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How to Handle a Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s

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Roughly 25,000 new cases of Alzheimer’s are diagnosed each year in Canada, according to the Alzheimer Society of Canada. If your senior loved one has received this news, both you and your loved one may be a bit overwhelmed, but there are ways to manage an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Learn More about Alzheimer’s

An effective way to gather information relevant to your loved one’s condition is by scheduling an appointment with his or her doctor. This way, you and your loved one can ask questions and get a general overview of what’s typically experienced as Alzheimer’s progresses. The Alzheimer Society of Canada also has a website you can visit to find more tips and updates on research.

If your loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, help is just a phone call away. For reliable Alzheimer’s care, Surrey families can turn to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of professional memory care designed to help seniors maintain a higher quality of life. In addition to Alzheimer’s care, we also provide comprehensive dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care. From revolutionary care programs to compassionate and dedicated caregivers, we can meet all of your Alzheimer’s care needs.

Have Realistic Expectations

There are ways to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s symptoms. In fact, there are people who survive for 20 years or more after receiving a diagnosis. However, Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that isn’t reversible at the moment. Instead of hoping your loved one will regain information and abilities he or she has lost, focus on daily care and comfort, which might involve:

• Using memory prompts such as Post-it notes and reminder texts
• Helping out with meal prep, household chores, and other daily tasks
• Tracking reactions to medications and therapies
• Reporting any changes in behavior to the doctor so care adjustments can be made

Adjust How You Communicate

As Alzheimer’s symptoms become evident, you’ll have to change how you communicate with your loved one. During the earlier and middle stages of the disease, this might mean confirming or validating your loved one’s feelings, sticking to one topic at a time when talking, and avoiding open-ended questions (e.g., “What would you like for dinner?”) that might cause confusion.

Tackle Legal Planning and Related Tasks ASAP

Ideally, you want your loved one to be able to decide what’s best for him or herself when he or she is still fully capable of doing so. Doing things like preparing a will or healthcare directive soon after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis could minimize stress and possibly prevent family squabbles later on. It’s also a good idea to bring other family members into the discussions so everyone is aware of what type of planning your loved one prefers.

Realize Your Relationship Will Change with Time

If you have an aging parent with Alzheimer’s, it may seem odd to go through a role reversal process, but this is what often happens as the disease progresses. It’s likely you’ll eventually have to manage tasks such as:

• Scheduling doctors’ appointments
• Making sure monthly bills are paid
• Doing household tasks

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Surrey Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Identify Possible Sources of Help

You and your loved one don’t have to manage an Alzheimer’s diagnosis alone. It’s never too early to look for reliable sources of help. Make a list of resources available to both you and your loved one and take advantage of them as needed. Possible sources of help may include:

• Other family members and friends
• Local meal delivery and household cleaning services
• Senior transportation services
• Support groups for family caregivers
• In-home care services 

There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading homecare provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (778) 279-3634 today.