Finding out that a loved one has dementia can be a vey scary experience. This fear is coupled with confusion and uncertainty. Oftentimes families do not know what to do in these situations, because they have never been in them before. Dealing with sickness can be unexpected and you may not already have a plan in place, this can quickly make life much more stressful. This article will explore the many ways you can plan and prepare if you are just learning that someone close to you has been diagnosed with dementia.
Noticing Signs Of Dementia
As people age, the way their brain functions also begins to change. It can be difficult to recognize when these changes are normal versus when these changes are abnormal. The earlier dementia is recognized in an individual, the better. Below are some resources doctors and physicians may use to help determine if someone is suffering from dementia.
- Getting a family history of medical issues
- Asking for family members’ input
- Conducting a series of tests (physical and mental)
- Brain imaging
Next Steps After a Diagnosis
Once someone has been diagnosed, it’s time to start putting a plan in place. Your life and the patient’s life is going to drastically change over time. These next steps will help you and the person you care for transition over time.
- Determine treatment options
- Plan out living conditions
- Coordinate care for the diagnosed individual
- Take an active role in meaningful activities
- Set aside time to connect with others who may be in your position
- Educate yourself on the disease
- Create a plan for the future (care, finances, etc.)
Even if you don’t stick to your plan or do all of the mentioned steps, that is okay. It is important to at least be proactive in this situation. Thinking ahead and being as involved as possible will make this situation much more manageable.
There are over 5.8 million Americans living with dementia. By 2025, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s dementia is projected to reach 7.1 million. You are not alone in your search for answers. Orchard at Athens is qualified and ready to help you find solutions in your time of crisis. When you are ready for help taking care of your loved one, please contact us.