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What to Do If you Suspect Dementia – Part 3

What to Do If you Suspect Dementia – Part 3, Andrea Leavitt

Now that a new normal has been established for your loved one, it’s time to think about the future.  You have identified needs, located resources, built a team and realize that life will continue to evolve.  So what’s next?

Plan for Transitions – Anticipate the Future.

Create likely scenarios for declining health and an increase in needs.  Plan for how these transitions will be addressed.

How will these everyday needs be handled?

  • driving,
  • bill paying,
  • home maintenance,
  • medical advocacy
  • and coordination of caregivers

Questions to consider:

  • What type of care will likely be needed?
  • Who will provide the care?
  • Will you bring more caregivers into the home?
  • Will you look to relocate to a retirement community that will provide care and services?
  • What geographical area fits with the family preferences?
  • What are the costs involved in any avenue pursued?
  • How do I want to die and what happens after I’m gone?

Develop priorities based on how you want to live the rest of your life.

Communicate the plan with those involved.  Revisit and modify the plan at least annually.  This process can be overwhelming and complicated by family dynamics.  Or, perhaps there is not any family available to support the process.  In either case, involving a professional to explore options and facilitate decision making can be beneficial.

While a dementia diagnosis is devastating, please know that you are not alone.  There are many caring professionals and individuals who will kindly walk the sacred path alongside you.  Supporting, informing and caring so that you can live the best life possible.

Resources:

Area Agency on Aging, Kansas and Missouri

Center for Practical Bioethics – Caring Conversations

Understanding Hospice: What is Hospice Care? from Caring.com

Aging Life Care Association (ALCA) – to find a Professional Geriatric Care Manager in your area

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