Receiving the news that an older family member has been given an early stage Alzheimer’s diagnosis is life-changing. Thinking through the various aspects and factors associated with the disease, both now as well as in the long run, might be overwhelming.
In this three-part series, over the coming months we’ll explore the early, middle and later stages of dementia. Each blog post will outline the type of care needed during each stage, what family caregivers can expect, and how Live Free Home Health Care, the Holderness home care experts, can help.
Early Stage Dementia Caregiving
If you have just recently stepped into the role of being a caregiver for a loved one in the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease, we have the help as well as the hope you’ll need. The first step is to simply take a deep breath and find comfort in knowing you’re not the only one. There are more than 50 million people currently living with dementia worldwide, and ten million new diagnoses per year.
It’s also beneficial to understand that the beginning stage of Alzheimer’s can last for some time, often with treatment options available to slow the progression of the disease. And, many older adults during the early stage encounter minimal cognitive difficulties – which means you have the opportunity to work together to put into place a strategy that addresses all the senior’s wishes pertaining to long-term care, finances and legal matters.
Understanding that, below are the changes you might expect for both your senior loved one and yourself.
Early Stage Dementia – Impact on the Senior Diagnosed:
- Becoming lost in familiar places
- Losing track of time
- Denial and/or fear
Can benefit from support and assistance with:
- Making and keeping appointments
- Money 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 hopelessness
- Denial and a feeling of disbelief
May benefit from:
- Prioritizing self-care: getting a good amount of rest, eating a well-balanced diet, exercising, and putting aside time for enjoyable activities
- Engaging the services of a mental health professional if needed
- Creating a network of relatives and friends who will be ready to help
- Finding and attending a support group (either in-person or online)
- Becoming knowledgeable about the disease, treatment options, and what to anticipate as it advances
An award-winning home care provider, like Live Free Home Health Care, is an excellent asset to family members caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. Starting home care services now, in the earliest stage, is imperative to building trust and rapport with the senior – something that will likely be vital as the dementia progresses into subsequent stages. Additionally, it enables family caregivers the opportunity for ongoing, regularly scheduled breaks from care. Our fully 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 targeted to any particular challenges you’re facing. Just give us a call at 603-217-0149 to learn about our top-rated Holderness home care and schedule a free in-home consultation. With Live Free Home Health Care, you are never alone; we’re here to walk with you each step of the way. For a full list of all of the communities we serve, please visit our Service Area page.