“What’s going to happen to me now?” This is one of the most fear inducing questions a senior recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s may ask. What’s going to happen now?
No one really knows what the future will bring, but when somebody has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, there is no cure. There may be certain treatment options that can help temper symptoms and slow down the progression of memory loss, at least for a while (Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation), but as for a cure, nothing has been developed yet.
And that means memory loss will expand, consume more thought and memory, and bring about more frustration, confusion, and anxiety.
So, when that question is right there at the surface, what’s going to happen to me now, it is an opportunity to talk about options.
What options are available?
A person can move into a facility, sure, but the growing majority of seniors prefer to ‘age in place’ these days. That means they want to stay home for the rest of their life, if possible.
For somebody with Alzheimer’s, is it really possible to remain home? Absolutely. But, the right type of care needs to be readily available. And, it is.
Most often, adult children, a spouse, and other close family and friends claim they can step up and help whenever needed. Unfortunately, they are only seeing Alzheimer’s for the milder signs and symptoms it presents near the time of diagnosis.
In most cases, a person with Alzheimer’s will have exhibited some of the earliest signs and symptoms of the disease for about one or two years before their doctor formally diagnoses them with the disease. From there, the average life expectancy is between eight and 10 years, though some people have lived 20 years or longer with Alzheimer’s.
Shortly after diagnosis, though, those mild symptoms make it appear as though supporting the senior is going to be relatively straightforward and easy. However, memory loss will get more significant, and that will make it much tougher for not only the senior, but anyone helping him or her.
Choose home care.
The best option when a senior is worrying about the future is to discuss in-home care support. An experienced home care aide can help an aging senior be more comfortable, safer, and maintain a higher quality of life and dignity in many cases.
When someone has worked with other seniors with Alzheimer’s, they understand what to expect. That is the biggest difference between a professional, experienced care provider and family. And, when an aging loved one asks what’s going to happen to them now, it’s a great opportunity to begin talking about home care.