Learning that your senior has dementia may be the last thing that either of you expected. This doesn’t have to mean that everything changes overnight, but there are things you need to know about being a caregiver to someone with dementia.
Her Brain Is Changing
The most important thing to remember when your senior is diagnosed with dementia is that her brain is changing. This isn’t a cutesy description at all. How her brain operates and functions is going to change and the speed at which that happens varies from one person to another. She may still have some time in the earlier stages, which can be helpful in setting up care plans for the future.
Your Relationship Is Changing
Along with her brain, your relationship and how you interact with your elderly family member is also changing. She may have been fairly independent and capable in the past, which meant that your relationship might have been one in which emotional support was most important. As dementia progresses, she’s going to need to rely on you in different ways, which will change how you and she see each other. This can be really difficult.
You’re Going to Grieve
There’s a loss here, both for her and for you. You’re probably going to be surprised to realize that at some point, you’re grieving for the time and the relationship that you’ve lost with your senior. Neither of you might have seen this coming, which can make the grief a little sharper. If you try to process what you’re feeling as you feel it, though, you’re less likely to find yourself in dangerous waters.
Her Doctor Can Help You Learn What to Expect
Your senior’s doctor can be hugely helpful in sharing with both of you what to expect for your senior. There’s no way that her doctor can predict exactly what’s going to happen when, but the more information that you have, the better prepared you can be. Your elderly family member’s doctor can help you to spot the changes that indicate she’s moving into a different stage of dementia. This allows you to adapt as her brain continues to change.
This isn’t about you doing everything on your own, either. You’re going to need help along the way and elder care providers have the kind of experience that you’ll need to rely on regularly. They can make sure your senior is fine while you take the time that you need to be able to come back fresh and tackle everything again.
If you or an aging loved one needs Senior Care in Sacramento, CA, remember Senior Home Care Services. Call us at (916) 514-7006 for more information.