Being formally diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is not an easy thing to handle. Some people seem to shut down, become quiet, withdrawn, and just don’t want to talk about it with family and friends. Others can become angry and frustrated. It is, in a manner of speaking, and incredibly frightening time for them and others.
However, when somebody is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, it doesn’t always come as a complete surprise. In fact, the earliest signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s can begin developing one or two years before a senior is diagnosed by their doctor. The earliest signs and symptoms usually include memory related issues, such as forgetting conversations, losing track of appointments and other tasks, and even using the wrong word when speaking.
Once a diagnosis has come down, it’s time to think about help.
Yes, that senior is still capable of taking care of himself or herself right now. He or she might need a few reminders, but for the most part they can physically bathe, go to the bathroom, get dressed, and even prepare meals without too much trouble. However, that won’t remain that way forever.
In fact, within a few months or, at most, a couple of years, that elderly person is going to begin having extreme difficulty with a number of basic tasks. It’s important to remember that when a senior has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, they may show no symptoms or difficulties right now, things will change.
The sooner home care is hired, the better it will be.
Family can be a great resource. A spouse, adult child, brother or sister, and others can provide a wide range of supports, including reminders, transportation, and assistance with cooking, cleaning, and more, but nothing is more effective than an experienced caregiver.
A home care aide through an agency will often have the kind of experience that makes a world of difference for those with dementia. That’s because many of these caregivers who work for agencies will have had clients with some form of dementia already.
They will understand the importance of not getting upset with some of the things these seniors say. They will know how important routine is to provide comfort, not just now, but in the years ahead. Many of these home care aides also realize how vital it is to stay mentally stimulated and engaged, despite this kind of diagnosis. Thinking about long-term care should start as soon as a formal diagnosis of Alzheimer’s has been given.
Interim HealthCare is a nationwide company that is dedicated to helping seniors maintain full, independent lives where they most desire to live: in the comfort of their own homes. Call us today to find a location near you. 800-944-8888
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