What’s Next After Your Senior Parent is Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s
When you find out that your senior parent has Alzheimer’s it can knock the wind out of you. Whether your senior parent has known for awhile or they just found out too it’s important that you take some time to process your own emotions about this development. Knowing that there is no cure for Alzheimer’s can be hard to accept. You will likely feel overwhelmed, anxious, and scared about the future. You may also feel like you’re grieving. All of those emotions are valid. But time is of the essence when your senior parent has Alzheimer’s. The faster you take action the more likely it is that you and your senior parent will be able to slow the progression of the disease. Some of the things that you should do immediately after your senior parent is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s are:
Get Elder Care
One of the first things that you should do after a parent gets an Alzheimer’s diagnose is set up elder care for your parent. Even if they don’t need a lot of help yet establishing a relationship with an elder care provider now will mean that their connection with that care provider will have the chance to get strong before your senior loved one needs a lot of help or starts to forget people. There’s a better chance that they will remember their care provider if they have a strong relationship with them. So start the process of finding elder care now.
Find A Support Group
Everyone in the family should join a support group for the family members of seniors with Alzheimer’s. If you are going to be the primary caregiver for your senior loved one you should look for a support group specifically for caregivers. There a lot of big changes coming up and it will be very helpful if you have people that you can talk to about all the changes that your family will be going through. You will also be able to learn from people who have been through the process of adjusting to a parent having Alzheimer’s. Support groups are invaluable resources for family members.
Talk To Your Senior Parent About Their Wishes
Now is the time to start documenting your senior loved one’s wishes. Don’t overwhelm them by asking a lot of questions all at once. But open up a dialog about topics like aging in place so that you will be sure that your senior loved one made decisions about their future when they were still in full possession of their cognitive faculties. It’s also important to talk about things like finances, medical care, and other topics that you should have their input on.
Take Some Time To Process Your Feelings
You should take some time alone to process your feelings about your senior parent’s diagnosis. It’s not easy to care for a senior parent with Alzheimer’s and you’re allowed to take some time to figure out what your feelings are about that and deal with them.