Memory loss, forgetfulness that’s becoming increasingly disruptive to daily life, and other symptoms related to dementia often develop and progress slowly. But when your senior loved one is properly assessed because of concerns about symptoms of this nature, you’ll likely have several questions if a dementia diagnosis is made. Here are six questions you should ask once you get this type of news about a senior loved one.
1. Does My Loved One Know He or She Has Dementia?
A dementia expert interviewed by U.S. News & World Report estimates roughly half of all people with dementia-related conditions aren’t fully aware of the extent of their cognitive impairment. Even if your loved one is initially aware of what’s going on, this understanding may diminish over time.
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional caregivers. 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 service Lakewood, CO, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
2. How Does Dementia Progress Over Time?
The answer to this question will depend on the type of dementia your loved one has. Some forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, progress in stages with increasingly advanced symptoms. However, other forms of dementia have fairly consistent symptoms.
3. Does This Mean It’s Alzheimer’s?
Getting a diagnosis of dementia is like being told a loved one has cancer. Dementia is an umbrella term that covers many different dementia-related conditions, one of which is Alzheimer’s disease. As is the case with cancer, there are many possibilities. In fact, many people diagnosed with dementia actually have more than one type of dementia at the same time—referred to as mixed dementia. Other forms of dementia, such as vascular dementia, are easier to manage and may even be reversible.
4. What Does a Caregiver Need to Do & Know?
If you’ll be the one providing care for a loved one with dementia, you may feel just as overwhelmed as your loved one does when the diagnosis is made. A good starting point is to get as much information as possible about your loved one’s type of dementia. It can also be helpful to:
• Focus on maintaining a consistent routine
• Get your own personal support system in place (e.g., other family members, friends, and/or a support group for caregivers)
• Keep your own health and wellbeing in mind as you provide care
A professional caregiver trained in dementia care can be a fantastic source of support for you and your loved one. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Lakewood live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life.
5. Could Dementia Be Something Else?
Respectfully ask how the diagnosis of dementia was made. Oftentimes, it’s a process of elimination based on a series of assessments and tests. On a related note, ask if it’s possible that there could be other sources of your loved one’s symptoms. Possibilities include:
• Undiagnosed depression or anxiety disorders
• Sleep-related problems
• Vitamin deficiencies
• Medication issues
• Thyroid conditions
• Parkinson’s disease that hasn’t yet been diagnosed
6. What Steps Need to Be Taken Next?
Initially, dementia care typically involves lending a hand when it’s needed and being observant so you can keep your loved one’s doctor informed. During the early stages, it can also be beneficial to discuss personal preferences with your loved one while he or she is still able to make sound decisions about care wishes and arrangements. As care needs become more demanding, in-home care is one way to maintain a healthy balance between your own needs and your loved one’s care requirements.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home care services, contact us at (303) 987-5992 today.