Receiving the news that an older family member has been diagnosed with the early stages of dementia is life-changing. Thinking through the various aspects and factors of the disease, both now as well as in the future, may be overwhelming.
Over the next few months, this three-part series will examine the early, middle and later stages of dementia. The blog posts will share information about care needed during each stage, what family caregivers should expect, and how Grace Home Care, a premier provider of respite care in Topeka, KS can help.
Early Stage Dementia Caregiving
If you’ve recently stepped into the role of being a caregiver for a family member in the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease, we have the help and the hope you will need. The first step is to take a deep breath and discover comfort in knowing you are not alone. There are more than 50 million people currently living with dementia across the globe, and ten million new diagnoses yearly.
It is also beneficial to realize that the beginning stage of dementia may last for some time, often with treatment options designed to slow the advancement of the disease. And, many older adults in the early stage are encountering minimal cognitive challenges – meaning you will have the opportunity to work together to put into place a plan that tackles all the older adult’s wishes associated with finances, legal matters, and long-term care.
Keeping that in mind, following are the changes you might expect both for your senior loved one and yourself.
Early Stage Dementia – Impact on the Senior Diagnosed:
- Becoming lost in familiar places
- Losing track of time
- Denial and/or fear
Can benefit from support and assistance with:
- Making and keeping appointments
- Financial management
- Recalling familiar places, words, and names
Early Stage Dementia – Impact on the Family Caregiver:
- Anxiety, stress, fear, and uncertainty as to what the future will hold
- Frustration, anger, and resentment
- A loss of control
- Grief, sadness, and hopelessness
- Denial and a feeling of disbelief
May benefit from:
- Prioritizing self-care: getting lots of rest, eating a balanced diet, exercising, and setting aside time for enjoyable activities
- Engaging the services of a mental health professional if needed
- Forming a network of family and friends who will be willing to help
- Finding and attending a support group (either online or in-person)
- Becoming educated on the disease, treatment options, and what to anticipate as it progresses
A knowledgeable and award-winning home care provider, like Grace Home Care, is an invaluable asset to family members caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Starting home care services now, in the earliest stage, is imperative to building trust and rapport with the older adult – a factor that will undoubtedly be essential as the dementia moves into subsequent stages. It also allows family caregivers the opportunity for ongoing, regularly scheduled breaks from care. Our professionally trained and experienced care experts are highly skilled and up to date on the most effective dementia care techniques.
We can also make available practical resources targeted to any particular challenges you are facing. Just contact us or give us a call at 785-286-2273 to learn more about our respite care in Topeka, KS and to request a complimentary in-home consultation. With Grace Home Care, you’re never alone; we are here to walk with you every step of the way.