Your dad cared for you, so it’s normal to want to return that after he’s diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Many adult children make plans to care for a parent who has dementia. As time passes, they realize they’re in over their head.
If you want to provide his care, it’s an awesome experience. It’s also sad, frightening, and frustrating. It’s never a failure to realize you need help. If you understand the different stages, you may be able to see in advance where you’re going to need caregivers to help you out.
What to Expect in the Early Stages
The early stages are usually easy to handle. The care you offer your dad is likely to be little things. You’ll help him find items if he can’t remember where he put them. You may have to help him remember names when you’re out shopping or taking a walk.
He may have a hard time counting money. When he goes shopping, you may need to help him stick to a budget. He may need help deciding what he does and doesn’t have at home. You’ll likely help him remember when he has appointments and to take his medications each day.
What to Expect in the Middle Stages
At this point, your dad is starting to forget to pay bills. You may need to take over managing his finances. He may not remember all of his personal details. You should accompany him to medical appointments to make sure doctors have all of the information that’s pertinent.
Your dad may start to withdraw from his friends and family. Don’t let him become isolated. He won’t always remember names, which will prod him into wanting to avoid others. It’s a good time to get him involved in a senior center or adult day program. He may not love it at first. When he’s surrounded by others in the same situation, he’ll make friends who really understand what he’s going through.
Anger and agitation become normal behaviors. They can hurt when you’re the target. Make sure you’re taking breaks. He won’t be driving at this point, so you’ll be driving him to businesses and medical offices.
What to Expect in the Late Stages
In the late stages of Alzheimer’s, your dad will start to lose some of his physical abilities. He’ll need help bathing, toileting, and eventually eating. He may need help walking around.
By the time you’re at the late stages, your emotions have likely taken a beating. It’s a good time to bring in senior care services. Spend time with your dad when he’s calm and lucid. When he’s not, let a caregiver take over. Go out and do things you enjoy.
If you or an aging loved one is considering senior care in Middleburg, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.