An Alzheimer's diagnosis is difficult news to take, and you are naturally worried about your loved one. While Alzheimer's does require making a few adjustments to your loved one's lifestyle, the great news is that many older adults are able to maintain their independence for many years when they are given the right types of support. Use these tips as you work with your loved one to develop a plan of action that ensures their wellbeing.
Join a Support Group
As with any new health diagnosis, there are many things to learn about Alzheimer's care, and it helps to surround yourself with people who know what you and your loved one are going through. If your loved one is interested, invite them to come along. Then, you can learn as a family about what to expect down the road. During your support group meetings, be proactive. Ask questions, and listen to the suggestions of the more experienced caregivers in the group to get an idea of what you can expect to be dealing with in the future.
Create a Safe Home Environment
Safety becomes extra important as Alzheimer's disease progresses since memory loss and other symptoms place seniors at risk for injuries and illnesses that are preventable. Begin now by assessing your loved one's current living situation to determine if there are any hazards that you can correct before they cause a problem. For instance, you could install automatic shut off switches on your loved one's appliances so that a house fire does not break out if they forget to shut off the stove. This is also a great time to set up home security monitoring and medication schedules to help your loved one as their needs change.
Plan For Long-Term Care
Alzheimer's is a progressive disease, which means that it's best to look ahead now. Eventually, most people with Alzheimer's require support from a caregiver to keep them safe and healthy when memory loss and dementia symptoms begin to interfere with their daily living. Fortunately, Alzheimer's care services can help seniors thrive by offering assistance with things such as medication management and preventing wandering. Arranging for personalized care now also helps your loved one get to know their caregiver so that they are comfortable when greater needs arise.
Coping with an Alzheimer's diagnosis takes time and support from others who understand what it is like to deal with this progressive disease. Fortunately, taking action early on allows your loved one to benefit from knowing that their long-term care needs have been arranged to their satisfaction.