Senior woman spends precious time with adult daughter

Receiving the news that an older family member has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is life-changing. Thinking through the countless different facets and factors associated with the disease, both now as well as in the future, may be overwhelming.

In the coming months, this three-part series will examine the early, middle and later stages of dementia. The blogs will outline the particular care needed during each stage, what family caregivers should expect, and how Hearts at Home In-Home Care can help by providing resources and support for Alzheimer’s in Kansas City and the surrounding communities.

Early Stage Dementia Caregiving

If you’ve recently stepped into the role of caring for a senior loved one in the early stage of Alzheimer’s, we have the help and the hope you need. A good place to start is to simply take a deep breath and find comfort in knowing you’re not alone. There are more than fifty million people currently living with dementia throughout the world, and ten million new diagnoses annually.

It is also helpful to realize that the beginning stage of Alzheimer’s can last for some time, frequently with treatment options designed to slow the progression of the disease. And, many older adults during the early stage are encountering minimal cognitive difficulties – meaning you will have the opportunity to work together to put into place a plan that addresses each of the older adult’s wishes associated to long-term care, finances and legal matters.

Keeping that in mind, following are the changes you may expect, both for your loved one and yourself.

Early Stage Dementia – Impact on the Senior Diagnosed:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Becoming lost in familiar places
  • Losing track of time
  • Denial and/or fear

Can benefit from support and assistance with:

  • Setting up and keeping appointments
  • Money management
  • Medications
  • Transportation
  • Recalling familiar places, words, and names

Early Stage Dementia – Impact on the Family Caregiver:

  • Anxiety, stress, fear, and uncertainty with what the future will hold
  • Anger, frustration and resentment
  • A loss of control
  • Sadness, grief, and despair
  • Denial and a sense of disbelief

Can benefit from:

  • Prioritizing self-care: getting plenty of rest, eating a balanced diet, exercising, and setting aside time for enjoyable activities
  • Engaging the services of a mental health professional if needed
  • Developing a network of friends and family who will be ready to help
  • Finding and attending a support group (either online or in-person)
  • Becoming knowledgeable about the disease, treatment options, and what to expect as it advances

A knowledgeable home care provider, like Hearts at Home In-Home Care, is an excellent asset to family members caring for someone with dementia. Beginning home care services now, in the earliest stage, is important to building trust and rapport with the senior – something which will be crucial as the dementia progresses into subsequent stages. In addition, it enables family caregivers the chance for ongoing, regularly scheduled breaks from care. Our fully trained and experienced care experts are highly skilled and up to date on the most effective dementia care techniques.

We can also provide you with helpful resources and support for Alzheimer’s in Kansas City and the surrounding areas, targeted to any particular challenges you are facing. Just reach out to us at 913-440-4209 and ask about scheduling a free in-home consultation. With Hearts at Home In-Home Care, you’re never alone; we are here to walk with you every step of the way.