Caring for a loved one with dementia can be both frightening and heart-wrenching. A senior who initially struggled with mundane tasks like remembering keys may eventually forget family members’ names and need extensive help with daily tasks such as bathing and getting dressed. Rest assured, your loved one is still in there. They just need some help to identify and assert their needs, occupy their minds and cope with the stress of living with dementia. A memory care community offers dementia care for people who need extensive help.
Image caption: Paola Barbarino, Chief Executive Officer of Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI)
We at The Arbor Company care deeply about memory care and the fight to end dementia. One of the leading voices in the fight against Alzheimer’s is Alzheimer’s Disease International. We asked them to join us on our blog to share some recent insights. Here is a message from ADI’s CEO, Paola Barbarino:
Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia, but it’s not the only type. Getting an accurate diagnosis can help you support your loved one, anticipate likely changes and ensure you choose the right level of care. The right diagnosis begins with a trip to a doctor you trust and usually requires a referral to a neurologist. Here’s how to understand the distinction between Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1 in 3 seniors die with some form of dementia. The longer a person lives, the more vulnerable his or her brain becomes to dementia. So the frustrating reality is that a senior who lives a long and healthy life may ultimately need dementia care.
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.
Your loved one with dementia can not always communicate with you the way she once did. While you made the best decision possible for her, moving her into a memory care community, it may still feel like a challenge to stay updated on her progress and health from miles away. Thankfully, the dementia care plan is a way for you to stay in the loop about what your loved one needs and prefers as she ages in her supportive environment.
A care plan is an interdisciplinary approach to the care of your loved one. However, the care plan isn’t just for the community’s clinicians or staff members. Here are a few things that your loved one wishes that you knew about her care plan.