4 Steps to Take Following a Dementia Diagnosis

August 15, 2023 | Memory Support
steps following a dementia diagnosis

When someone you love receives a dementia diagnosis, it can be an emotional and challenging time for you and your family. Not only does a dementia diagnosis bring about many complex emotions, but it can also create uncertainty regarding the future of your loved one’s wellness and quality of life. 

Fortunately, receiving a dementia diagnosis can lead to finding the proper support, care and services. It can also help your family develop a plan to ensure your loved one can continue living their highest quality of life.

At Astral at Franklin, our community offers exceptional memory care in Franklin, Indiana, and we recognize that a dementia diagnosis shouldn’t prevent anyone from enjoying and celebrating life’s moments. 

If someone you love has been diagnosed with dementia and you’re unsure where to start, here are four steps to help set you and your family on the right path. 

Step 1: Acceptance and Recognition

Anger, denial, frustration, sadness, fear and guilt are some of the varying emotions you might feel following a dementia diagnosis. Coming to terms with any significant news takes time, and these immediate reactions and feelings are entirely normal to experience. 

Accepting and recognizing your emotions allows you to grieve the situation; ignoring and burying your feelings is unhealthy and can lead to excessive stress and negativity. 

The sooner you accept your loved one’s dementia diagnosis, the sooner you’ll be able to assist your loved one and develop a dementia care plan to move your family forward. 

Step 2: Research & Education

Your loved one’s doctor or healthcare provider likely gave you information regarding dementia, what you can expect in the future and potential care options. However, in the moment, you may have been unable to process any resources or instructions. This is why doing your own research is important.

By learning as much as possible about dementia, you can discover ways to maintain your loved one’s independence and quality of life and better understand the changes you can expect. Dementia is broken down into seven stages, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. 

During the early stages, your loved one might be able to remain independent, live on their own, drive, etc. However, as they reach later stages of dementia, they will require more attention, support and care with daily tasks.

Step 3: Develop a Support System

No matter where you are in your dementia journey, you’re not alone. You want to find people who can support you at every step. However, finding solace amongst friends and family members can be difficult when coping with a loved one’s dementia diagnosis. Those who are not actively involved in your loved one’s care or do not understand the nuances of dementia may not know what to say or how to support you.

Fortunately, dementia support groups are an excellent way to find a network of people going through similar experiences. Support groups offer a judgment-free environment where you can share openly with others while also receiving helpful advice and resources.

Step 4: Explore Care Options

As dementia progresses, your loved one will eventually require more care and assistance, so you and your family should begin to research care options and develop a care plan as early as possible.

Be sure to involve your loved one when making decisions about their future, and listen to any concerns, fears and questions they may have. Make sure your loved one has discussed openly and documented any wishes they have for future care, and identify a trusted relative who can eventually make any financial or medical decisions for your loved one when they are unable to do so themselves and discuss any legal and estate planning if your loved one has not already done so. 

Finally, decide on a set route for future care. At first, taking on the role of primary caregiver can seem like an excellent option, but caregiving is not an easy role. Over time, caregiver stress can build up and adversely affect your health and the quality of care you provide. 

Fortunately, Astral at Franklin’s Navigate Memory Care can help. Our comfortable environment feels like home, and our highly trained care providers are available 24/7 to help your loved one experience meaningful engagement, make new personal connections and celebrate life’s most memorable moments. 

Our goal at Navigate Memory Care is to give your loved one the respect, dignity and quality of life they deserve. Visit our website to learn more about our memory care community in Franklin, Indiana.

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