Hearing the news that your senior loved one has dementia might leave you shocked, or you may have seen this coming for a long time. Either way, it’s normal to feel confused about how to proceed after you get a professional diagnosis. These six questions will help you start a dialogue with your loved one and his or her physician to put together a personalized care plan.
1. Does My Loved One Understand & Accept the Dementia Diagnosis?
Seniors are sometimes reluctant to accept they have dementia. Your loved one may also be too far along in the progression of the disease to fully understand what the diagnosis means. The doctor can help you figure out if your loved one is truly unable to understand his or her health status or if he or she is in denial. You can then use this information to find ways to help your loved one handle the diagnosis.
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional caregivers. 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 senior care Kingwood, TX, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
2. Does My Loved One Have a Specific Type of Dementia?
Dementia is best described as an umbrella diagnosis, which means it’s more of an understanding that your loved one has a collection of symptoms that may have different underlying causes. Knowing if your loved one has vascular dementia or a mixed type can help you be better able to predict the course of the disease.
3. What Other Disorders Did You Rule Out?
There are many other disorders that can mimic the symptoms of dementia. For instance, a sleep disorder could cause your loved one to be forgetful during the day and exhibit negative behaviors. Depression can also cause symptoms that are similar. Ask your loved one’s doctor about the different tests he or she ran to arrive at the diagnosis. This can help you identify coexisting disorders, and you’ll feel more confident about the diagnosis when you understand how the medical staff arrived at their conclusion.
4. What Stage of Dementia Is My Loved One In?
There are several stages of dementia that have defining characteristics. Although it’s common for seniors to be in between stages, it helps you to know how to plan for their care when you know what to expect. A senior who is in the middle to late stages will naturally need a higher level of care provided in the home.
A professional caregiver trained in dementia care can be a fantastic source of support for you and your loved one. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Kingwood 24-hour care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life.
5. Can We Slow Down the Progression?
There are still many reasons to feel hopeful after a dementia diagnosis. Your loved one may be able to make lifestyle changes to slow down the progression of the disease or need special medication to maintain his or her cognitive functioning. Your loved one can also exercise and change his or her diet to prolong functioning.
6. What Are Our Next Steps?
Your loved one is entering a new phase in life, and your family needs to know what to do next to help him or her navigate the way. Asking about your next steps helps you set up a schedule for regular doctor visits. Your loved one may also need your family to hire a home caregiver as the condition progresses.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner in caregiving for your aging loved one. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at 832-412-1345 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.