Many people think Alzheimer’s is essentially untreatable and therefore there’s no reason to get a formal diagnosis or seek medical help for early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s. However, seniors and their families can gain many benefits when Alzheimer’s is diagnosed in its early stages.
1. Learn about the Disease
Early diagnosis allows family members to learn as much as possible about Alzheimer’s disease, especially the way it progresses. The Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America are two vital resources for information and support. By learning about Alzheimer’s disease, you’ll be better equipped to formulate a care plan for your loved one. Work with healthcare providers and professional caregivers who are familiar with Alzheimer’s disease.
There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading Fair Oaks homecare services provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.
2. Get Treatment
Although there’s no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there are treatments available that can slow the progression of the disease and ease its symptoms. These medications are far more effective if they’re prescribed in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Some seniors with Alzheimer’s disease may want to participate in clinical trials to find a cure, and most clinical trials will only enroll those in the earliest stages of the disease.
3. Delay Symptoms with Healthy Lifestyle Changes
Research shows regular mental stimulation plays an important role in delaying Alzheimer’s symptoms. Encourage your loved one to put together puzzles, read, or engage in other mentally challenging activities. Learning new tasks stimulates more areas of the brain and creates new neural pathways.
In addition, by eating nutritious foods and staying as physically active as possible, seniors can maintain or increase their cardiovascular health. Enhanced blood flow ensures neurons receive the oxygen and essential nutrients they need to function properly. Low-fat diets rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean meats provide the body with necessary nutrients while inhibiting inflammation, high cholesterol, and unnecessary weight gain.
Hiring a professional caregiver is another way to ensure your loved one makes healthy lifestyle choices that can delay the progression of cognitive decline. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
4. Plan Ahead
Seniors who are diagnosed early can plan for their own futures. They can prepare living wills detailing their own wishes about future medical care and decide who is going to be making medical and financial decisions for them later on when they’re no longer able to do so.
While your loved one is still able to make decisions about his or her future, make sure all legal documents are updated as needed. Essential legal documents may include advance directives, wills, and trusts. Taking care of these matters early on enables your loved one to provide his or her input.
5. Make the Home Safer
As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, cognitive impairment may put your loved one in danger. Wandering and getting lost are common for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease. Consider installing locks out of reach or using simple alarms to prevent your loved one from venturing outdoors unattended.
Although your loved one may want to continue preparing meals, he or she may forget to turn off kitchen appliances. Invest in appliances that turn off automatically after a designated amount of time. Alzheimer’s disease can also cause visual disturbances that interfere with depth perception. Clear pathways and provide nighttime illumination along frequently used paths. Stairways pose a fall risk. Use child-proof gates to block these areas, and keep basement doors locked.
6. Arrange for Support
Support groups and services such as professional Alzheimer’s home care are widely available for people with Alzheimer’s and their family members. If diagnosed early, seniors and their families can spend time looking for the help and support they’ll eventually require so it will be available when they need it.
Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who don’t have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. Fair Oaks Home Care Assistance provides Alzheimer’s care seniors and their families can depend on. Our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method was designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home care services, contact us at (916) 485-4663 today.