A condition that affects memory is never easy to navigate. Dementia affects all aspects of life as it progresses, and the toll is heavy on both the patient and those in the position of carer. If you have recently been diagnosed with this condition, acting quickly is imperative. Delaying treatment will only speed up the symptoms and lead to more rapid deterioration. Therefore, consider your next steps carefully and take the following guidelines into consideration.
Understand the Trajectory
The first step is understanding the path dementia will take you down. The road will be long and filled with chaos, obstacles, and dark days, but there is still light to be found in the midst of it all so don’t lose hope. Though confusion episodes are common and become more frequent, having someone you trust close by will help. Be honest with family and trusted close companions to decide who will be by your side and where this condition will take you.
Find Appropriate Care
Care facilities that specialize in memory patients are the only viable options for conditions like this. When the day comes that your condition is too hard to manage alone, and loved ones cannot commit to full-time duties, finding a suitable alternative is the only option. Thankfully, there are lots of establishments out there that tick all of the necessary boxes — simply do an online search for memory care in your location, e.g. Westmont memory care. Never underestimate the value of having specialized care in place, it will greatly benefit you in so many areas.
Sort Out Your Admin
Another natural part of aging that becomes accelerated in importance after a diagnosis like this is sorting out your admin and assets. If you haven’t already established a will document, you may feel happier completing this task while your cognitive functions are less impaired. Financial assets also need to be arranged and accounted for, alongside any important wishes of note to be imparted.
Diet and Exercise Plans
Staying active will be your biggest ally in counteracting the mobility issues that occur later on. It is generally advisable for senior people to take gentle exercise regardless if they are able, but it becomes even more important when taking certain conditions into account. In this category also falls dietary considerations. Eating and drinking are heavily affected by dementia, so fostering nurturing habits in the early days will give comfort further down the line.
Mental health is often affected throughout the journey. There will be depression and anxiety moments that feel overwhelming, so it makes sense to learn how to recognize the signs and build resilience. Lean on your support network, and find time for self-care. If your low mood becomes consistent, don’t be afraid to raise it with your doctor as there will be treatment options to explore alongside your regular care.
Dementia is a drawn-out thing, and there will be tough days ahead. Find support from family, friends, and external care, and plan as much as you can for the future. There are always good days to be had, and it’s those that are worth focusing on.