As you noticed your elderly loved one becoming more forgetful, you may have reassured yourself that this was a normal part of the aging process. Now that he or she has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, life will be changing for both of you. As a leading provider of in-home care in Toronto, we understand that an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be difficult to cope with. We wanted to share some information about the early stages of the disease and what families can expect; knowing this information beforehand can help ensure that you provide your loved one with the highest quality of care throughout the course of the disease.
In the beginning, your role is going to be more that of a companion than a caregiver. Many seniors have some knowledge of their diagnosis and can feel saddened or overwhelmed by the news. They may feel fearful of the future and this can present itself as anger, frustration or depression. While families are often coping with their own emotions, it’s of the utmost importance to be aware and in tune with the emotions of their loved one. This can help to provide comfort and reassurance to the senior.
During the early stages, focus on the positives and keep your conversations light and optimistic. Your loved one needs your love and support more than anything. Keep a notebook of questions you want to ask and things you want to discuss, but don’t bombard your loved one with all of these items at once. When the day is going good and he or she is in a good mood, tackle one question at a time. You want to respect your loved one’s wishes in the future, so now is the time to record these wishes for later.
Help your loved one to be as independent as possible while they still can. Set up a system to help them remember their medications and appointments, and encourage independence with daily tasks as much as possible. You may also want to consider the help of a professional Alzheimer’s caregiver in Toronto who can assist with daily routines on an hourly or live-in basis. Their presence can ensure the safety of your loved one and can provide you with peace of mind.
Also remember that you are not alone. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others for support. Along with family and friends, there are many support groups available both in person and online. Talking to other people who are in the same situation can be a great source of strength for both you and your loved one and can help you cope with the emotions that come along with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
For more information about caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, contact Home Care Assistance of Toronto today. We are a trusted provider of Alzheimer’s care, offering flexible care schedules, highly trained Alzheimer’s caregivers and no long-term contracts or commitments. Call 416-488-8777 to speak with a Care Manager and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.