If someone in your life has been diagnosed with dementia, please know that we fully understand it is difficult news to digest, and no one prepares you to take care of your parents or elderly loved ones. However, you have some important decisions to make and factors to consider. To be clear, dementia is defined as a chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury and marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning. It is a progressive disease, and it is very likely that if you do not have a power of attorney in place for your recently diagnosed relative, he or she may soon become unable to designate an agent to act on his or her behalf due to the cognitive decline that comes along with a dementia diagnosis. It is very important that you consult with an attorney to discuss your particular scenario to find out if your relative has the legal capacity to appoint you or another close relative to make important decisions for him or her moving forward in light of this news.
Your family will need to decide whether mom or dad can continue living at home safely or if a memory care facility would be more appropriate because typically older people with cognitive diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's lose their short-term memory functioning and often end up in car accidents, wandering away from their homes, or being unable to remember where they parked their vehicles or placed important items throughout their homes. Your relative's primary care physician can give you guidance and resources for home health care options if the diagnosis is not severe, but it is critical for you to be realistic about the fact that your loved one will never be the same again. Call us today to discuss the best way forward for your family. We are ready and willing to help!