Alzheimer’s Disease: Preparing for Mid-Stage and Late-Stage Care in Denver and Wheat Ridge, CO
Here's what you should consider when looking into home health care options for mid and late-stage Alzheimer's disease in Wheat Ridge, Denver and surrounding Colorado communities
When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, planning for mid-stage and late-stage care may not be the first thing that will come to your mind as the diagnosis can be overwhelming on its own.
However, once you get your bearings, you'll want to take the time to plan out everything that lies ahead. Preparing yourself for the later stages of Alzheimer's can help you cope with the situation better, enabling you to maintain your loved one's quality of life as much as you can.
What to Expect with Mid-Stage and Late-Stage Alzheimer's Disease
Early-stage Alzheimer's usually lasts 1-2 years, during which the symptoms of the condition may become apparent but still not too debilitating. Occasionally, a person can be forgetful or they may need some help with certain routines. But all in all, they'll be able to function independently and care for themselves.
This all starts to change as the condition reaches its mid-stage, typically lasting from 2-4 years. In this stage, a person will struggle to function independently as memory and cognitive abilities go into a downward spiral. Additionally, one will start to depend heavily on family members or home health care professionals to provide adequate care but can remain living safely at home.
As Alzheimer's inevitably progresses into its late stage, which lasts for 1-2 years, seniors become entirely dependent on others and require 24/7 care and monitoring. By this stage, most individuals completely lose short-term and long-term memory functions, as well as language abilities.
Given the excessively debilitating nature of the condition in this stage, families will have to rely on full-time home health care services or opt to relocate their loved one to a facility with around-the-clock care.
Planning Ahead for Home Health Care Services in the Later Stages of Alzheimer's Disease
Preparation for mid and late-stage Alzheimer's takes time. Rather than preparing yourself for the later stages all at once, it would be better if you choose a one-step-at-a-time approach. Here's what Visiting Angels Denver suggests:
- Learn what to expect for your loved one and for yourself – Educate yourself on what your loved one will be going through in the later stages of Alzheimer's and what you can do to make them feel safe and comfortable. As this disease will have a big impact on your life too, learn as much as you can about the difficulties you may experience as a caregiver.
- Take a close look at your finances – Providing specialized home health care for a loved one can be rather costly, especially in the later stages of Alzheimer's, so you might want to make a sustainable financial plan for your parent's future care needs.
- Learn more about Alzheimer's care strategies – It will be much easier to provide your loved one with adequate care if you take the time to learn more about how professionals do it.
- Develop a strong support network – To avoid becoming physically and emotionally overwhelmed, work on creating a support system consisting of other family members, relatives or close friends and Alzheimer's care professionals.
- Research your care options – Most family caregivers find themselves unable to keep up with their loved one's care needs in the late stages of Alzheimer's. Some hire professional caregivers to share the workload at home while others opt to move their parent into a nursing facility. If you've already researched local care options, it will be much easier for you to make the right decision.
At Visiting Angels Denver, we provide quality Alzheimer's in-home care and other home health care services. Call our Wheat Ridge, CO office today to learn more.
Visiting Angels provides quality home care services for seniors in Arvada, Aurora, Denver, Glendale, Golden, Lakewood, Wheat Ridge and the surrounding areas of Colorado.