Receiving the news that an older family member has received an early stage dementia diagnosis is life-changing. Thinking through the countless different facets and factors of the disease, both now as well as in the future, can be overwhelming.
Over the next few months, this three-part series will take a look at the early, middle and later stages of dementia. We will examine the type of care recommended during each stage, what family caregivers can expect, and how Home With You Senior Care, providers of dementia care in Baltimore, MD and the surrounding communities, can help.
Early Stage Dementia Caregiving
If you’ve recently stepped into the role of caring for a family member in the early stage of Alzheimer’s, we have the help and the hope you’ll need. The first step is to take a deep breath and find comfort in being aware you’re not the only one. There are more than 50 million people currently living with dementia worldwide, and 10 million new diagnoses each year.
It is also helpful to realize that the beginning stage of dementia might last for several years, frequently with treatment options available to slow the progression of the disease. And, many seniors during the early stage are dealing with minimal cognitive challenges – meaning you will have the opportunity to work together to put into place a strategy that tackles each of the older adult’s wishes pertaining to long-term care, finances and legal matters.
With that in mind, here are the changes you may expect, both for the senior and yourself.
Early Stage Dementia – Impact on the Senior Diagnosed:
- Becoming lost in familiar places
- Losing track of time
- Fear and/or denial
May benefit from assistance and support with:
- Setting up and keeping appointments
- Money management
- Recalling familiar places, words, and names
Early Stage Dementia – Impact on the Family Caregiver:
- Stress, anxiety, fear, and uncertainty about what the future will hold
- Anger, frustration and resentment
- A loss of control
- Grief, sadness, and despair
- Denial and a feeling of disbelief
May benefit from:
- Prioritizing self-care: getting lots of rest, eating a healthy diet, exercising, and putting aside time for relaxing activities
- Engaging the services of a mental health professional if needed
- Developing a network of family and friends who will be willing to help
- Finding and attending a support group (either online or in-person)
- Becoming knowledgeable on the disease, treatment options, and what to expect as it advances
An award-winning home care provider, like Home With You Senior Care, is an excellent asset for family members caring for a senior loved one with dementia. Beginning home care services now, in the earliest stage, is important to building trust and rapport with the senior – something that will likely be vital as the dementia moves into subsequent stages. In addition, it allows family caregivers the opportunity for ongoing, regularly scheduled breaks from care. Our thoroughly trained and experienced care experts are highly skilled and up to date on the most effective dementia care techniques.
We can also provide you with practical resources specific to any particular challenges you are facing. Just give us a call at 410-756-0959 to learn more about our dementia care in Baltimore, MD and the surrounding areas, and to request a complimentary in-home consultation. With Home With You Senior Care, you are never alone; we’re here to walk with you each step of the way.