When a loved one receives a dementia diagnosis, you may not know exactly what to think. You may be afraid of the changes that are ahead, worried about how your loved one will change or even be concerned about how it’s going to affect you as their caregiver. While you may be left reeling after your loved one is diagnosed, it’s important to realize that your loved one may be having a harder time than you think, even if they are playing it off. It’s important that you support your loved one during this time and give them the care, attention and help that they need to get through this – even if you aren’t quite sure how yet.
According to Cydney Hansen, Marketing Director, at CountryHouse, a memory care community in Granite Bay, CA, after your loved one is diagnosed, you may begin to notice some troubling symptoms. “For those with dementia, a diagnosis isn’t an easy thing to accept. Your loved one may begin to withdraw socially, give up old hobbies and their favorite activities, stop connecting with others and become depressed,” says Cydney. “As a caregiver, this can be very hard to see occur, especially if your loved one was once the vibrant leader of their friend group. It’s important to realize the reasons behind this behavior so you can better help your loved one cope. They may be embarrassed about their dementia or their decreasing abilities, they could worry about what others are thinking about them or they could simply be afraid of the changes that are ahead, just as you are. Be patient and understanding, it’s going to be a rough transition for you both, but by providing the support your loved one needs, you can make the journey smoother.”
5 ways to support your loved one after a dementia diagnosis
If you aren’t sure how to support your loved one after a dementia diagnosis, don’t worry, you aren’t the only one. Many aren’t sure where to start and don’t know what can help them through this time. Fortunately, there are many things that you can do. Try some of the following suggestions and see what works for you:
- Participate in activities with them. If they are willing, consider taking them out or engaging in their hobbies with them. This can help them to feel more comfortable and can increase the bond you share with them. It can also inspire them to try something new.
- Be an ear for them. While it’s not always the case, seniors who just found out they have dementia may need some time to cope and think about what’s going to happen. This means that they may need time alone to process this or may need to talk about what’s going on. Be there for them, as you may be the person they feel most comfortable talking to.
- Attend some educational programs. To prepare you both for what lies ahead, consider visiting a support group or some educational classes. These can help you to see what could happen in the future and help you plan for what to expect, making you both feel more ready for the challenges of dementia.
- Ask them how you can help them. If your loved one doesn’t want to talk and won’t engage with others, be specific and ask them how you can help them. This can help to provide you with the information you need to support them the best you can.
- Talk to their doctor. Is your loved one beginning to show signs of depression? If they start to withdraw from the activities they once loved, don’t want to interact with friends or family, aren’t taking care of themselves or just want to sleep, it’s best to talk to their doctor, as this can mean they are dealing with depression. This can make their health decline and cause other medical issues, so if you begin to notice these signs, contact their doctor right away.
Keep in mind that not all of the suggestions will work with your particular situation. If you find an idea along the way that helps them better, it’s a good idea to use that. It’s going to be trial and error to see what form of support your loved one receives the best.
If you are having trouble and nothing seems to be working for you and your loved one, consider joining a support group. In the support group, there are others who are facing similar situations and may be able to offer some helpful tips or advice. If you’d like expert support and guidance, you can also call the team at CountryHouse at Granite Bay. We would be happy to help guide you through this time and provide both you and your loved one with the support you deserve.
Treating people like family is at the heart of what we do.
CountryHouse at Granite Bay is the very first CountryHouse location in California. With a desirable location among Folsom Lake and the Sierra foothills, and only 25 miles northeast of Sacramento, Granite Bay was the perfect area to place our upscale memory care community. While CountryHouse at Granite Bay may be brand new to California, we are certainly not new to the needs of seniors. And just like every CountryHouse around the United States, we know that personalized care can make all the difference when it comes to quality care and peace of mind.
At CountryHouse at Granite Bay, we provide personalized memory care in an environment that is beautiful and thoughtfully designed. Full of natural light, warmth and tasteful elegance, we want residents and their families to feel welcome and at home. In fact, our staff members are even hand-picked based on their natural empathy. Our staff learns each resident’s story, from their likes and dislikes to their values and their pasts, in order to customize care and make meaningful connections that provide residents with true moments of joy and the desire to make the most of each day.
With our LifeCycles wellness programming, we encourage residents to connect, engage and enjoy every day. Our LifeCycles programming is designed to focus on the four dimensions of wellness: physical, social, spiritual and intellectual. We achieve this through a range of daily activities and routines, which can include daily bus rides, cookouts, trips and other special events. At CountryHouse at Granite Bay, we strive to make sure our residents make the most of each day, and we believe that when you treat people like family, and keep that at the heart of what you do, residents, their families and their health thrive. Contact us to learn more!
Connect with us today or call us at 916•850•2774 for more information or to schedule a visit.
CountryHouse is part of the Agemark family of senior living communities.