In 2018, the Alzheimer’s Association found 5.7 million men and women in the U.S. had Alzheimer’s.
An Alzheimer’s diagnosis is frightening to the man or woman diagnosed with the disease, it also impacts friends and family. More than 16 million people provide care to a friend or family member with dementia. That care is unpaid and puts a strain on the family caregiver.
It’s a good time to dig in and learn as much as you can. Start with books like The 36-Hour Day and Contented Dementia to get a better understanding of what you’ll be experiencing in the future and might be experiencing now.
Meanwhile, be prepared for these situations.
Your Parent Refuses to Believe It
After being told he has Alzheimer’s, your dad says the doctor is wrong. He refuses to accept it. This is normal. It’s a lot to take in. Don’t argue with him. Let it sink in for a while. If he wants, take him for a second opinion. All you can do at this point is support him when he’s ready.
Signs of Depression May Appear
After learning he or she has Alzheimer’s, your mom or dad is likely to become depressed. If this happens, you might find your parent snaps at you for little to no reason. Your parent may stay in bed longer than normal, always seem sad, and deal with unusual appetite changes. If you suspect depression is present, talk to your parent’s doctor. There are medications and therapists that can help.
Suicidal Thoughts and Comments Are Also Common
It’s alarming when you hear your parent talk about overdosing or slitting his/her wrists. It’s not uncommon for a senior facing Alzheimer’s to make suicidal comments. It can go hand in hand with the depression your parent is dealing with.
If suicidal comments are made, you have to think about the realities. Your first response might be to call authorities and get psychiatric care, but you could end up needing to make these calls daily.
It’s best to look at the threat and the reality of that threat. Your mom says she wants to overdose, but her medications are all in a locked cupboard. Her vitamin C lozenges are the only thing she can get hold of. She’s not going to overdose on those.
The Progression May Go Very Slow or Faster Than Expected
There’s one thing no one can predict and that’s the speed of progression. You could go 10 years without your mom or dad progressing too quickly. Symptoms may progress in just a few years. This is why it’s important to read as much as possible and learn the stages of Alzheimer’s.
As the disease progresses, elderly care services are important. You’ll need breaks from time to time. Your parent may like having a break from you. Make sure you talk to an elderly care agency about respite care. It’s one of the best care services to have after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
If you or a family member are in need of Elder Care in Tamarac, FL, call the caring professionals at Star Multi Care today at (954) 870-4770.
Providing service in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Weston, Southwest Ranches, Pembroke Pines, Cooper City, Lighthouse Point, and Wilton Manors.