Receiving the news that a senior loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease is life-altering. Thinking through the stages of dementia, including the countless different aspects and factors of the disease, both now and in the future, may be overwhelming.
In this three-part series over the next few months, we’ll explore the early, middle and later stages of dementia. Each blog post will detail the particular care needed during each stage, what family caregivers can expect, and how Inspired Home Care, the Barrington memory care experts, can help.
Early Stage Dementia Caregiving
If you have recently stepped into the role of caring for a loved one in the early stage of Alzheimer’s, we have the help as well as the hope you will need. A good place to start is to simply take a deep breath and find comfort in knowing you are not the only one. There are more than fifty million people currently living with dementia across the globe, and ten million new diagnoses annually.
It is also helpful to know that the beginning stage of dementia may last for some time, frequently with treatment options available to slow the advancement of the disease. And, many older adults during the early stage are experiencing limited cognitive difficulties – meaning you have the opportunity to work together to put into place an approach that details all the older adult’s wishes related to long-term care, finances and legal matters.
Keeping that in mind, following are the changes you might expect for both your 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
May benefit from support and assistance with:
- Setting up and keeping appointments
- Financial management
- Recalling familiar names, places, and words
Early Stage Dementia – Impact on the Family Caregiver:
- Anxiety, stress, fear, and uncertainty as to what the future will hold
- Anger, frustration and resentment
- A loss of control
- Sadness, grief, and despair
- Denial and a feeling of disbelief
May benefit from:
- Prioritizing self-care: getting lots of rest, eating a well-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 ready to help
- Finding and attending a support group (either in-person or online)
- Becoming knowledgeable about the disease, treatment options, and what to expect as it advances
A premier home care provider, like Inspired Home Care, is a great partner for family members caring for a loved one with dementia. Starting home care services now, in the earliest stage, is important to building trust and rapport with the older adult – something which will be vital as the dementia moves into subsequent stages. In addition, it enables family caregivers the chance for ongoing, regularly scheduled breaks from care. Our thoroughly trained and experienced care experts are highly skilled and informed on the most effective dementia care techniques.
We can also provide you with helpful information targeted to any specific challenges you are facing. Just call us at 847-787-7572 and request a free of charge in-home consultation. With the Barrington memory care experts at Inspired Home Care, you’re never alone; we’re here to walk with you each step of the way. To learn about all of the communities where we provide care, please visit our Locations Served page.