How You Can Help an Elderly Parent Recently Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s
Do you have an elderly parent who has been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s? Whether the diagnosis came as a shock or not, it is a very stressful thing to go through – both for your parent and their immediate family. There is a lot of uncertainly, fear, sadness and confusion about what comes next and what the diagnosis means to their lifestyle and health. So, let’s walk you through some of the steps you can take in the days, weeks and months following the diagnosis, keeping your parent’s health and comfort a priority.
Encourage Open and Frank Conversations
The first tip is to encourage your parent to talk about everything they are thinking and feeling. It’s a very tough diagnosis to deal with, and they need to feel safe and secure speaking to you and opening up. Understand that each person is unique and it may take your parent time to accept and adjust to the diagnosis. If they are showing any signs of depression or are having a hard time coping mentally with the diagnosis, it may be wise to speak to a therapist and get some extra help for them.
Be There to Help When Needed
It will also be important for you to be there for them when they need help. This could mean helping them with groceries, running errands and going to appointments. It also includes helping them to prepare meals, tidy up and just give them company. If they are in the early stages, they may still be quite independent, but this can change over time.
Read Up on Alzheimer’s
It’s also a good idea to become a bit of an expert regarding Alzheimer’s so you can better understand what they are going through right now, what their limitations may be, and what you may expect in the future. You can also speak to their doctor and ask any questions you may have.
What are the Best Treatment Options?
While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, there are treatment options that can help to lessen or at least better control the symptoms. The diagnosis is step one, and after that the doctor should work with them to find the most effective and beneficial treatment plan. You need to be on board and ready to support them.
An Assisted Living Facility Could Be a Great Option
It may also be the time to start talking about and considering an assisted living facility for your elderly parent. Many of these facilities offer memory care services that have been created with those suffering from dementia and/or Alzheimer’s in mind. The idea is that the facility provides them with the care they need, ensuring they are kept safe, and all while promoting a well-balanced lifestyle that includes socialization, physical activity, therapy and more. You can look into options like Monarch Senior Living and what they’re doing in terms of memory care.
An Alzheimer’s diagnosis is something that won’t just affect your parent’s immediate situation; it is something that will be with them from now on. Accepting that fact will make it easier as you are there to support them.