If your senior loved one is diagnosed with dementia, your support can make a huge difference in his or her overall wellbeing. Knowing which questions to ask in the days after the diagnosis can help you get the information you need to navigate this challenging time. Here are some questions you should ask your loved one’s doctor as soon as possible.
What Sort of Dementia Is This?
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, but dementia can also be a symptom of conditions like high blood pressure, alcohol abuse, and depression. Understanding your loved one’s type of dementia can give you more information on how the disease will progress and what can be done to treat it. Not all types of dementia are irreversible, so in some cases, it may even be possible to reduce the severity of some symptoms.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care Harrisburg families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
What Stage of Dementia Is My Loved One Experiencing?
A dementia diagnosis doesn’t automatically mean your loved one is going to forget everything and be unable to care for him or herself. In the milder stages, some seniors can still live at home, work, and even drive. Asking the doctor about the current stage of your loved one’s dementia will give you a better idea of your loved one’s needs and potential limitations and ensure you don’t deny your loved one the independence or care he or she currently needs.
What Happens When My Loved One Can’t Live at Home Alone Anymore?
During this time, you need to keep an open dialogue with your loved one. Ask about things like who should handle his or her finances, where he or she wants to live, and whether he or she wants to keep in touch with old friends. Doing this can help you make sure your loved one’s needs are met when he or she cannot advocate for him or herself clearly anymore.
Living alone at home in the golden years can present a few unique challenges. Trust senior home care professionals to help your senior loved one maintain a higher quality of life while he or she manages an illness and performs the daily tasks of living.
How Will the Dementia Progress Over Time?
Every type of dementia has a different progression. Alzheimer’s is one of the most well-understood types of progressive dementia, so families can usually get a fairly accurate timeline of how their loved ones’ symptoms will change over time. Meanwhile, some other types of dementia, such as vascular dementia, may not progress at all for years. Knowing what to expect can make it easier for you and your loved one to plan for the future.
What Can I Do to Help?
A dementia diagnosis is scary for anyone, so try to make sure you can assist your loved one in as many ways as possible. If your loved one is still in the early stages of dementia, this might be as simple as fixing a few meals for him or her to eat while coming to terms with the diagnosis. If the diagnosis doesn’t come until the later stages, you may need to immediately step in to do things like arranging doctor’s appointments.
Even when families have the best intentions, caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging. Fortunately, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia care. Harrisburg families can take advantage of our flexible and customizable care plans, and our caregivers always stay up to date on the latest developments in senior care. To schedule a no-obligation with one of our knowledgeable Care Managers, give us a call today at (717) 540-4663.