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How To Prepare For Life After A Dementia Diagnosis

Your senior loved one has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia. What happens next? A transition period often follows a dementia diagnosis where patients and their families have to adjust and prepare for the progression of this ugly disease. There are a number of physical, financial and mental preparations that your family will need to be ready for.

Physical Signs To Look For

Stage One: Normal Brain Health – No impairment. Doctors start the scale at this level in order to have a benchmark of comparison.

Stage Two: Very Mild – Symptoms include having a hard time remembering names. Unless it progresses to something more serious, it is not a cause for concern and may not indicate the onset of a serious cognitive illness.

Stage Three: Mild – Mild cognitive impairment (MCI), characterized by an escalation of previously minor issues with memory and thinking that starts to affect your loved one’s daily life to a moderate extent.

Stage Four:  Moderate – In addition to memory issues, a loved one may begin to experience moodiness or begin to seem anti-social. They will have trouble with everyday tasks and often be unresponsive. They will often deny that anything is wrong.

Stage Five: Moderately Severe – Your loved one will need help with basic daily tasks. At this point, they will suffer from regular confusion, forgetfulness, and have difficulty with focus and problem solving. A memory care facility should be considered at this stage.

Stage Six: Severe – A caregiver will be needed for everyday tasks. The same memory and mental problems will still be there, however, your loved one will also experience personality changes, delusions, and may have trouble recognizing family and friends.

Stage Seven: Very Severe – Loved ones will often lose the ability to communicate. They will also need help with all types of day-to-day care and could lose the ability to walk.

Financial and Legal Planning

Financial and legal planning are very important to talk to your loved one about. The sooner financial and legal matters are taken care of, the more a loved one diagnosed with dementia will be able to participate. Financial matters include monthly bills, the status of various bank accounts, loans, and credit cards, insurance policies, etc. Legal matters include updating wills or trusts, designating power of attorney, and/or creating a living will or trust.

Preserve Memories

What better way to bond than to sit down and listen to all the stories your senior loved one has to tell. Make sure to record these stories and take plenty of photos and videos for precious keepsakes in the future. The most important thing to remember is to cherish the time with your loved one here and now.

As the disease progresses and you find yourself searching for a memory care facility in the Mandeville area, consider Beau Provence. We know caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia can be incredibly difficult. That’s why we’re here to help. We are a state-of-the-art memory care assisted living community that provides exceptional, highly personalized care to seniors in a therapeutic environment that honors the dignity and individuality of each unique resident. Schedule a tour today!

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