Receiving the news that an older family member has been diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer’s is life-altering. Thinking through the stages of Alzheimer’s and the numerous different facets and factors associated with the disease, both now as well as in the future, can be overwhelming.
Over the next few months, in this three-part series, we will examine the early, middle and later stages of dementia. We’ll explain the particular care recommended during each stage, what family caregivers should expect, and how Morning Glory Home Care, the premier provider of home health care in O’Fallon, Illinois, and the surrounding areas, can help.
Early Stage Dementia Caregiving
If you’ve recently stepped into the role of caring for a senior in the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease, we have the help and the hope you need. The first step is to just take a deep breath and find comfort in understanding you are not alone. There are more than 50 million people currently living with dementia across the globe, and ten million new diagnoses yearly.
It is also beneficial to understand that the beginning stage of Alzheimer’s might last for several years, frequently with treatment options designed to slow the advancement of the disease. And, many seniors during the early stage experience minimal cognitive difficulties – meaning you will have the chance to work with your loved one to put into place a plan that covers each of the older adult’s wishes related to long-term care, finances and legal matters.
Keeping that in mind, following 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
- Denial and/or fear
May benefit from assistance and support with:
- Setting up and keeping appointments
- Financial management
- Recalling familiar places, words, and names
Early Stage Dementia – Impact on the Family Caregiver:
- Stress, anxiety, fear, and uncertainty with what the future will hold
- Anger, frustration and resentment
- A loss of control
- Grief, sadness, and despair
- Denial and a sense of disbelief
May benefit from:
- Prioritizing self-care: getting plenty of rest, eating a well-balanced diet, exercising, and setting aside time for relaxing activities
- Engaging the services of a mental health professional if needed
- Forming a network of friends and family who are willing to help
- Finding and attending a support group (either online or in-person)
- Becoming educated on the disease, treatment options, and what to expect as it advances
A BBB accredited and A+ rated home care provider, like Morning Glory Home Care, is an excellent partner for family members caring for someone with dementia. Starting home care services now, in the earliest stage, is important for building trust and rapport with the older adult – something that will likely be vital as the dementia moves into subsequent stages. Furthermore, 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 share practical resources specific to any specific challenges you are facing. Just reach out to us at 618-667-8400 and ask about our top-rated home health care in O’Fallon, Illinois, and the surrounding communities, and to schedule a free in-home consultation. With Morning Glory Home Care, you’re never alone; we are here to walk with you each step of the way.