Over the last several months, you and your family have noticed drastic changes in your mother’s behaviour. She’s been forgetful, acting confused, and exhibiting an unusual angry and frustrated demeanour. Finally, your family doctor has given a medical diagnosis: Alzheimer’s disease.
Receiving such news isn’t easy. It’s natural to feel scared. If you’ve ever done any research on Alzheimer’s, you’ll know that it’s a disease that doesn’t go away — it’s progressive and develops from mild to severe stages over several years. Right now, you want to do everything you can to make your mom comfortable and as healthy as possible.
Consider taking these steps with your mom after receiving the news of her Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis. Doing so will help both you and her prepare accordingly for the future.
Step One: Educate Yourself
Once you give yourself some time to absorb and adjust to the news, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about the disease and how it can affect your loved one. Read about the changes you can expect from your mother, how quickly the changes typically occur, and what you can do to support and help maintain her quality of life and independence. Openly discuss your mom’s condition with close friends and family members, and ask her doctor where you can go to find valuable resources and information.
Step Two: Ask for Help
The sooner you and your family understand the complex challenges of dementia, the better. Your mom’s disease will worsen with time, and you’re going to need all of the help you can get. In the later stage of Alzheimer’s, people have trouble eating, walking, and talking. They will experience increasingly confusing perceptions of time and space. Your best bet is to find at-home dementia care from a professional healthcare agency.
It’s much less stressful for people with dementia to age peacefully at home instead of moving into a long-term care home. At-home dementia care from the right place will provide personal support and medical services to your mom where she knows best. And it will also offer you peace of mind, knowing that she’s always taken care of by professional caregivers and nurses.
Step Three: Don’t Forget About Yourself
While you want to do all you can to help your loved one, it’s critical not to forget about yourself. You’re going through a lot right now and feeling many different emotions at once. But without taking care of your emotional and physical health, there’s a chance that you’ll burn out and will be unable to offer support to your mom.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, talk to your doctor about counselling services and support groups you could join. Utilize your free time to treat yourself to something relaxing, such as a massage or a physical activity that you enjoy. Do your best to create time for yourself while also monitoring your mom and her condition.
Dementia is undoubtedly challenging and can be tough on the well-being of families. But with the right tools, it’s an illness that you can tackle. Use these steps as a guide to help you through this difficult time.