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What to Do When Your Loved One is Diagnosed with Dementia

July 25, 2018
Categories: Planning

Take a Moment

Finding out a loved one is diagnosed with dementia can be overwhelming and even scary. After you and your loved one have talked with medical professionals to confirm the diagnosis, it’s important to pause a moment to give yourself time to process the news. There are many types of dementia and each of the memory loss diseases affects different people in different ways. Take time to accept the diagnosis with your loved one.

Educate Yourself

It’s important to understand the disease affecting your loved one to prepare for it the best way you can. There are plenty of resources out there for you and your loved one to learn more about dementia. Ask your doctor for advice on the best places to read up on the disease. They may suggest trusted sources including the National Institute on Aging and Alzheimer’s Association. You can also seek out local support groups to learn more about living with and caring for someone with dementia so you don’t feel alone in your loved one’s diagnosis.

Adjust Expectations

While dementia will progress differently depending on the type and the person it’s affecting, there are ultimately symptoms you can expect to see in someone with dementia. Adjust your mindset to accommodate for those changes. Read up on how to talk to a parent or loved one with dementia. Remember to be understanding, not frustrated, if your loved one forgets a cherished memory or familiar face. Don’t pressure your loved one to recall something or argue with them when they are confused. 

Make a Plan

In every part of your life, having a plan will better help you and your loved one live with dementia. Aim to create structure and schedules for your loved one so they can better predict what the day holds. Get affairs in order at the beginning of your loved one’s diagnosis so they can have a say in their future when it comes to medical, financial, and care decisions. Consider taking steps such as gaining power of attorney so your loved one knows someone they trust is seeing to their wellbeing. 

Care for Yourself, Too

As you embark on this journey with your loved one, remember to take care of yourself, too. Ensuring the comfort of your loved one may be your top priority, but don’t prioritize their care at the price of your own health. If you are personally caregiving for your loved one, build a support system of family or friends you know will be there for you in the long-term. Think about finding a local senior living community you trust if your loved one were to reach a level of care beyond your ability.

To learn more about senior health or living with dementia, visit Artis Senior Living. We’re here for you when you need us.

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