Having an unrealistic view of a loved one who has dementia can be detrimental to his or her health and wellbeing. Not only can denial have an adverse impact on your loved one’s health by limiting access to essential care, but it can also affect your own health. Vancouver, BC, elder care experts list five reasons family caregivers need to acknowledge the existence and challenges of dementia.
1. Protect Your Health
Caregivers have a high likelihood of experiencing a sharp, stress-related decrease in their own wellbeing when they refuse to accept the reality of dementia. This is especially true for spouses who are acting as sole caregivers for their loved ones. Acknowledging dementia gives people the incentive and ability to reach out for much-needed resources and help, rather than attempting to shoulder the often overwhelming responsibilities of dementia care on their own.
2. Prevent Financial Exploitation
Aging adults are among the most vulnerable demographics. This, however, is all the more true for seniors with memory loss and a significant decrease in cognitive functioning. Seniors may become more charitable than they normally are, or they may enter financial transactions with a childlike sense of trust. By accepting dementia has become an issue for your loved one, you can take concerted legal steps to proactively protect his or her assets and overall financial wellbeing.
3. Avoid Medication Mismanagement
Forgetfulness can be incredibly dangerous when seniors with dementia are left in charge of their medication dosing schedules. Not only is there an increased risk of missed or forgotten doses, but there is also a higher likelihood of accidental overdose. Labeled pill boxes that help seniors structure and maintain their dosing schedules are sufficient for preventing events like these. As dementia progresses, your loved one may need to have his or her medications administered at the proper times and in the proper amounts.
4. Obtain Timely Professional Treatment
With certain forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s, there are no treatments for the condition or its progression. There are, however, medications that can mitigate and alleviate dementia symptoms, and there are also several forms of treatable dementia common among seniors. Talking to your loved one’s doctor right away allows for early intervention and the best possible prognosis.
5. Get Everything in Order Early
During the formative stages of dementia, many seniors still have sufficient enough cognitive abilities to participate in the long-term planning process. This gives them greater say in how they want their personal affairs handled and who they want them handled by. It is important for your loved one to establish financial and medical power of attorney and provide written permission for you or other adult children to access medical records. This eliminates the need to undergo the costly and time-consuming process of going to court to secure conservancy or guardianship.
If your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia and you feel he or she can benefit from a professional caregiver, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We provide live-in and respite care, and our caregivers are trained to provide specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Vancouver families can call (778) 279-3634 to speak to one of our Case Managers and request a complimentary, no-obligation consultation today.