When a loved one is diagnosed with dementia, it can be difficult to cope. The person with the diagnosis may become distant or angry, and you may also feel frustrated and scared of what the future holds. Dementia is a progressive illness, and with no cure, the family has to make some difficult decisions regarding future care and support for the patient.
Everyone reacts to a dementia diagnosis differently, and it may take a while to accept. Some people feel like they are losing their identity, and as the condition progresses their relationships may start to change. Dementia brings a lot of challenges, but with the right medical and emotional support, the patient can still live an independent life.
Once the family has come to terms with the illness, there are certain things you should discuss. People can live for many years after being diagnosed with dementia, however, they may deteriorate fast and lose mental abilities. That’s why it’s best to plan ahead and make arrangements for when you can no longer communicate your wishes.
Here are some things to consider after a dementia diagnosis:
Financial matters should be discussed and plans made while you are able. Update your Will and Testament and nominate somebody to be your Lasting Power of Attorney. This is somebody, usually a family member, who will be able to make decisions on your behalf if you can no longer make them yourself in the future. You may also need to work out the costs of home care or a care home, and see if you are entitled to any financial support.
Treatments and Lifestyle Factors
While there is currently no cure for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, there are certain drugs and treatments which can slow its progression or lessen the symptoms. You should discuss which treatments you’re happy to undertake, with advice from your doctor. You may also wish to adapt lifestyle factors such as drinking and smoking.
Because dementia is a brain disease, one of the main fears is not being in control of yourself and your emotions. Very often, sufferers can lose their memory and forget who their loved ones are – which can be extremely distressing for both the patient and their family members. The SwonSong app can offer comfort to dementia patients, allowing them to create messages to their loved ones which can be triggered and sent once they have passed away. You can do this while you are able, with full mental capacity, before the disease takes hold. The video or audio messages and emails are stored digitally until a nominated person confirms your death.
This way, you have control over your final goodbye. Download the app for free and give it a try.