Knowing that your elderly family member is battling dementia is not easy. But if your plan is to take care of her as long as possible, you need a plan to make that caregiving journey as smooth as possible. These tips can help you make that plan and adjust it as you need to. Because flexible plans will give your senior the best chance to make the most of what’s going on.
Get as Organized as You Can
When someone you love has dementia, you need to be as organized as possible. That means organizing paperwork and your senior’s home, along with everything in between. You need to be extra organized, because that’s going to reduce the time and energy you spend looking for things. It’s amazing how draining that can be, so remove that obstacle.
Lean on Home Care Providers Sooner Rather than Later
Bringing in home care providers now, in the earlier stages of dementia care, can make life easier for you and your senior. It also helps your elderly family member get used to receiving help from home care providers, which can be especially useful later on. Having help now will help prevent burnout that could take you out of the caregiving game far too early.
Talk to Your Senior’s Doctor about Tips
Every dementia patient’s situation is slightly different, and that’s definitely the case for your elderly family member. Talk with her doctor about what to expect and what will help her in her unique situation. The more you can map out now, the better.
Consider Joining a Support Group
A support group for other caregivers of seniors with dementia may help you much more than you expect. There are many options these days, from in-person groups to virtual meetings. Find the ones that work the best for your life and your needs, but make sure you’re getting the support that you need.
Try to Anticipate Changes Your Senior May Experience
Part of being a caregiver to someone with dementia involves anticipating her needs. Your senior may function well now, but that’s not going to be the case forever. The more tools and supports you put in place now for you and your senior, the better off both of you will be down the line. This is also where talking with your senior’s doctor and having access to both support groups and home care providers can be helpful. You’re able to pull from a wealth of experiences to ensure your senior has her needs covered for as long as possible.
Dementia means your elderly family member’s life will be different than you expected. But that doesn’t mean your senior’s quality of life must be sacrificed. Or that caregiving has to be draining for you. There are many ways to ensure that everyone can face what’s coming.