Adelle Stanley, Director of Dementia programs Agape Senior offers advice for caregivers.
In other blogs we have talked about how dementia is not a disease but a diagnosis.If you get a diagnosis of dementia: ask what disease, medication, or infection might be causing it.Now that you have a diagnosis of dementia it does not mean you can’t continue to care for yourself
depending on what is causing the dementia. Choosing a good geriatric physician that specializes in memory care is a great place to start.
Some of the other items you will want to consider are:
What to do when driving capacities are diminished:
How will you know? Pick someone now to ride with you and check your driving habits at least once a month. You may not know if it is safe or unsafe to drive due to diminished memory.It is difficult to give up driving but the person with dementia puts themselves at risk as well as others.You may be able to live with yourself being hurt but if you hurt someone else it is hard for the person with dementia and both families
Have an open discussion about medical decisions:
It is a difficult discussion to have, but a good one, with someone you want to make decisions for you if you should become incapacitated. For Example: Would you like a feeding tube or not?
Also discuss special requests:
Talk about any request that you may have. Even simple needs, like cream rubbed on your arms.
Identify someone to handle financial requirements:
If the diagnosis is Alzheimer’s or a like dementia the ability to handle financial affairs becomes difficult quickly.Families will find junk mail in with the bills, there may be many magazine subscriptions that appear because the person with dementia cannot tell which is a real bill or an ad for a magazine.
Make sure all the legal bases are covered:
While a person with Alzheimer’s or similar dementia can still answer questions and make
decisions, a health care power of attorney should be selected and paper work completed.It is also advisable to have financial power of attorney documentation completed at this time.These forms cannot be used by the recognized power of attorney until the person with Alzheimer’s or like dementia is no longer able to make decisions for themselves. You can find this paperwork and additional information on line. If everything is not filled out correctly it will be costly.It is best to locate an Elder law attorney to help with filling this paperwork out.
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