Tough choices and hard realities confront those impacted by a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, but accepting the facts can give families time to prepare for difficult days ahead.
It can start slowly with an adult child noticing that her mother has mixed up her pills, gone out and left the stove on, or forgotten to pay bills. It can be uncomfortable when she tries to raise the subject, but a medical examination may be in order.
If a doctor rules out other explanations and determines the early onset of dementia, the family needs to take the time to have an open conversation, gather information, reflect, and make appropriate changes to plan for the future.
Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, a disease which progressively worsens over time, but there are ways to relieve symptoms. The Alzheimer’s Association (AA) states there are three general stages of the disease, and each person will experience these symptoms differently.
Planning for the future makes life better by making wishes about medical care and living arrangements known before a crisis. The simple act of knowing what to expect can ease the burden a bit for everyone concerned, AA advises.
This planning should include:
- Legal Planning (organizing important documents, naming another person to make decisions on the senior’s behalf)
- Financial Planning (the costs of long-term care and how to pay for them)
- Circle of Care (who will be involved in ensuring well-being as the disease progresses)
- End-of-Life Planning (advance directives, a living will, organ donation, funeral plans)
Regency offers an alternative to asking someone in the family to take on the enormous responsibility of caring for the aging parent. Renaissance Centre is Regency’s secure memory care area with specially trained caregivers offering a structured environment, complete with an enclosed outdoor courtyard.
When facing Alzheimer’s disease, there are a lot of things to consider. AA’s Alzheimer’s Navigator helps guide you to answers by creating a personalized action plan and linking you to information, support and local resources. This planning tool can be found at https://www.alzheimersnavigator.org/
For more information about Regency Retirement Village Jackson, call (731) 661-9888.