27 Oct Things to Consider when Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s or Dementia
Special thanks to Marija Padjen of the Alzheimer Society of Toronto for her assistance with this article.
When a loved one receives an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, it can be hard to know what level of care they need. You might wonder if the person should stay in their own home, or if they should move into a family member’s house. You might wonder if the person should move into an assisted living facility.
Get Educated Early
The answer is that all of the above are correct, it really depends on the person and their specific situation. Ambiguous answer, I know, but the circumstances can vary so widely that it’s impossible to say that what works in one situation will work in another. It’s important to become educated on the disease early in the process, as this allows for future care planning. Often, families that are educated about what to expect are able to keep the person with Alzheimer’s at home longer than those who are not educated about the disease. If you think that you are doing fine, and you don’t need to learn more about the disease or find out about the resources available to you, understand that now is actually the time. It is easier to consider the options and circumstances now, before the situation starts to become stressful.
It’s also important to plan early because there are waiting lists for nursing facilities in some areas, and it may be necessary for a person with Alzheimer’s to be put on a list before they need that level of care so that they will be able to get into a facility later. Importantly, becoming educated early also allows the person who has been diagnosed to have greater participation in making decisions around the care they will receive.
Factors to Consider
When considering the best living arrangement for a person with Alzheimer’s disease, there are a few things you should consider:
- Do friends and family live nearby, and can they help care for the person?
- What are the person’s capabilities and limitations?
- What resources are available to you in your geographic location?
- What are the financial circumstances and available resources in this situation?
All of these factors will play a role in deciding the best way to care for a person with Alzheimer’s disease. It is important to be aware that the resources available to you may vary widely depending on your location. For instance, some areas in Ontario may have access to day programs, and others may not. Contact your local Alzheimer Society Chapter for more information about the resources that are available to you.
Making decisions around how to care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease is not easy. Understanding what to expect and knowing your options will help you, so get educated early, and make the decisions that will work for your specific circumstances.
To find your local Alzheimer Society Chapter, click here, or call 1- 800-616-8816