Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease diagnoses are hard to process for all parties. There’s a struggle with the diagnosis, a struggle with medical and financial concerns, struggle with the family, and even struggle with each day that lies ahead. Despite the difficulties, there is a comfort in knowing that the odd behaviors that have crept in are not choices the loved one has made, but instead are symptoms of the disease. No one is at fault, and both the diagnosed and their caregiver would feel better if there are friends and family that they can talk to, openly and honestly, about the changes that have happened and those that will happen. These changes mean that in-home care has become a necessity, and it’s time to tell everyone about the diagnosis. There are four groups of people you need to tell: immediate family, close friends, government and financial institutions, and the world.
Parents, siblings, and children need to be the first informed, especially if they interact with the person diagnosed with dementia on a regular basis. Everyone is going to have a lot of questions, so it is best to be prepared. Schedule a quiet gathering and have as much information available as possible. Have a computer displaying the Alzheimer’s Association website and any brochures the doctor gave you available for reading. This will be an emotional time; have patience and tissues handy.
Sometimes the people we see every day aren’t family, but instead the closest of friends. This is the group that shares the same hobbies and adventures and might have felt or might feel the effects of the diagnosis before even the immediate family.
- Government and Financial Institutions
Often, it is forgotten that government and financial institutions need to be informed of a medical diagnosis. It would be best to start by granting a trustworthy family member, friend, or caregiver Power of Attorney to make decisions on behalf of the dementia patient. Then inform the DMV, car, life, health, travel, and home insurance providers of the diagnosis to ensure that policies do not become invalid. Finally, tell your bank about the diagnosis. They need to know that there is a Power of Attorney handling financial matters, and they can add extra flags to the account in case of inappropriate spending done by the dementia patient. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
While telling the entire world might be a bit of an exaggeration, it will be necessary to tell a lot of people that are met on the street about the diagnosis, especially in the later stages of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Don’t be afraid to inform; you never know who you might meet that has been there and has helpful advice.
Through it all, there will be numerous family, friends, and strangers there to help. Sometimes extra help is needed, and BrightStar Care offers several Orlando in-home care options that can be tailored to meet your needs. The options range from sitting with a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia to being responsible for all aspects of their daily care. If you or a loved one would benefit from additional help at home, please call BrightStar Care at 1-866-618-7827 for a complimentary in-home assessment.