In this post, we offer some key tips and resources for those of you managing the elder care of a loved one with memory loss, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease:
First, if you have questions about the terminology of memory loss and dementia or are in the process of seeking to find out what might be going on with a loved one who seems to be showing signs of memory loss, grab our easy-to-understand guide with lots of great info:
As someone who may be at one of many stages of elder care management for a loved one with memory loss, you may be encountering a wide range of concerns and issues. We can’t answer all of those in one post, but we do encourage you to contact us or leave a comment below on particular issues you’d like to see us cover. Here are a few tips that we think will help anyone in the process of caring for a loved one with dementia:
- Preparation eases the caregiving path. If you are just noticing some concerns, now is the time to marshal your resources: educate yourself on the disease, resources and your loved one’s situation (such as health and insurance coverage, overall health issues, financial picture and status of legal documents and estate planning). Check out our Essential Eldercare Checklist for more details. If you are in the midst of caregiving, read up on the concerns you are facing and the disease stages, and keep a “resource notebook” (or list of online sites) handy.
- Your biggest caregiving role is advocate. This becomes exponentially important when caring for someone with memory loss. Your loved one needs (or will need) someone to be his/her “memory” and assist in coordination, ask the right questions and be his/her protector. You may divide up duties in advocating with other family members or may bring in a professional care manager/patient advocate to help, but good advocacy will make all the difference in your loved one’s elder care.
- Get support (in the way that works best for you, see our resources section below for some ideas). Not everyone wants to join a traditional support group, but you might find it useful to talk to a counselor, have the one-on-one support of a geriatric care manager, or join in forums online. The diseases that cause memory loss are particularly challenging for families…you need support, ideas, and places to turn as you face different challenges.
If you are looking for assistance with elder care management, concerned about a loved one with memory loss or have questions, give us a call at 727-447-5845 or tell us a little more so we can get in touch and find solutions for you!
Additional Resources for caregivers:
Alzheimer’s Association: offers great online resources, as well as local offices for support group information in your community and help with community-specific information.
Family Caregiver Alliance offers a few online support groups, as well as important caregiver information and fact sheets.