Facing a diagnosis of dementia? This can be a scary moment for seniors and their families. Once you receive that diagnosis, the prognosis may seem bleak. Even with today’s latest treatments, the typical course of these disorders is progressive. In time, most cognitive functioning and memory may be lost. Many aging adults lose the ability to care for themselves. They will need the assistance of others. Before it becomes too late to make an educated decision, it is essential to develop a dementia care plan:
The first thing to do, when making your dementia care plan, is to identify the options available to you. Many aging adults want to remain in their own residence for as long as possible. Others elect to reside with family members. Still others elect to move into a senior living community or assisted living.
Remaining in your own home is a great option, if it is feasible and safe to do so. However, as your symptoms progress, you may find that this is no longer a viable option. At some point, you may also realize that home ownership has lost its appeal for you. Afterall, home ownership includes a lot of costs and responsibilities, with daily upkeep, and those random home repairs that always seem to need done.
Living with family can be a good option because there are fewer responsibilities and others are available to assist you. However, if you are experiencing dementia, you may find a crowded and busy household overwhelming at times. At some point, you may also find that you need more care, and especially more specialized professional care, for your personal health needs, than what your family is able to provide.
The downsides of living alone or with family lead many people to consider relocation to a senior living community or assisted living option. If you make this choice, it is ideal to look for an option that offers a range of services that can scale to meet your unique needs. This will allow you to age in place, so that you can relocate one time and settle in, rather than moving multiple times during your senior years.
If you have a diagnosis of dementia, when you look for senior living or assisted living options, look for communities with dementia care services. These services are specially designed for individuals with dementia. Trained nursing staff will be available to provide for your needs. Staff can also coordinate with your medical care providers and specialists, to ensure you have the right dementia care plan.
Many seniors elect to relocate sooner, rather than later, so that they can settle in and enjoy all the perks that senior living communities offer. These perks include safe outdoor spaces, prepared gourmet meals, and planned activities. These options allow you to enjoy life, with fewer responsibilities. As your needs increase, you can begin to utilize more services, such as housekeeping and memory care.
As you examine your options and begin to establish a dementia care plan, consult with your medical providers and trusted family members to make your decisions. Visit potential senior living and assisted living communities with your family. They can help you ask all the pertinent questions and ensure you make the decision that is best for you. Once you have made your decision, you can link your community staff to your medical providers so that they can coordinate on your dementia care plan.
With the right residence and a proper dementia care plan in place, you can have peace of mind knowing you have done all you can to prepare. This will allow you to enjoy your senior years with quality of life.