Dementia is often referred to as a “family disease” because the condition inevitably impacts the entire family. When a senior loved one is diagnosed with dementia, the family should provide all the love and support he or she requires. However, family members shouldn’t ignore their own emotional needs. Here are a few ways to stay positive after your loved one receives a dementia diagnosis.
Support Your Loved One and Other Family Members
After a life-altering diagnosis, some people bury their emotions. To remain positive, it’s best to confront the situation head on. Ask your loved one how he or she is feeling. Some seniors don’t want to talk about it, while others may need a shoulder to cry on. Regardless, demonstrate your willingness to help.
In the early days following a dementia diagnosis, turn to other family members for comfort. While sadness shouldn’t be prioritized, you don’t have to neglect your own emotional health either. Some families may want to call a meeting to discuss the issue, while others may prefer discussing the situation one on one. If grandkids are involved, give them the space, support, and information they need to process the news.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. Kingwood families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
Help Your Loved One Find New Priorities
Being proactive can keep spirits high after a dementia diagnosis. Helping your loved one discover new and fulfilling activities is one of the best ways to be proactive. After a dementia diagnosis, many seniors feel defeated, as though the disease has fundamentally changed who they are as a person. Remind your loved one that this simply isn’t true. Research dementia-friendly modifications to your loved one’s favorite activities, and find brain-boosting exercises to stave off cognitive decline. If you devise a plan for living a fulfilling post-diagnosis life, it can raise the spirits of your loved one and the rest of the family.
Take Care of Practical Matters
After the diagnosis, you also need to be proactive about practical matters. When legal, financial, and healthcare matters are settled, it provides peace of mind to seniors and family members alike. These issues, which range from pension plans to living wills, can be sources of anxiety, especially if they’re not addressed until the late stages of dementia. Tackling them early on gives your loved one the chance to shape his or her own care plan, and it reduces familial stress.
Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Kingwood, TX, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
Develop Caregiving and Self-Care Strategies
After emotions have settled and practical matters have been addressed, it’s time to do some research. Discover effective strategies for managing dementia-related behaviors and providing high-quality care. While it may be months or years before you need to employ these strategies, it’s good to know how to communicate effectively with a person who has dementia. As your loved one starts to forget words, repeat phrases, or experience sensory overstimulation, you’ll know what to do.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly care Kingwood, TX, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your aging parent, give us a call at 832-412-1345 today.