There are some incidences in life that alter the course of how you've always lived. They make you reevaluate your loved one's way of living and how that one situation might force you to make certain decisions for the better.
One such incident is finding out if someone you care about gets diagnosed with long-term dementia or Alzheimer’s. Coming to terms with this can be challenging and time-consuming.
Here are a few simple steps to help you move past the stage of grief and transcend to finding a way to get through the situation.
One of the first and foremost steps is to take time to process the information, understand and establish what the “new normal” is and work on that. This processing is vital for the caretaker and the newly diagnosed person, as they both need to come to terms with the changes to be made.
The quicker the caretaker grieves and accepts the outcome, the better suited he will be to guide the Alzheimer’s patient and take better care.
- Give the diagnosed individual enough time to grieve and understand the changes in lifestyle and identity. Don't rush the healing and acceptance so that the diagnosed person can recognize the diagnosis's repercussions.
- Emphasize and highlight the still present roles of the diagnosed individual
- Offer them support and a shoulder to lean on, and even encourage them to talk to a trusted friend or even a therapist as a vent.
Develop a Support Plan
Etching a proper step-by-step support plan and implementing it can help people in their initial stage of the disease move beyond the fear of identity loss and move onto the hobbies they enjoyed previously.
- Make a to-do list for the diagnosed individual to help them set their daily affairs in order and also giving them the freedom to check their schedule and follow it.
- Give the person incentives and encouragement to continue the activities he/she adopted before diagnosis and get involved in them to give the company and increase interest.
- The caretaker's engagement will also help foster a strong connection and be a relief to the diagnosed individual’s mental health.
Communication is Key
Encourage loved ones to join a support group, as interacting with those who went through the same situation would reduce feelings of isolation and fear.
- Specific Alzheimer's Associations in cities also offer a myriad of training tips, advice, and educate the caregivers about resources that would help you prioritize care.
- Avoid getting frustrated or stressed if you have to repeat certain things again and again to the patient. Try using simpler statements, keep information concise, and speak slowly as effective communication is essential.
- Maintain a particular routine that the diagnosed person can familiarize themselves with and can get used to the structure. Keeping a consistent timetable for meals, baths, and other activities will help set that pattern in the individual brain and make it easier for them to navigate their day.
A preeminent help in navigating a routine, and partially excluding the need of a constant caretaker, is the Best Day clock which you can personalize according to an individual’s set times. With an easy-to-read display and features like automatic display dimmer at night times, you can also easily set up multiple alarms for reminders about appointments, medication, meals, and leisure, thus giving you extra support without being cautious times.