While the term “golden years” creates a mixed response, the approach of the years around aging often brings with it a host of changes, both physical and cognitive. Dementia, a condition characterized by a decline in memory, problem-solving, and other thinking abilities, affects millions of aging individuals worldwide. It’s a condition that not only transforms the lives of those who are diagnosed but also deeply affects their loved ones. In the face of such challenges, the warmth, understanding, and support from family is a crucial source of hope and comfort. Yet, navigating this complex transition requires sensitivity, respect for their wishes, and a well-planned approach to care management and caregiving. Our support is unmatched as we guide families through this complex journey with empathy and expertise.

The Power of Love and Support
For someone experiencing the onset of dementia, the world can feel like a maze of confusion and frustration. Familiar faces and routines might gradually become less recognizable, making daily life increasingly daunting. In these moments, the love and support from family members can be profoundly consoling. A reassuring word, a patient listening ear, and the presence of a loved one can make a big difference, often providing a sense of security even during times of uncertainty.

Maintaining Autonomy
One of the greatest fears for individuals facing dementia is the loss of independence and autonomy. It’s natural for families to want to step in and take control to protect their loved one, but it’s essential to do so without undermining their sense of self-reliance. Families can ease into their support by involving the person in decision-making processes as much as possible, focusing on what they can still do rather than what they can’t. Simple adjustments, like setting up daily routines that include tasks the person can manage independently or with minimal assistance, help maintain a sense of normalcy and purpose.

Encouraging hobbies and activities that the person enjoys and is still capable of doing can also enhance their quality of life and sense of autonomy. Whether it’s listening to music, gardening, or simple crafting projects, these activities provide opportunities for engagement and accomplishment.

As dementia progresses it even becomes helpful to give them tasks to do that are repeatable. Things that give them responsibilities and make them feel involved, even if it is providing a basket of washcloths to re-fold every day or holding and caring for a baby doll can give them a sense of accomplishment that they are still involved in day-to-day activities.

Our Role as Care Managers
You are not expected to know how to provide the best care for them. You are also not expected to manage all of it alone. Your care manager specializes in aging and elder care. We help families navigate the complexities of dementia care, offer guidance, support, and share resources to ease the transition for you and for them.

One of the first things we do is conduct a comprehensive assessment of their needs, strengths, and preferences. From there we make a unique care plan that addresses both the medical and emotional aspects of living with dementia. We look at home safety and recommend modifications needed that will enhance their safety and independence. Appropriate activities that align with their interests and abilities are discussed and we identify community resources and support groups that can be beneficial for all involved family members.

Throughout the care process we can facilitate family meetings to discuss the care plan, ensure that everyone involved understands how they can contribute positively to their loved one’s care. There are educational opportunities to learn about dementia and its progression to help families set realistic expectations and prepare for future challenges. These benefit families because it relieves some of the burden that we set on ourselves as caregivers.

If you would like help navigating care after a dementia diagnosis, please reach out today to talk with a care manager. We’re ready to help you have the support you deserve!