Protecting an Elderly Loved One

3 Tips For Dealing With Your Parent's Alzheimer's Diagnosis

by Margie Adams

Learning that your parent has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's can be incredibly sad and anxiety-inducing. Processing the news emotionally, taking practical steps to help your parent, and learning as much as possible about Alzheimer's are all important steps to take. Here are a few tips for dealing with your parent's Alzheimer's diagnosis in a healthy way:

Look Into Alzheimer's Memory Care

Once a parent is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, it's time to start looking into memory care, which is assisted living specifically for those with dementia. In a memory care facility, your parent will have all of the medical and psychological support they need on-site. They will also have access to healthy and delicious meals prepared by chefs, as well as housekeeping and other services to make their lives as easy as possible. Like other forms of assisted living, memory care also offers social interaction and activities.

Learn As Much As You Can

One way to take control of this difficult situation is to learn as much as you can about Alzheimer's. As you become more educated about the stages of Alzheimer's, the symptoms, and the care options, you will have a much better idea of what you expect.

Seeing the changes that take place in your parent and in your relationship with them will feel less scary when you have a clear idea of what is likely to happen. There are online resources designed to educate loved ones about Alzheimer's, as well as books you can pick up from the library, and local support groups for caretakers and family members.

Take Good Care of Yourself

While it's natural for your focus to be on your parent right now, it's also important to take good care of yourself physically and emotionally. You will be a more effective ally for your parent if you are well-rested and in good health, instead of worn out and drained. Be sure to make time for plenty of sleep, exercise, and a nutritious diet.

In addition, for many people seeing your parent develop dementia can be challenging emotionally. They may not always remember who you are, and sometimes they may lash out in anger for no apparent reason. It can be very helpful to talk to a therapist so you can process your emotions about your parent's conditions in healthy ways.

Learning that your parent has Alzheimer's is certainly not easy, but these tips will help you and your family on this journey. For more information, contact establishments like The Independence Houses.