An Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be difficult for the whole family to hear about, but having an official diagnosis makes it easier to plan for your aging family member’s future. Once the diagnosis is official, it is time to find treatment options and have some difficult discussions. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, you should consider taking these six steps.
1. Learn More About Alzheimer’s
To truly understand what this diagnosis means for you and your family, you’ll need to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease. The condition is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that causes a person to lose cognitive function and memory skills over the course of time. You can find out more about it by checking out the resources at the Alzheimer Society of Canada or by speaking to a doctor.
At this stage, you may want to consider professional in-home care for your elderly loved one. Winnipeg in-home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
2. Organize Finances and Records
You will need to have some discussions with your loved one to determine his or her legal and financial conditions. Now is a good time to get everything in order so your family can easily manage situations that may occur later on. You may want to discuss matters such as handing over power of attorney to someone.
3. Join a Support Group
An Alzheimer’s diagnosis can put mental and emotional stress on you and other family members. It is a good idea to talk to others in similar situations and learn about how other families are handling this type of diagnosis. There are support groups you and your loved one can attend together, and there are also groups strictly for family members of seniors with Alzheimer’s.
You can also consider respite care if you need assistance caring for your elderly loved one. In Winnipeg, MB, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family.
4. Take a Caregiving Class
Even if you do not plan to be the primary caregiver for your aging loved one, an informal caregiving class can be quite beneficial. Caregiving classes provide the basic skills you may need while interacting with your loved one in the future.
5. Make Home a Safer Place
It is a good idea to work on home safety after the diagnosis. Install timers on ovens, toasters, and other heating devices to prevent accidents. If your loved one takes a medication, consider getting an automatic dispenser. Your goal should be to make the house a safe place for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease to live in.
6. Talk About Plans for the Future
Seniors in the early stages of Alzheimer’s may not need much support, but cognitive decline is inevitable. Now is a good time to talk to your loved one about preferences once his or her condition has progressed. You may need to discuss whether your loved one needs an in-home caregiver, and you should also talk about the treatment options he or she is considering.
Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Winnipeg, MB, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place. If you want to create a customized Alzheimer’s home care plan for your aging loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (204) 489 6000 today.