In Australia, dementia is considered the second leading cause of death. Statistics indicate that 10 percent of adults aged between 65 and 85 have dementia. Records for 2018 indicate that more than 435,000 older Australian adults live with the cognitive disorder. If your senior loved one receives a diagnosis of dementia, there are several steps you must take.
1. Take Time to Adjust
After receiving a definitive diagnosis of dementia, your loved one and your family need time to adjust to the reality of the situation. Although the diagnostic outcome may have been suspected, receiving the news may not be any less shattering. You may undergo a period of grieving that includes denial, anger, and depression before coming to a state of calm acceptance. Your parent needs the love, compassion, and support of family members during this time.
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Erina seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.
2. Gain Knowledge
There are different types of dementia that develop due to specific reasons. You need to know the particulars behind your loved one’s diagnosis. This way, you can better understand how the disorder will progress and the steps you need to take to ensure your loved one enjoys a high quality of life despite cognitive impairment.
3. Take Safety into Consideration
Dementia causes memory loss. At some point, your loved one may forget where he or she is even if only a few blocks from home. Safety precautions are needed to protect your loved one. Accompany your loved one when he or she leaves the home. Motion sensors or some type of door alarm can alert you if your loved one decides to leave the home unexpectedly without assistance.
4. Hire In-Home Care
As dementia progresses, your parent may not remember to eat or take medications. You or an in-home care worker must be on hand to provide gentle reminders and assistance when needed. Your loved one may also need help performing self-care and hygiene tasks.
Professional care workers with training and expertise in methods of cognitive stimulation can be a wonderful asset for seniors with dementia. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of in-home care. Erina families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualised care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
5. Get Support
Witnessing your parent’s cognitive decline may cause anger, anxiety, denial, and sadness. These feelings are normal. To manage these changes, consider joining a support group. Hear the stories of other families. Share your feelings, fears, and concerns. Group members who have experience with similar circumstances can provide comfort and support along with tips and advice.
6. Take Care of Yourself
You cannot adequately care for a senior loved one affected by dementia if you don’t care for yourself. The challenges and stress involved in caring for your loved one could take a toll on your body. As a family carer, you must make sure to eat healthy to provide your body with the fuel needed to function. Strive to get between seven and nine hours of restful sleep at night. Exercise to stay fit.
Caring for a loved one with dementia is a challenging task for anyone. The responsibilities can sometimes feel overwhelming, but help is available. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caring duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Erina senior home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. If you need professional aged care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (02) 4363 5090.