Receiving the news of a diagnosis for a loved one with early stage dementia is life-changing. Thinking through the various facets and factors associated with the disease, both now as well as in the future, can be overwhelming.
In the coming months, our three-part series will explore the early, middle and later stages of dementia. The blogs will look at the particular care recommended during each stage, what family caregivers should expect, and how Compassionate Nursing Services, an award-winning provider of senior care in Chesterfield and surrounding areas, can help.
Early Stage Dementia Caregiving
If you have just recently stepped into the role of caring for a senior loved one with early stage dementia, we have the help and the hope you need. The first step is to simply take a deep breath and find comfort in knowing you’re not alone. There are more than 50 million people currently living with dementia worldwide, and ten million new diagnoses yearly.
It’s also beneficial to understand that the beginning stage of Alzheimer’s can last for years, often with treatment options available to slow the progression of the disease. And, many seniors during the early stage are encountering minimal cognitive challenges – meaning you will have the chance to work together to put into place an approach that tackles all of the senior’s wishes related to finances, legal matters, and long-term care.
Understanding that, here are the changes you may expect for both your loved one and yourself.
Early Stage Dementia – Impact on the Senior Diagnosed:
- Becoming lost in familiar places
- Losing track of time
- Fear and/or denial
May benefit from assistance and support with:
- Making and keeping appointments
- Money management
- Recalling familiar names, places, and words
Early Stage Dementia – Impact on the Family Caregiver:
- Anxiety, stress, fear, and uncertainty with what the future will hold
- Frustration, anger, and resentment
- A loss of control
- Grief, sadness, and hopelessness
- Denial and a feeling of disbelief
May benefit from:
- Prioritizing self-care: getting lots of rest, eating a well-balanced diet, exercising, and setting aside time for enjoyable activities
- Engaging the services of a mental health professional if needed
- Creating a network of relatives and friends who will be prepared to help
- Finding and attending a support group (either in-person or online)
- Becoming educated on the disease, treatment options, and what to anticipate as it advances
A leading home care provider, like Compassionate Nursing Services, is an excellent asset to family members caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. Starting home care services now, in the earliest stage, is imperative to building trust and rapport with the older adult – something that will likely be essential as the dementia moves into subsequent stages. In addition, it allows family caregivers the opportunity for ongoing, regularly scheduled breaks from care. Our thoroughly trained and experienced care experts are highly skilled and up to date on the most effective dementia care techniques.
We can also offer you helpful resources specific to any particular challenges you are facing. Just contact us at 314-432-4312 and request a complimentary in-home consultation. With Compassionate Nursing Services, a premier provider of the most trusted senior care in Chesterfield, Missouri, and the surrounding areas, you’re never alone; we are here to walk with you each step of the way.