The diagnosis of Alzheimer's can leave a senior and their family reeling. While it isn't usually unexpected, having official confirmation is nonetheless difficult.
After you take time to process the news, creating a proactive care plan may help you and your older loved one feel more in control of the future. From education to exploring memory care, here's some helpful information.
Most seniors and their adult children have a vague idea about what Alzheimer's disease is. Memory loss and wandering are two symptoms many people are familiar with. But what causes the disease? How quickly will it progress? Is a senior with Alzheimer's safe to live alone? These are a few questions family members often have.
Our first suggestion is to take time to learn more about the disease. You'll find sites like Alzheimer's Association, Alzheimer's Foundation of America, and Family Caregiver Alliance have helpful information.
If you prefer to read and learn offline, a few highly regarded books include:
Learning more about the disease process, symptoms common at each stage, and what to expect can help you better prepare for the future.
As you look toward the future, your family will have many decisions to make. From choosing a medical team you trust to helping your senior loved one find healthy ways to express their sadness and fears, it's important to plan while your loved one is still able to express their hopes and desires.
Documenting your loved one's wishes is important from a legal perspective, too. Because every state has different laws, you'll want to partner with an experienced elder care attorney. They can help you prepare a living will, power of attorney, or any other documents your state requires to allow loved ones to act on a senior's behalf.
A few other steps to consider and discuss include:
If a senior you love has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or a related form of dementia, you might want to consider the support and security of a memory care community. One of our experienced senior care advisors can help you explore local options. Call 888-514-6461 to talk with an advisor for free!