Dementia can feel like a dirty word. Perhaps that’s why many doctors and family members elect not to tell seniors that they have been diagnosed with dementia. Though dementia presents some challenges, it doesn’t have to mark the end of a meaningful life. Seniors deserve to know about their diagnosis so that they can plan for the future they want and deserve. Dementia care in Palm-Aire, Florida, is more than just a strategy for keeping a person with dementia safe. The right community can improve quality of life, maximizing your loved one’s abilities for as long as possible. Here’s what to look for.
What You Need to Know About Dementia
If your loved one is struggling with memory, daily tasks, or thinking clearly, you might assume that they have Alzheimer’s. Though Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia, it’s not the only type. Before you begin your search for dementia care in Palm-Aire, Florida, you must first know your loved one’s needs. To accomplish this, you need an accurate diagnosis. The needs of someone with, for example, primary progressive aphasia will be quite different from those of someone with Lewy body dementia or Alzheimer’s — particularly in the early stages of the disease, which is when different types of dementias are most distinct from one another.
Seek care from a neurologist who specializes in dementia, and then ask for information about your loved one’s prognosis. Some important things to ask include:
- What are the stages of this form of dementia?
- What is the life expectancy?
- Does this type of dementia respond well to medication?
- What tasks is my loved one most likely to struggle with?
- Does this dementia predispose my loved one to any other health issues?
Identifying Your Needs
One of the most frustrating realities of dementia is that it is unpredictable. Some people remain independent and healthy for many years. Others need help within weeks of their diagnosis. This means that no single model of care can support all seniors who have this disease. And because dementia is progressive, your senior loved one’s needs may change with time. This is why it’s imperative to find a community that can accommodate a wide range of changing needs.
As you begin your search, a few questions can help you identify your loved one’s needs:
- Would any specific accommodations help your loved one be more independent? For example, a senior with speech impairments may need an assistive device.
- How is your loved one’s mental health? Are they depressed or anxious?
- What activities does your loved one enjoy?
- Does your loved one have any special nutritional needs?
- What comforts your loved one? Music? Exercise? Games?
- How much daily help does your loved one need?
- What is your budget? Will selling your loved one’s house add flexibility to your budget?
Attributes of Quality Dementia Care in Palm-Aire, Florida
Though every senior has their own needs, good dementia care communities all have a few things in common, including:
- Committed and compassionate staff
- Respect for people with dementia
- A commitment to keeping residents engaged and healthy
- Good communication with loved ones
- A focus on good health, including through exceptional nutrition
As you begin your search, focus on visiting communities in person — ideally during a meal or activity, so you can meet residents and witness community interactions. Consider how staff treat residents, and whether residents seem happy and comfortable, or restless and overwhelmed. Ask many questions. Great communities are eager to share what sets them apart, and welcome as many questions as you can ask.
With the right support, seniors can keep their minds engaged and their bodies moving. At The Preserve at Palm-Aire, we firmly believe that dementia is just another of life’s changes — not the end to a purposeful life filled with joy. To learn more about how today’s seniors are defying the odds and thriving even with dementia, check out our free guide, “Living Well with Dementia.”