Early Stages of Dementia

Receiving the news that an older loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is life-altering. Thinking through the numerous different aspects and factors associated with the diagnosis, both now as well as in the future, can be overwhelming.

Over the next few months, our three-part series will take a look at the early, middle and later stages of dementia. Each blog will explain the particular care recommended during each stage, what family caregivers can expect, and how Abby Senior Care can help.

Caregiving in the Early Stages Dementia

If you’ve recently stepped into the role of caring for a senior in the early stages of dementia, we have the help as well as the hope you need. The first step is to take a deep breath and find comfort in knowing you’re not the only one. There are more than fifty million people currently living with dementia around the world, and ten million new diagnoses annually.

It is also helpful to understand that the early stages of dementia can last for years, frequently with treatment options available to slow the progression of the disease. And, many older adults in the early stage are encountering minimal cognitive difficulties – meaning you have the chance to work together to put into place a strategy that tackles all of the older adult’s wishes associated with long-term care, finances and legal matters.

With that in mind, following are some of the changes you may expect for both your senior loved one and yourself.

Early-Stage Dementia – Impact on the Senior Diagnosed:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Becoming lost in familiar places
  • Losing track of time
  • Denial and/or fear

Can benefit from support and assistance with:

  • Making and keeping appointments
  • Money management
  • Medications
  • Transportation
  • Recalling familiar places, words, and names

Early-Stage Dementia – Impact on the Family Caregiver:

  • Stress, anxiety, fear, and uncertainty as to what the future will hold
  • Frustration, anger, and resentment
  • A loss of control
  • Sadness, grief, and hopelessness
  • Denial and a feeling of disbelief

Can benefit from:

  • Prioritizing self-care: getting lots of rest, eating a healthy diet, exercising, and putting aside time for enjoyable activities
  • Engaging the services of a mental health professional if needed
  • Forming a network of friends and family who are willing to help
  • Finding and attending a support group (either in-person or online)
  • Becoming educated about the disease, treatment options, and what to anticipate as it advances

An experienced home care provider, like Abby Senior Care, is an invaluable asset to family members caring for a senior loved one with dementia. Setting up home care services now, in the earliest stage, is imperative to building trust and rapport with the senior – something which will be vital as the dementia progresses into subsequent stages. Additionally, it allows family caregivers the chance for ongoing, regularly scheduled breaks from care. Our professionally trained and experienced care experts are highly skilled and up to date on the most effective dementia care techniques.

We can also offer helpful resources targeted to particular challenges you’re facing. Just reach out to us at 303-699-8840 and ask for a complimentary in-home consultation to learn more about our experienced senior in home care in Denver and the surrounding communities. With Abby Senior Care, you’re never alone; we’re here to walk with you each step of the way.