At Nightingale Homecare, we believe that knowledge is empowering, and strive to provide you with timely information on helping your aging loved ones thrive throughout the aging process. In our last blog, we outlined the three main stages of Alzheimer’s disease to help you better relate to the particular challenges your loved one with Alzheimer’s is facing. We’d like to take that concept a step further this week and offer you some additional resources that can ease the strain of caring for someone with dementia.
A sad reality about Alzheimer’s disease is that, while family members may suspect a problem, their loved one is often in denial about the situation for months or even years before actually finally a diagnosis. This makes Alzheimer’s a disease of isolation from the beginning and most certainly in the final days. Alzheimer’s often begins with a beloved family member living in a state of “impending doom,” seldom sharing, and more often hiding, their periods of forgetfulness and confusion, until the disease ultimately robs the individual of any meaningful connection to the friends and family surrounding them. Once the Alzheimer’s diagnosis is delivered, it is often described as a “loss” or “slow death” of that beloved person we once knew, and can initiate the grief process, including feelings of denial, anger, sadness and regret.
Following the denial, anger and any other myriad of emotions you may experience, understanding and preparing for the stages of Alzheimer’s is the first step in confronting the many possible issues that often accompany the disease process. Thankfully, there is no end to the support patients and families living with Alzheimer’s have available in this country.
Scientists work tirelessly on a cure for Alzheimer’s, but until that time, there is much we can do to create a sense of meaning, peace and improved quality of life throughout the progression of the disease. Developing a plan for your loved one and your family that includes care options at each stage of progression should be a goal a primary goal following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
The professional staff of Nightingale Homecare recommend the following:
- “Elder Rage” by Jacqueline Marcell is a wonderful book to aide in understanding the numerous issues related to managing and navigating an adult loved one’s progress through the disease and the medical system.
- C&V Senior Care offers a variety of resources for those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. Nightingale Homecare has implemented their “Alzheimer’s Whisperers” training into our own caregiver training process, ensuring all of our caregivers are specially trained and experienced in safe, compassionate, creative dementia care techniques.
- The Alzheimer’s Association provides a goldmine of assistance and support for families across the country.
- Most importantly, we recommend partnering with a professional home care agency, such as Nightingale Homecare, qualified in the care and management of Alzheimer’s disease. Our experienced staff can assist with patient and family education, caring for the patient, and managing the symptoms that accompany Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s disease impacts not just the person diagnosed, but everyone in that person’s network of family and friends. Call us at 602-504-1555 and let our professional Alzheimer’s care team share the journey with you.