As the baby boom generation continues to move through the population bubble (the oldest baby boomers began turning 70 last year!), many of us are or will soon be tasked with managing the care of en elderly loved one.
Without specific knowledge of the aging process and what to expect, this new role can be overwhelming, leaving us searching for information and help.
As a service to those seeking direction, over the next few months, we will use this opportunity to correct some common misinformation.
If my parent has been diagnosed with dementia, I need to immediately arrange for care.
FALSE: At the time of a dementia diagnosis, premature mental images of mom or dad leaving the stove on or wandering the streets are understandable. The prospect of caring for an individual with pending mental incapacities can seem daunting and even impossible, leading to thoughts of the immense lifestyle adjustments that will certainly accompany them.
Fortunately, in most cases, there is plenty of time to make informed decisions on what steps to take and how to arrange for care when the time arises.
Through a thorough assessment in conjunction with notes from the primary care physician, we can oftentimes make a dynamic plan that allows the client to stay in his or her current living situation until symptoms progress.