Caring for a Parent with Alzheimer’s Disease: What’s Next After a Diagnosis?

Witnessing your loved one’s health change over time is never easy. It’s even harder to accept if your parent has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Coming to terms with your parent’s diagnosis can be an emotional challenge and it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. Just know that you’re not alone and there are a multitude of resources available to help you and your loved one with this life transition.

How to Cope with an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

After you’ve learned of your loved one’s diagnosis, you will wonder what to do next and how you can help. Here are some steps you can take to care for both your parent and yourself during this time:

  1. Recognize Your Emotions. It’s very common to feel a whirlwind of emotions after you learn about your parent’s diagnosis. You may feel anger, denial, frustration, sadness, and even fear. Understand that experiencing these emotions is completely normal and that these feelings may come and go. Be aware that your parent and other family members may also be experiencing these emotions. It can be beneficial to talk about them together.
  2. Educate Yourself on Alzheimer’s Disease. The more you know, the better. You should take the initiative to learn all you can about your parent’s complex diagnosis so you can better understand what they’re experiencing and how to best care for them. Encourage your family members to do the same, so that you all can feel prepared to provide support for your loved one and find them the specialized care they may need in the future.
  3. Understand How Your Loved One Can Change. Alzheimer’s disease progresses over time and will begin to interfere with your loved one’s ability to complete daily activities. You should talk with your parent’s doctor and learn how their behaviors might change as the disease progresses. This will help you have a realistic idea of what your parent might experience and how you can help them.
  4. Discuss Treatment Options. It’s important to keep yourself and your loved one informed and knowledgeable about their diagnosis. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there are different treatment options available to help manage some of their symptoms and possibly slow the progression of the disease. Talk to your loved one’s doctor to determine what treatment options are best.
  5. Prepare for the Future. Your loved one’s diagnosis means that, with time, their lifestyle and behaviors will change. You should take time to speak with your loved one and listen to their decisions about work and other personal issues. Creating a safe and comfortable home environment is an important step. It is also a good idea to discuss financial, health care, and legal decisions while your loved one is still able to.

When learning more about Alzheimer’s disease and how it will impact your loved one’s abilities, you may decide a memory care center is the best place for your loved one to be able to live as independently as possible. Memory care centers, like the one at Saint Simeon’s, help provide residents with the specialized support they need to continue to live a full life.

Saint Simeon’s Offers Personalized Memory Support Services

Saint Simeon’s understands how difficult it can be when your loved one receives an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Our Memory Care Center is nationally recognized for Alzheimer’s and dementia care in Tulsa and is here to provide a safe, comfortable setting where your loved one will receive the personalized care and attention they deserve.

Contact us today to learn more about our Memory Care Center and our approach to memory support.

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