Dementia is a progressive disease that destroys a person’s memory and cognitive abilities over time. One of the scariest things for many family caregivers to older adults with dementia is being uncertain about what the future holds. Though no one can tell you exactly what the future holds, taking some steps to prepare for the progression of the disease can help you to feel more certain. Below are some tips to help you prepare for the worsening of dementia.
Build a Care Team
Though your aging relative may not need a lot of help in the early stages of dementia, it’s a good idea to pull your resources together now, so that they are available when the time comes. Consider holding a family meeting to discuss what role everyone is comfortable playing. If possible, involve the older adult, so they can make their wishes known.
Get Educated About Dementia
Learn as much about dementia as possible before the demands of caregiving become overwhelming. This can help you have a better idea of how the disease progresses, its symptoms, and what you can expect. Ask the doctor for literature on dementia. Also, find out if there are seminars in your area for dementia caregivers where you can learn skills that will come in handy later on.
Plan for Your Own Care
Being a caregiver to someone with dementia can be especially stressful. It also takes a lot of time. As a result, many family caregivers find themselves neglecting their own health to the point where they are the ones who need help. When planning for increased caregiving needs, remember to schedule in time for yourself to exercise and eat a balanced diet. In addition, have a backup caregiver who will stay with the senior while you go to your regular medical and dental appointments.
Get Home Care Involved
Contacting a home care agency early on is an important step in being ready for whatever the future holds. When home care is a part of the older adult’s life from the early stages, it can allow them to remain at home longer. It also gives the senior some time to get to know the home care provider, which could help them to feel more comfortable when they begin to forget who people are. In addition, the home care provider gets a chance to know the senior’s likes and dislikes, allowing them to continue honoring the older adult’s wishes and preferences as the disease progresses.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering home care in St. Peters, MO please contact the caring staff at Autumn Home Care, LLC today at 636-448-9347.