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Steps to Take If Your Aging Parent Develops Dementia

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Just because your aging loved one has been diagnosed with dementia doesn’t mean he or she can’t live a happy and fulfilling life. With proper care and a little bit of diligence, you might be able to minimize or delay some of the worst symptoms for years. Coming up with a long-term treatment and management plan can enhance your loved one’s quality of life. Taking the following steps can help you avoid some of the most common mistakes family caregivers make after a life-altering dementia diagnosis. 

Research the Specific Type of Dementia

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe different symptoms that impact cognitive function. Some of the most common dementia-related disorders include Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia, Parkinson’s, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. These disorders all have their own symptoms, and you won’t be able to come up with a treatment plan unless you spend some time familiarizing yourself with your loved one’s condition. 

Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to help your loved one manage his or her health issues. If your senior loved one needs professional in-home care in Plantation, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a trusted provider of respite and 24-hour care, and we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care for seniors.

Build a Professional Medical Team

Over the next few years, your loved one will most likely need to work with a wide variety of medical specialists. Even diagnosing the condition might require multiple trips to the primary doctor, a neurologist, and a language specialist. You should build a team of friendly and experienced doctors who you feel comfortable calling at any time. Jumping from doctor to doctor may make this process more stressful. 

Start Tracking Symptoms Immediately

Every senior with dementia experiences a unique set of symptoms, and you need to keep track of these issues. A caregiving journal is one of the best ways to organize all of the information you should be bringing to your loved one’s checkups. The medical team might adjust your loved one’s medications depending on the severity or frequency of the symptoms. Your journal should contain information such as sleeping habits, eating habits, physical strength, and overall demeanor.

Tracking and managing symptoms can be difficult for seniors and their family caregivers. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior loved one in Plantation, respite care is available when you need time away from your important caregiving duties. At Home Care Assistance, our respite caregivers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help your loved one manage everyday tasks in the comfort of home while you have the chance to take a much-needed break.

Inform Family Members and Close Friends

You will likely need help at some point, and the support should come from your closest friends and family members. As long as your loved one is comfortable with you telling others that he or she has dementia, start contacting those who might help you in the near future. Informing them of the situation a few months in advance will give them plenty of time to work through their emotions. When the time comes, they can assist with household chores, daily errands, and other responsibilities. 

Finalize Legal and Financial Paperwork

If you are going to be the primary caregiver, your loved one should consider giving you financial and medical power of attorney, which needs to be done well before he or she is no longer able to understand or sign legal documents. Once those documents have been signed, you will be able to pay your loved one’s bills, access his or her bank accounts, and make decisions regarding his or her medical treatments.

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 Plantation 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 highly trained caregivers, call us at (954) 533-2410.

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