities increase the quality of life while positively influencing a person’s mood and mind, which are essential components of dementia caregiving.
Hire an In-Home Caregiver who can Provide Quality Dementia Care
Hiring an in-home caregiver experienced in dementia care is integral to caring for your senior loved one, especially if you or no family member can’t be a full-time caregiver. This ensures patient safety. An in-home caregiver provides one-on-one dementia care and companionship. In addition, they help with healthy meal preparation and medication management and, if possible, accompany your senior loved one when going outdoors or visiting a doctor.