There are more than 6 million seniors living with Alzheimer’s in the United States. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, within the next 30 years that number will skyrocket to more than 15 million. Getting a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s can be traumatizing for seniors and their families. Options like Alzheimer’s care can help alleviate the unknown.
Take Some Time To Process
It’s normal for both seniors and family members to have strong emotions after a diagnosis like Alzheimer’s. Take some time to process your emotions. Professional counseling as a family is a great way to help everyone process their emotions together. That way you can make a plan to move forward as a family. Look for a counselor that specializes in issues related to children caring for elderly parents.
Learn More About Alzheimer’s
Now is the time to start learning more about Alzheimer’s. There are books to read and lots of videos that you can watch. You and your senior parent may also want to start attending Alzheimer’s support groups. Talking to other families that have been through this can help. And you can listen to their stories to find out more about what to expect in the future. Often the hardest part of accepting the diagnosis is not knowing what the future holds. Educating yourself is the best thing you can do to prepare for the future.
Talk About Care Options
Even though it’s hard to process the fact that your senior parent is already experiencing decline due to Alzheimer’s it’s important to accept that. You and your senior parent should start talking about care options and what they want now. Keep everything in writing. And when you do finalize plans have your senior parent sign them. That way there will be no question about what they wanted later on.
Seniors who have Alzheimer’s can still live in their homes. With Alzheimer’s care at home seniors can enjoy being surrounded by their memories in a familiar place. Alzheimer’s care at home is available for seniors at all stages of dementia. Talk to a local care agency today to find out more about Alzheimer’s care options.
Start Taking Preventative Measures
It can feel like the clock started ticking as soon as your senior parent got diagnosed. And in a way, that’s true. Seniors should start taking preventative measures to slow the progression of the disease as soon as they get diagnosed. Very likely they will be put on medication and a regimen of vitamins and supplements that can help brain health. Seniors can do other things to improve their brain health like:
- Puzzles and games.
- Playing and listening to music.
- Occupational therapy.
- Doing arts and crafts.
- Getting lots of sleep.
By taking steps right away to maintain their brain health seniors may be able to slow their cognitive decline. You can make some of these activities a family affair by having family game night or taking your senior parent to see live music.