Yes, we all know receiving a diagnosis of dementia can be scary for the patient and for a loved one. But there is hope! During the early stages of dementia, there are steps and precautions you can take to ease the effects. Let’s discuss the key factors that will play an important role in moving forward.
1) Do Your Research and Get the Facts.
It’s easy to get informed. One of the most frightening things about a dementia diagnosis is fear of the unknown. Plus, gathering all the information about the different types of dementia and what to expect in different stages can seem daunting. Check with your loved one’s doctor for references they would recommend. Remember, a lot of information also is available online. It’s a great tool. Just make sure you are using a legitimate source, like the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org), which has a lot of informational resources. The National Institutes of Health (www.nia.nih.gov/health/alzheimers) also publishes fact sheets and free booklets with information about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
2) Support is Key.
In the early stages of dementia, the symptoms may not be that apparent except to those closest to your loved one. A person with early stage dementia can continue to function independently. So, one of the most important things you can do at this stage is to provide love and support. This is key. Talk to them, let them share their fears and concern. Let them vent and assure them you’ll be there for them. Always.
Little tools can go a long way as well. Create reminders to help with memory. Sticky notes, labels and calendar planners are valuable tools for independence.
3) Plan, Plan, Plan.
Mental decline will occur with dementia, but it won’t happen immediately. This is the time to make sure you search for resources and providers close to home that specialize in dementia. You’ll want this all figured out before the person with early stage dementia needs it. And be sure to listen. Find out what they want to get out of their care, so you know what to do when they need to start their treatment. Your local area agency on aging can point you in the right direction. Explore resources in your area through the Eldercare Locator (www.eldercare.gov). And be sure to ask around! If friends have cared for a loved one with dementia, ask them what resources and care providers they used and would they recommend them.
CarDon can also help. Give us a call or fill out some information below, and we’ll get in touch. We’ll help you decide which CarDon community is the perfect fit for you or your loved one. Call 844-4-CarDon or visit our communities page to see our various locations.