After learning that a senior loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it might feel as if your life is coming to a grinding halt. While there will be moments when you feel overwhelmed, it’s important to realize the first few steps you take after the diagnosis will have a big impact on your loved one’s health and happiness in the coming years.
1. Get All the Details from the Medical Team
While you and the rest of your family are sure to be in shock, you must collect as much information as possible from the medical team. This includes which stage of Alzheimer’s your loved one is in, the existence of any secondary medical complications, and who will be taking over your loved one’s medical treatments. Whenever possible, you should also try to get important details in writing so everyone is on the same page and nothing is forgotten.
At this point, you may want to consider professional in-home care for your loved one. In-home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
2. Learn More about the Disease
One of the best things you can do for your loved one is spend some time researching the disease. Alzheimer’s is more complicated than most people realize, and the following years are going to be less stressful if you know quite a bit about the symptoms of the disease and various treatments for it. There are many great resources for collecting that information, and you should ask your loved one’s doctor for suggestions on where to start.
3. Review the Estate Plan
It’s important for seniors to review their estate plans as soon as they’re diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or any other major health issues. Once your loved one can no longer make financial and medical decisions independently, changing his or her estate plan will be much more difficult. Some of the most important components of the estate plan you must review include incapacity plans, powers of attorney, and the advanced directive.
4. Come Up with a Long-Term Treatment Plan
Researchers haven’t found a permanent cure for Alzheimer’s, but there are some treatment options that can delay the symptoms and greatly boost quality of life. Depending on which stage of Alzheimer’s your loved one is in, the medical team might suggest a combination of prescription medications, non-prescription drugs, and various forms of therapy. Your loved one should also eat a healthy diet, get as much exercise as possible, and follow a consistent sleep schedule.
If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a trusted provider of Fort Lauderdale senior care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
5. Research Care Options
You’ll be able to do quite a bit for your loved one as the disease progresses, but professional assistance might be needed at some point. There are several professional care options to choose from, and each plan is going to have its own pros and cons. Some families prefer to have their loved ones receive around-the-clock care at home, while others decide to hire hourly caregivers who can take care of basic needs.
The days, weeks, and months following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be challenging for both seniors and their families. However, these challenges can be made less stressful with the help of caregivers trained in professional Alzheimer’s care. Fort Lauderdale Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home care services, contact us at 754-432-8760 today.