6 Steps to Take After an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

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If a senior loved one receives an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, it’s important to know what steps to take next. Alzheimer’s disease makes it difficult for seniors to perform everyday tasks, which makes it essential for family caregivers to do some planning. This ensures seniors get the care they need as the disease progresses.

1. Learn More About Alzheimer’s Disease

Knowing the symptoms of this disease and the way it usually progresses can help you prepare for certain changes. Understanding this disease can also make it easier for you to remain patient with your senior loved one. You can find a wide range of resources online and through local support groups and healthcare facilities. 

When seniors develop Alzheimer’s, their families are not always able to provide the care they need and deserve. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Des Moines Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

2. Schedule Appointments

Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease need to see their doctors on a regular basis to find out how the disease is progressing. Your loved one might also need to see psychiatrists or specialists for medical conditions. Since seniors with Alzheimer’s have difficulty remembering, family caregivers should take care of making these appointments and ensuring their loved ones are able to get to them on time. 

3. Handle Legal and Financial Planning

Alzheimer’s disease has no cure, and it gradually gets worse. These changes can make it challenging for seniors to handle their finances and arrange for long-term care as needed. Help your loved one with legal and financial matters so he or she can be prepared for the future. This might include designating a healthcare power of attorney to make medical decisions or helping your loved one draft a living will for legal purposes. 

4. Make Sure the Home Is Safe

Seniors with Alzheimer’s tend to be forgetful and can wander off at times. Take steps to reduce your loved one’s risks, such as reminding him or her to take medications and ensuring all doors are locked and secure. You can also lower the risk of safety hazards by preparing meals for your loved one instead of letting him or her use the stove independently.

5. Consider Getting Help

Caring for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can become a challenging experience. Consider hiring a professional Alzheimer’s caregiver to help your loved one manage the challenges of daily living. Professional caregivers can provide companionship and handle everyday tasks, which gives family caregivers a break and prevents burnout. 

If you are the primary caregiver for a senior loved one in Des Moines, respite care is available when you need time away from your important caregiving duties. At Home Care Assistance, our respite caregivers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help your loved one manage everyday tasks in the comfort of home while you have the chance to take a much-needed break.

6. Find a Support Group

Family caregivers should make sure they have the emotional support they need when caring for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. Look for local or online support groups for family members of seniors with Alzheimer’s. Being part of these groups can provide strong social and emotional support, which can help you manage day-to-day responsibilities. You can also meet other caregivers who understand what you’re going through.

Seniors living with Alzheimer’s often need extensive assistance in and outside the home. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Des Moines Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks. To create a customized care plan to help your senior loved one age in comfort, call one of our professional Care Managers at (515) 264-2438.

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