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DEMENTIA

Early stages of dementia – planning for the future

How to plan for the future when a loved one receives an early stages of dementia diagnosis.

July 23, 2021

Stages of dementia

Should your parent be diagnosed with dementia, it can be quite frightening for everyone. But there’s plenty that you can do to help them enjoy a good quality of life in their own homes, possibly for years to come.

The earlier you can take action, the easier it will be for your loved one to adapt to new ideas and make the most of them. 

There are several types of dementia and a diagnosis of early symptoms can give you time to formulate a dementia care plan.

 

Taking medication

An early diagnosis can mean that some of the currently available medication could slow down the progress of the disease. And the great news is that the first Alzheimer’s drug for 20 years has just been licensed in the US, demonstrating just how much work is going into finding treatments.

 

Re-thinking the home

Dementia can change the way a person with dementia sees the world.

Even in their own home they start to see things that aren’t there, and not see things that are. That includes just not noticing trip hazards like shoes or bags left lying on the floor.

Older people are more prone to falls and broken bones with or without dementia, so it makes sense to provide your parent with a personal alarm for safety and peace of mind at times when you are not able to be with them.

There are practical things you can that will help make the home safer for someone living with dementia.

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Taking Care offer a wide range of personal alarms, including alarms that can detect hard falls automatically, so your parent can choose the alarm that best suits their lifestyle. All of their alarms are connected around the clock to their fully-trained award-winning Emergency Resolution Team.

It’s also worth looking at how the home is organised and removing anything that might cause a problem – like rugs with turned up corners or coffee tables in the middle of the room.

Toning down distracting decoration and making it as obvious as possible where doors and appliances are can help minimise confusion too.

 

Support for carers

Finding support networks

There can be fear that living with dementia may mean being isolated at home.

The good news is that there are many local groups available today that welcome those with dementia, such as memory cafes or weekly activity groups running in community centres.

Support isn’t just availalbe outside the home. There are online community groups managed by charities such as Alzheimer’s Society and Age UK where people with similar diagnoses and their families can share experiences and advice.

In the UK, more than six million of us provide some kind of care for family and friends. That’s more than the entire population of Denmark.

Find out what support is available to carers.

 

Power of attorney

Getting Lasting Power of Attorney in place

This is really important. The person with the diagnosis needs to know that if they become unable to manage their own affairs, someone they trust will be able to step in and take control.

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) – financial and property, and health and welfare. Both types name the people that an individual would like to take control if they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves.

You can set up LPAs at any time – you don’t have to wait for an emergency. If you haven’t got an LPA ready to go when you need it, then you’ll have to apply to the Court of Protection for control, and that’s currently taking nearly a year to process.

What are Lasting Powers of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you to give someone you trust the legal power to make decisions on your behalf in case you later become unable to make decisions for yourself.

Power of Attorney

 

Sorting out the paperwork

A diagnosis is a good time to get life in order, and that includes making sure that wills are up to date and reflect the individual’s preferences.

You can also check that someone knows how to find details about issues such as life, home, contents and even pet insurance, as well as all bank and savings accounts and investments.

Dementia can progress as different rates, but knowing that you’ve already started putting down the foundations for keeping your loved one and their affairs safe can help you achieve some peace of mind for you and your family.

 

Meeting changing challenges

Dementia is a progressive disease, which means it gets worse over time as physical changes to the brain occur.

The rate of dementia progress varies greatly and there are many different factors. For many people it may take years to reach an advanced dementia stage.

Dementia alarm tracker

It may be reassuring to know that there is support and solutions available to help. Someone living with dementia may be more likely to get lost or wander off as they lose their ability to recognise familiar places or feel nervous in crowded places.

A dementia tracker provides reassurance to family members that they can locate their loved ones if they get lost, by looking up the GPS coordinates of the device online. Partnered with a 24/7 monitoring service, a dementia tracker can be a lifeline in an emergency. Taking Care’s Emergency Resolution Team receive ‘dementia-friendly’ training and have proven experience of locating people with dementia.

Living with dementia

Customer story

John, 73, had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and went missing on Christmas Day when he went out walking with his family.

John was wearing a GPS alarm tracker monitored by Taking Care’s Emergency Resolution Centre.

Read more

 

Dementia resources and support

Find out more about support for those with dementia and their carers at:


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