Caring for a loved one can be a rewarding experience, but it can oftentimes be challenging and stressful work. Taking steps to plan ahead can make a significant difference in relieving stress and help to lighten the caregiver’s load.
We all want to see our aging parents and loved ones receive the best possible care and live out the rest of their lives in the comfort of their own home but as caregivers, we must be aware that the possibility of complications arising in the health of the elder is great. There can be falls, complications of congestive heart failure, diabetes, pneumonia, or dementia. Even though we are not planning for placement in assisted living or a nursing home, we must plan ahead in case it becomes necessary. Geriatric Care Managers can assist you on the steps to take when planning for someone with dementia.
It is important to know what is available in your area. Visit several facilities and keep notes on the positive and negative aspects of each for your records. When the unexpected time comes to place your loved one in a facility, you will feel much better because you took the time to inform yourself and plan ahead. By planning ahead, you open up a ton of great opportunities for yourself and your loved one.
Planning ahead for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia should include:
- Making plans for health care and long-term care
- Making plans for finances and property
- Naming another person to make decisions on behalf of the person with dementia
Someone who has not planned ahead will ask questions like: Where should my mom live? Can we afford it? Will she receive quality care? What if I can’t find a place that suits her? Will she resent the fact that I need to place her? How can I do this by myself? This is NOT what you want. You should already have the answers to these questions for the sake of you and your loved one. When it’s time to place a loved one, things should be done smoothly so the transition does not negatively affect your loved one. Planning ahead can achieve this!
You can plan ahead by checking what resources your community provides, talking to other caregivers, doing research online or reading books about Alzheimer’s and how it affects the person living with the disease. You need to know what to expect in the future from your loved one. Another great idea is to join a caregiver support group. Most support groups are free and offer advice and information on how to deal with the stress of being a caregiver. In a support group you can share stories with other people in a similar situation. Relating to others can help you tremendously.
To join a caregiver support group today, call us at (561) 588-4545. Thank you for joining me and we’ll see you again next week!