Steps to Take After an Elderly Loved One Is Diagnosed with Dementia

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According to, nearly every 70 seconds, someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. Even if you knew a diagnosis of dementia was possibly coming, it can still be a shock for you and your senior loved one. If your aging parent has recently been diagnosed with dementia, you might not be sure what happens next or what to expect. Here are a few things to keep in mind as everyone involved moves forward.

Take Time to Adjust 

After your loved one receives a definitive diagnosis of dementia, your parent and your whole family need time to adjust to the reality of the situation. Although the diagnosis may not come as a complete surprise, receiving the news may not be any less shattering. You may go through 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. 

Gain Knowledge 

Different types of dementia 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. 

Take Safety into Consideration

Dementia causes memory loss. At some point, your loved one may forget where he or she is, even if it’s only a few blocks from home. Safety precautions are needed to protect your loved one. Accompany your parent when he or she leaves the home, and install motion sensors or some type of door alarm that will alert you if your loved one decides to leave home unexpectedly without assistance. 

Caring for a senior with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. Luckily, there is Dementia Care Ashburn families can rely on. Professional dementia caregivers help seniors with dementia stay safe and comfortable at home by preventing wandering, providing cognitive stimulation, and assisting with household chores. 

Hire In-Home Care 

As dementia progresses, your parent may not remember to eat or take medications. You or an in-home caregiver 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.

A professional caregiver with training and expertise in caring for seniors with dementia can be a wonderful asset for your whole family. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of homecare. Ashburn families can rely on Assisting Hands Home Care to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life.

Get Support 

Witnessing your parent’s cognitive decline may cause anger, anxiety, denial, and sadness. These feelings are normal. To handle these changes, consider joining a support group, where you’ll be able to hear the stories of other families and share your own feelings, fears, and concerns. Group members who have experience with similar circumstances can provide comfort and support along with tips and advice. 

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 caregiver, you must make sure to eat healthy to provide your body with the fuel it needs to function well. Strive to get between seven and nine hours of restful sleep at night, and make sure to get regular exercise so you 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 caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted 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. Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (703) 423-0708.