Alzheimer’s is a progressively debilitating disease that has both mental and physical symptoms. In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, you might begin noticing that your parent has trouble remembering something they just read or the names of people they’ve been introduced to but that might not trigger an alarm. As the disease progresses, you will find that they are beginning to get confused easily, are ill at ease in social settings and perhaps begin wandering and unable to remember their way home.
This is the point where your parent begins needing help but in later stages, they will undoubtedly need around-the-clock care. Knowing this, you are wondering how best to help your parent who has just been diagnosed with pre-clinical Alzheimer’s, the very early stage before symptoms become obvious.
Begin With Assisted Living
Even for RNs and other healthcare professionals, it’s quite a challenge to care for someone with Alzheimer’s as it requires care, often 24/7. Unless you are prepared to hire around-the-clock nurses, the best thing you can do for your parent suffering from Alzheimer’s is to start thinking about finding them an assisted living facility that has progressive living options through to 24/7 care.
You might want to do a search for Alzheimer’s homes near me and then question what living and care arrangements they have available. You will often find that they have progressive care options for situations just like you are facing with your parent.
Why Assisted Living Now?
It is best to start with assisted living now if at all possible because in the later stages of Alzheimer’s, patients tend to get angry when confused and sometimes even violent. If they are in the same home, albeit a different part of the facility, they are less likely to get confused immediately. That will probably come in time, but perhaps not when they are transitioned to Alzheimer’s care. At that point, they may still have moments of lucidity and may recognize staff and family as they come to visit.
Continue to Visit Regularly
Sadly, there will probably come a time when your parent no longer recognizes you or other family members that come to visit. Even so, especially during the early and mid-stages of the disease, it helps to have the love and support of family. Depression can quickly set in and there is ample evidence to show that depression can hasten the progression of the disease. Some studies have shown that by keeping the mind active and in a positive state, the progression of the disease can be slowed to some extent. Even so, there will almost certainly come a time when they no longer recognize even those closest to them and they also lose control over their bodily functions.
This is something that you probably can’t manage alone, even with part-time assistance from home healthcare workers. If a definite diagnosis is made, the best thing you can do is help your parent get situated in a home that is prepared to help them as the disease progresses. Also, don’t forget that help is out there for you as well. Millions of concerned family members are suffering in much the same way as you are, so at the very least, join a support group or get counseling to help you stay strong throughout.