What Comes After a Dementia Diagnosis
If your aging parent or relative has recently been diagnosed with dementia you might not be sure what happens next or what to expect. Here are a few things to keep in mind as everyone involved moves forward, presented by leading Cincinnati dementia care provider, Home Care Assistance.
Look for the Signs
Often times people mistake the signs of with senility or old age, but there are certain distinctions that make it easier to identify. For example, if your parent makes up stories or is easily confused and disoriented, these may be warning signs. Other signs to look for include difficulty sleeping, fluctuations in mood and personality, and general forgetfulness of ordinary or routine practices. Although you may suspect your parent is experiencing dementia, it is important to get a proper diagnosis from a physician before you can discuss treatment options. From there, your parent’s doctor can determine possible causes of his or her dementia and whether or not his or her dementia can be treated.
Remember Dementia Is a Symptom
Although most would consider providing home care in for an elderly parent with dementia to be a rewarding responsibility, one can find it challenging at times. During those times, there are some important things to remember. Namely, that dementia is merely symptomatic of a bigger problem. Much like a cough to a cold, the neurological problems associated with dementia are signs of a deeper issue. The list of ailments that cause dementia are extensive. Dementia can be the result of a stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, or any number or debilitating illnesses. The important thing is to make sure you get your parent tested by his or her doctor to rule out any of those possibilities. From there, steps can be taken to treat your parent’s dementia.
Consider All Treatment Options
While many immediately associate dementia with Alzheimer’s disease, it isn’t necessarily an irreversible ailment. Although the root problem of dementia may not be curable, there may still be options available for your parent in terms of slowing or easing symptoms. Fortunately, there have been recent breakthroughs in pharmaceuticals that aid in the slowing or regression of dementia symptoms. Some prescription medications currently available include: Quetiapine (Seroquel), Rivastigmine (Exelon), Donepezil (Aricept), Galantamine (Razadyne), and Memantine (Namenda).There are of course other clinical methods to treat dementia, such as visiting a neurologist, psychiatrist, or geriatrician, in addition to holistic options like yoga, mediation, and vitamins.
Be the Guiding Hand
As the child of a parent with dementia, it is important to remember that the various obstacles you will face simply come with the territory. Despite these challenges, you must understand that love and support are your primary tools to guide your parent through this challenging time in his or her life.You have the opportunity to provide what medical assistance cannot: good morale and reassurance. Rest comfortably in the knowledge that you are the ultimate medicine because you know your loved one best of all, and that is most certainly a strategic advantage.
For more information on memory care services in Cincinnati, reach out to the experienced staff at Home Care Assistance. We offer specialized dementia and Alzheimer’s care Cincinnati families turn to after a senior loved one receives a difficult diagnosis. Our caregivers are trained, experienced, and compassionate, our dedicated Care Managers are available 24/7, and our care services come with a satisfaction guarantee. To learn more, please call our office at 513.891.2273.