Hearing the news that your senior loved one has dementia may be devastating at first. While no one wants to think their loved one could lose his or her memory or reasoning abilities, the risk of being diagnosed with dementia increases with age. Now that your family has a diagnosis for your loved one’s symptoms, you can use the following strategies to maintain a positive outlook that benefits his or her wellbeing.
Accept All of Your Emotional Reactions
Everyone reacts differently to a loved one’s new health diagnosis. Right now, you may feel surprised, shocked, or even angry that your loved one has dementia. You may also be in denial about what the doctors are saying. Each one of these emotions is valid, and people often go through a process similar to grieving when they hear someone they love is experiencing a major life change. While you shouldn’t dwell on these negative emotions, acknowledging them gives you a starting point for knowing how to adjust your mindset to a more positive outlook.
Understand How Your Emotions Affect Your Loved One
Your loved one is also experiencing a range of emotions, and your responses make a big difference in the ability to handle the news. For instance, your calm and steady acceptance of the diagnosis may help your loved one overcome feelings of denial and anger. By making it a priority to get your emotions in check, you can cultivate a positive attitude that rubs off on your loved one.
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Palm Desert families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
Talk It Out
People tend to keep their emotions bottled up inside. However, you should never feel embarrassed about your emotions, and letting them out gives you more room to replace them with happier thoughts as you care for your loved one. Find a friend, professional counselor, or another caregiver who understands the process you’re going through as a new family caregiver. Arrange to chat with the person on a regular basis so you have an outlet for expressing negative emotions as they come.
Create an Action Plan
Sitting around wallowing in self-pity could cause more negative thoughts to arrive. Instead of feeling sad or sorry about the situation, begin to put together an action plan that helps you motivate your loved one to get the most out of life. From changing his or her diet to planning memory strengthening activities to do together, adding new healthy activities to your loved one’s daily routine gives you a sense of control over the future.
Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Palm Desert, CA, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
Spending time with positive people always has a beneficial effect on caregivers, but this now takes on more importance since you’re already managing so many challenges. Make sure the other people you bring into your loved one’s life approach each day with a positive attitude that promotes independence. Watching as your loved one completes a crossword puzzle or remembers how to brush his or her teeth with a visual aid are simple moments that may remind you to find the joy in each new day.
Seniors with dementia can benefit greatly from the assistance of an in-home caregiver who provides specialized dementia care. Families looking for top-rated Palm Desert home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. To create a customized in-home dementia care plan for your loved one, call us at (760) 345-0001.