When your loved one receives a diagnosis of dementia, it is shocking and heartbreaking for everyone. However, early diagnosis techniques have been instrumental in giving family members the opportunity to plan for their future alongside their loved one. Because dementia is a progressive disease, planning for the future includes financial, safety, and quality of life considerations.
Why Dementia Care?
For many family members, a dementia care community is a part of the long-term plan for their loved one who is living with the disease. These specialized senior living communities are designed for seniors living with dementia, right down to every environmental and safety detail.
Most family members simply cannot offer care and assistance for their loved one long term. Similarly, most seniors with dementia cannot live at home alone and be safe as the disease progresses. Dementia care communities address these issues, allowing seniors the opportunity to be safe, comfortable, engaged and happy.
When Is It Time?
One of the hardest parts of living with dementia is knowing when the time is right to make the transition into a senior living community. Though each senior is unique, here are a few signs that the time is growing near:
- You consistently find expired food in the fridge or cabinets.
- Your senior loved one cannot safely cook on the stovetop or microwave.
- Your senior loved one has wandered out of their home or gotten lost in the past few months.
- Your senior loved one is increasingly anxious and unable to be calmed by a visit or phone call from you.
- Your loved one cannot safely manage their medications.
Starting the Conversation
It is wise to make the transition to dementia care prior to a medical crisis. You can avoid an emergency transfer situation by starting the conversation with your family members and loved one as soon as possible. When leading the conversation:
Stay calm and try to keep heated emotions from overflowing.
Refer to specific incidents (e.g., “Mom got lost on her way to the grocery store last week.”).
Talk about how you feel (e.g., “I was really worried when she was lost and I couldn’t get a hold of her”).
Talk about the options available and discuss the pros and cons of each.
Include your loved one by asking for their opinion as well as about their feelings. The idea of moving to a dementia care community can often be a relief for someone who is living with cognitive loss.
Brainstorm other solutions.
If you are the primary caregiver, communicate what kind of help you will need in the short and long term while your loved one is still at home.
Don’t feel like you have to leave the conversation with a specific plan in place; instead, regroup in a few days to see how everyone feels.
If there are safety concerns, be sure to have a short-term plan in place to alleviate those dangers.
Finding a Solution in Marietta
When you and your loved one are ready to begin the process of searching for a dementia care community in Marietta, begin by targeting communities that offer specialized dementia care neighborhoods. These neighborhoods were built to increase socialization and foster a sense of calm. More importantly, they are staffed by caregivers who have been extensively trained in dementia care interventions and best practices.
At Arbor Terrace of East Cobb, our Evergreen dementia care neighborhood is a prime example of exceptional dementia care. We offer support for our residents as well as their family members, and we’re always learning more about the disease. It’s our commitment to education and empowerment that gives our staff the inspiration to provide each resident with personalized care.
Not sure if dementia care is the right next step? Download our free guide, “Finding a Safe & Comfortable Senior Living Community,” to determine which level of care may be best and learn tips for finding your best fit.