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Home Care Tips: Making Plans after Your Parent Receives a Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease

April 28th, 2016

Home Care in Jupiter FL

Home Care in Jupiter FLMore than 5 million adults throughout the United States are currently living with Alzheimer's disease and every 66 seconds another person develops this progressive disease. If Alzheimer's has recently become a part of your home care journey with your aging parent, now is a time of major planning, decision-making, and preparation. While it is unlikely that your parent's symptoms will develop extremely quickly or that the progression will make it so that their need for care increases rapidly, it is important to realize that this disease is progressive and their needs will change. Even if your parent is at a very early stage of the disease and in need of little care and assistance now, that will change and they will need more extensive care as they get older and move forward in the disease. Starting your planning as soon as possible after your parent receives their diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease can give both of you peace of mind and make your journey with the disease much easier.

It is impossible to completely prepare for every single change that will come with Alzheimer's disease. The symptoms that your elderly loved one experiences will be personal to them, as will the way that they progress through the disease. They may experience some symptoms for several weeks and then suddenly experience new ones, or seem to change every day. What you can do is prepare for these changes and ready yourself to be flexible, in tune, and compassionate so that your parent receives the best care and support possible.
Use these tips to help you make plans after your parent receives a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease:
• Always think proactively. Proactive care is always better than reactive care. While there will be some issues and changes that you will need to be able to respond to quickly as they arise, doing your best to put plans into place early will make transitions and care changes smoother. Proactive care in Alzheimer's disease is all about thinking into the future and making changes now to prepare for that future. For example, you may already know that your parent's home is not appropriate for a senior with dementia. This may influence you to transition your parent into your home during the early stages of the disease so that they will have the opportunity to get comfortable in their new environment prior to more advanced symptoms.
• Have a "web" of plans. If you were to think of your plans in terms of a chart or drawing, yours should look more like a web than a straight line. This means having several different options for different situations so that you can respond in the way that is right at the time. For example, if your parent needs to move out of their home, the options may be to move into a smaller home, move into your home, or move into a sibling's home. From there you may have further options such as hiring an in home health care services provider, adding an addition to the home, or bringing all of the different facets of the family together to live closer for a more effective care network.
• Think far into the future. Many people with dementia will live for quite some time with only mild or moderate symptoms. Do not end your plans with those symptoms, however. Take the time to plan for the advanced stages of the disease as well as your parent's end of life transition. This means understanding your parent's wishes for end of life care, artificial life support, and hospice, as well as legal issues such as a will or power of attorney. Present these decisions as your parent taking power and control over their life and ensuring that the rest of the journey is as smooth, stress-free, and enjoyable as possible.

Source
http://www.alz.org/facts/
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Jupiter, FL, contact the caring staff at BrightStar Care of Jupiter. Call today (561) 741-1200.