What Do You Do for an Aging Parent Who’s Been Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s?

When an aging parent has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, just about everything can seem to change. You may have suspected that something was amiss for a long time before he or she went to the doctor for a formal diagnosis. Maybe that word ‘Alzheimer’s’ was in the back of your mind for a while, but it hadn’t been until the formal diagnosis came through that life really began to change.

Assisted Living: Alzheimer’s Memory Care in Spanish Fort, AL

Assisted Living: Alzheimer’s Memory Care in Spanish Fort, AL

You’ve also noticed since the diagnosis that things are progressing. He or she is showing more signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. You may be struggling to take care of them the best you can, but with your other responsibilities like raising children, your career, or simply trying to live your life still, you don’t know how much more you can do.

Is there a better elder care option out there?

Yes, there is. It’s called memory care assisted living. When you look at the available elder care options for men and women who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, you begin to realize how valuable assisted living can be, so long as it is at a memory care facility.

What does “memory care” mean?

When you hear the term “memory care assisted living,” it’s all about experienced staff members who support aging men and women who are dealing with a variety of memory-related challenges. This could include Alzheimer’s, other types of dementia, and possibly even traumatic brain injuries that are the result of a slip and fall accident, stroke, aneurysm, or other health related issues.

When you look into memory care, you focus on how the staff at one of these facilities can assist seniors with their Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). This would include taking their prescription medications appropriately, help with bathing and toileting, if necessary, gentle reminders when they can’t recall what they were doing or what they have to do, and being a consistent support through the years ahead.

When should you talk to this senior about memory care assisted living?

As with any topic involving elder care and a senior who is been diagnosed with some disease like Alzheimer’s, you should sit down and talk to him or her when they are not stressed, when they are not pressed for time, and when they are lucid and cogent. Avoid trying to talk about important topics at the end of the day when they have to get ready for bed, when the pressure seems to be on and it’s dark outside.

You want them to be relaxed. There may be resistance at first. Too many people see certain elder care options as a loss of independence and autonomy. Assure them that it won’t be. Encourage them that now is the time to make the move so that when the disease progresses and they struggle with their memory more, they will be in an environment that feels comfortable, even if they don’t recognize their surroundings at that time.

When you have an aging parent dealing with Alzheimer’s, you owe it to yourself and them to look into, research, learn, and consider a memory care assisted living community for their future and the sooner they make the commitment, the more benefits it will provide in the years ahead.

If you or an aging loved one are considering a move to an Assisted Living Facility near Spanish Fort, AL, contact Ashbury Manor Specialty Care and Assisted Living at 251-317-3017

About Cindy Johnson

Ashbury Manor’s Administrator since 2008, Cindy Johnson is a long-time expert in the assisted living field. Prior to her arrival at Ashbury Manor, Cindy managed acquisitions and crisis management for existing and new larger senior care project developments for eleven years. As regional manager for an Oregon-based assisted living management company, Cindy was directly responsible for operations for five 50-65 bed assisted living facilities. As manager during the transition to new ownership, Cindy reorganized internal operations and conducted leadership training for Executive Directors. As a result of her management and expertise, one of the company’s facilities (in Ocala, Florida) received a deficiency-free survey, resulting in the lifting of a moratorium on operation.

A nurse for 36 years, senior care has always been Cindy’s passion. Desiring to work more closely with residents, Cindy became a Category II Administrator in 2005. As Ashbury Manor’s Administrator, Cindy understands the complexities associated with dementia and cognitive impairment and she has fallen in love with seniors with dementia or cognitive impairment and their families.

Cindy is Treasurer of the local “Senior Coalition” chapter. She enjoys mentoring new candidates who want to become administrators.

As a 16-bed facility, with Cindy's training and experience, our residents and their families can be sure Ashbury Manor’s carefully selected staff provides the expertise of a larger facility while maintaining the individualized personal care of a small special needs home.
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