When a loved one has dementia, it can be difficult to know where to begin. For the adult child who receives a distressing diagnosis, or who notices changes in an aging parent, it can be hard to make sense of the sheer volume of new information and options. Fortunately, today's senior living landscape offers a range of options to ensure that Mom or Dad enjoys not just a safe living space but a community rich with possibility.
Life can be stressful. Busy jobs, financial woes, family obligations, the ups and downs of married life, and so much more mean the reality is that few of us make it to old age without facing a heaping pile of stress.
There’s a common misconception that people with dementia can’t maintain meaningful relationships. But 80 percent of people with dementia can effectively communicate, and approximately one-third of them can make important decisions, one study found. The best books on dementia break down barriers and provide helpful strategies to make those types of meaningful engagements possible.
The progression of dementia impacts everyone differently. The progression of Alzheimer’s disease, for example, can span anywhere from several months to several decades. That’s why memory care decisions must be guided by the unique experiences and needs of you or your loved one.
Receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease or another dementia can be devastating. It almost always feels shocking, even if some of the initial signs were there. During your subsequent visits to your geriatrician or neurologist, it is important to keep a level head by asking important questions that can help you to guide the future care of your loved one. Here are a few questions that you should consider asking, along with what to do with the answers.
There are a number of challenges that come with caring for someone who has dementia. While you might expect some of those challenges, such as forgetfulness or confusion, you may find a few challenges are not ones you anticipated. Dietary changes and nutritional adaptations are sometimes an unexpected part of the dementia process. People with dementia can experience a wide range of issues around food: some will eat less, some will lose the ability to navigate silverware or some may find a dining room environment too distracting. No matter the case, keeping healthy nutrition for those with dementia is especially important. Proper nutrition can assist with healing, potential skin issues, and other chronic conditions.
Navigating the senior living industry can feel a bit overwhelming at first. At first glance, there are so many options for care and your loved one will likely need more care as they age. If you are seeking living options for a loved one with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease or other another type of dementia, memory care living is often the best case scenario. However, assisted living communities can often seem appealing as well, especially if extra services are available to keep your loved one engaged and safe. How can you tell which option is the best for you? Check out these differences between memory care and assisted living communities.
If you look after an aging parent with dementia, the very thought of placing him or her into a memory care community may make you cringe with shame. You may worry that this course of action signifies that you are uncaring or selfish or can’t manage the care of a loved one by yourself. If this sounds familiar to you, please stop right now with the self-recrimination, take a deep breath, and recognize that taking care of a person with a cognitive impairment is a hugely demanding position for anyone.