A dementia diagnosis can be frightening for the patient but aside from the patient themselves, this diagnosis can be difficult for you as a loved one. You might be wondering what it is that you have to do to make life easier for them, as well as for yourselves. However, before you can implement any changes, it’s important for you to understand what exactly dementia is. Taking this process step by step will allow you to make a decision that is best for yourself and your loved ones too! Read on to find out more about dementia and what you should do next after your loved one gets a dementia diagnosis.
What Is Dementia?
Before taking the next steps forward, you should understand what exactly dementia is. Dementia is the loss of your loved one’s cognitive functioning, which involves skills like remembering and reasoning, such that it affects your loved one’s daily life. Individuals with dementia might be unable to regulate their emotions which is why you may witness them lashing out at you or acting in a way that is unusual.
Symptoms of Dementia
Knowing the symptoms of dementia can allow you to be more compassionate toward your loved one and understand their struggles better.
- Memory loss
- Having difficulty when asked to concentrate on a task
- Finding it hard to carry out daily tasks that usually used to be familiar to them
- Struggling to understand and follow simple conversations
- Being confused about where they are and what time of the day it is
- Changes in their mood or personality
Speak to a Medical Professional
Medical professionals are well-versed with dementia because they have dealt with many cases that involve this disorder. They will understand and advise you on the best way to move forward in a way that can help your loved one effectively. Dementia is a progressive illness and exists on a spectrum, which is why the advice that you get on your next steps forward will vary greatly depending on how serious your loved one’s dementia is. Other factors that your medical professional might consider would be the amount of time that you can dedicate to your loved one as well as your finances so as to determine the best course forward for you. However, here are some general questions that your medical professional might ask you to consider for future planning for your loved one.
- Where will your loved one live so that they can be safe?
- When are you going to finalize the details of their will?
- Who will make their medical decisions about issues such as organ and tissue donation?
Consider Moving Them to a Retirement Community
If your loved one is in the later stages of dementia and you’re unable to provide them the rightful care that they need, moving them to a trusted retirement community is a good idea. In communities like ours, we have special programs that help your loved one with memory care. This can help them manage their symptoms while being a part of a lovely resort-style community. Please contact us to find out more about our memory care program in our retirement community.