Hearing that your loved one has a form dementia can an incredibly difficult thing to deal with. In many ways, it’s a transition into a new stage of life for you as an adult caregiver. That’s why when getting the diagnosis that your mother or father has dementia, it can come often come with a certain amount of shock and fear of what to do next.
But don’t worry — it’s a completely normal and healthy reaction to have. But here are three things you should do that can help this very difficult situation move along as smoothly as possible.
1. Have an honest conversation with your loved one.
You may have already noticed the signs, but your loved one probably hasn’t. In fact, depending how far along the dementia is, he or she may not fully understand the diagnosis. However, it is important that you have an honest, but sensitive conversation. The most important point to get across is that you will always be there to take care of him or her. Be sensitive to the fact that as hard as this time is for you, it’s even harder for a person who is losing control and self-dependence.
2. Begin planning and saving.
If you haven’t already begun planning ahead and saving, there is no time like now. Diagnosis of dementia can happen at a wide range of times in the progress of the disease, but if you haven’t started preparing financially for caregiving costs by that time, meet up with a professional right away. If you have other family members involved, pull everyone together and plan for these next important steps in your family’s life.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Whether it’s from a family member, a professional counselor, or a support group like the one we host at Middlefield Oaks every month, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone in this struggle. Being a caretaker can be a huge burden — not just financially, but also emotionally and spiritually. Remember that there are lots of people in your loved one’s life would love to be involved in this process.
For more information on our services at Middlefield Oaks or for details about our Support Group, contact us today.