Elder Care in Cherry Creek, CO: Caring for a Senior in the Early Stages of Dementia

Elder Care in Cherry Creek, CO

Elder Care in Cherry Creek, COThe thought of creating and carrying out an elderly care plan for a senior with dementia can be intimidating. You know that you are going to have to deal with changes in her cognitive functioning, memory, decision-making skills, judgment, physical abilities, and even personality, and that these needs, challenges, and limitations will change as the disease progresses, making it necessary for you to continuously keep up with the changes and make modifications to your care approach as you need to in order to keep your efforts effective and successful.

If you are like many family caregivers preparing for an elderly care journey characterized by dementia, your thoughts are focused on the moderate to advanced stages of the disease when the challenges and limitations are very obvious and the needs of the senior are already at a point that necessitates extensive care. You may not have thought much about the early stages of the disease and how you are going to interact with and care for your parent as she moves through this phase of the progression.

For many caregivers, the early stages of dementia are strangely challenging. This is when many seniors are diagnosed, but when the effects of the disease are not yet serious and may not even be extremely noticeable for most people. Because the symptoms are as yet still mild and your parent still seems healthy, active, and engaged in the world around her, you may not know how to approach to the topic of her dementia within your care plan, and may even be resistant to starting to integrate this type of care into your approach because you do not think that she needs it. At this point it is important to realize that starting care for your parent during the early stages of dementia will lay the foundation for the future care that she will need, and helps you both get used to this new chapter that you are experiencing together.

Use these tips, and share them with your parent’s caregiver, to care for your elderly parent during the early stages of dementia:
• Talk about it. The disease is your senior’s reality now and doing whatever you can to avoid talking about it can actually be detrimental to your care efforts. Do not be afraid of the disease, and encourage your senior not to be afraid of it either. Talk about your feelings and ask your mother how she is feeling so that you can create an open, honest dialogue that will carry you through the progression.
• Encourage independence. The early stages of dementia are characterized by very mild symptoms that may not even be recognizable to others. Most seniors in this stage are still more than capable of living independently and may only need occasional assistance and support in handling tasks such as managing money or remembering appointments. Encourage her to keep as much of this independence as possible for as long as possible so that she can keep her mind sharp and her lifestyle active.
• Make plans. The early stages of the disease can last for years, but they can also end abruptly. It is important to take advantage of this time to record your loved one’s wishes regarding her future care, life support, hospice, and other critical issues so that you can both feel confident that if her progression is fast and severe, you know what to do in order to give her the type of care and assistance that she would want.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional elder care services in Cherry Creek, CO, please contact Visiting Angels at 303-232-9999.

http://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-early-mild-stage-caregiving.asp

About Greg Elliott

Greg Elliott founded the Visiting Angels’ office in 2008 after a successful, twenty year career in pharmaceutical sales and management. The original office was located in Lakewood, and has since been relocated to Wheat Ridge to accommodate our ever-expanding team.

“Our goal is to allow Seniors to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. The service that we provide is truly rewarding, and I love the time I get to spend meeting Seniors in our community.”

Greg is a proud graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder. He currently resides in Arvada, and loves spending time with his wife and son and their Australian Shepherd . When not at the office, Greg enjoys travel, skiing, golf and fly-fishing.

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