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THRIVE with Parkinson’s: Open House for Family Caregivers
Learn About Our New Program for Residents with Movement Disorders
Thursday, March 7th 6pm-7pm. Click HERE & RSVP Now!
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senior dementia

My Senior Loved One Has Dementia… Now What?

Facing the reality of dementia in a senior loved one can be an emotional rollercoaster.

Dementia is an often puzzling condition, but taking the time to understand it can ease your worries as a loved one and caregiver.

By understanding your senior’s condition, creating a nurturing environment, and embracing significant moments—you can make this chapter in their life meaningful.

Together, we’ll explore compassionate ways to provide the best care for your senior while preserving their dignity and ensuring your well-being as a caregiver.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of dementia

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of dementia is crucial for early detection and timely intervention.

While the specific symptoms can vary, here are some common signs to look out for:

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty with familiar tasks
  • Disorientation or confusion
  • Communication problems
  • Poor judgment and decision-making
  • Mood swings and emotional changes
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Decline in personal hygiene
  • Difficulty with abstract thinking
  • Changes in sleep patterns

What should a caregiver do if dementia is suspected?

When you suspect your senior is experiencing symptoms of dementia, it’s natural to feel concerned and unsure of what to do next.

Prompt and appropriate actions are crucial for your loved one’s well-being and overall care. Carefully observe your loved one’s behavior, memory, and daily activities.

Next, schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional. A memory specialist, neurologist, or geriatrician can conduct tests and assessments to provide an accurate diagnosis.

Broaching the subject of a potential dementia diagnosis requires sensitivity and empathy. Have an open conversation with your loved one, ensuring they feel supported and heard.

My loved one has been diagnosed with dementia…now what?

After a diagnosis, create a safe and familiar living space for your loved one.

Remove hazards, ensure good lighting, and use memory aids such as labels and pictures to enhance their comfort and independence.

When dementia is confirmed, you’ll need to plan for the future by discussing legal and financial matters with your loved one and prepare for potential care needs.

When creating a plan you’ll need to obtain documents such as a Health Care Proxy, Living Will and Power of Attorney.

For yourself, seek support from family, friends, or caregiver support groups.

Caring for someone with dementia can be emotionally taxing but having a network to lean on can ease the stress and grief.

Familiarize yourself with the condition as much as possible so that you have an idea of what to expect when caring for them.

What categorizes each stage of dementia?

Dementia is a progressive condition that passes through different stages, affecting cognitive function and daily living abilities.

The most common stages of dementia are often categorized as follows.

Stage 1: Preclinical stage (No Impairment)

In this stage, there are no apparent symptoms of dementia. Your senior functions normally with no cognitive impairment.

Stage 2: Mild cognitive impairment (MCI)

Mild cognitive changes become noticeable, but daily functioning remains largely unaffected. Seniors may experience slight memory lapses or difficulty finding the right words.

Stage 3: Mild dementia (early-stage dementia)

The mild cognitive decline becomes more evident. Memory, language, and problem-solving skills are affected, and your senior may struggle with complex tasks. However, they can still perform basic activities independently.

Stage 4: Moderate dementia (middle-stage dementia)

Memory loss worsens, and your loved one may struggle to recognize familiar faces or places. They might need more assistance with daily activities and personal care.

Stage 5: Moderately severe dementia (middle-stage dementia)

Seniors may need significant assistance with daily tasks and personal care. They may experience confusion and have difficulty remembering personal information.

Stage 6: Severe dementia (late-stage dementia)

Memory and cognitive function continue to decline severely. Your loved one may lose the ability to communicate coherently, experience personality changes, and require professional care.

Stage 7: Very severe dementia (late-stage dementia)

At the final stage, your loved one may lose the ability to walk, speak, or swallow. They require around-the-clock care and support for all aspects of daily living.

What are my senior loved one’s care options?

When caring for a loved one with dementia, you have several care options to consider, each tailored to meet their unique needs.

In-home care allows your loved one to remain in the comfort of their familiar surroundings, receiving personalized care and support.

Some seniors prefer this, but it can be unsafe if they need medical assistance or more support than you can provide.

Alternatively, community settings, such as memory care or assisted living communities, provide a social and safe environment with specialized dementia care.

The Kensington White Plains offers two distinct and customized memory care neighborhoods, to ensure our residents receive the right type and amount of care.

Connections

Connections is dedicated to individuals in the early to middle stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

This space is intentionally designed for residents who are beginning to show more pronounced signs of memory loss, yet still possess a significant degree of independence.

Our primary objective is to empower these residents to engage independently in activities that bring joy and purpose to their lives.

Connections offers a secure and fully monitored environment to optimize safety, while providing a familiar and comfortable living space that encourages tranquility.

Haven

Haven is dedicated to the care of individuals in the middle to late stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Residents here may have difficulties recognizing friends and family, organizing thoughts, and carrying out everyday activities.

They may need help to maintain their personal appearance and hygiene, as well as manage incontinence.

In Haven, residents receive an increased level of assistance and care. We uphold a caregiver-to-resident ratio of 1:4, which is the best ratio in the metropolitan area.

Making a smooth transition requires open communication, careful planning, and balancing respecting your loved one’s wishes and ensuring their safety and well-being.

The Kensington White Plains is your place for care and support

The Kensington White Plains community lives by Our Promise to love and care for your loved one as we do our own family.

We can maintain this Promise by offering high-acuity care, specialized memory care programs, and individualized care plans.

Our empathetic team can accommodate all levels of memory loss and care for seniors with even the highest care needs. When your loved one joins our community, they will experience:

  • Around-the-clock care
  • Licensed nurses on-site 24 hours a day
    • Medication administration
  • An on-site physician’s office
  • Life-enrichment activities
  • Exquisite dining services
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Two Alzheimer’s and dementia care neighborhoods:
    • Connections: for early to middle stage Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Connections provides a fully secured environment to maximize safety, in an intimate, homelike living space that fosters calm and comfort.
    • Haven: our neighborhood for middle to late stage Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Residents in this neighborhood receive a higher level of assistance and care to maximize comfort, minimize agitation, and soothe compassionately.

Contact our team today for more information on our care services, caregiver resources, and support.

Our team is here to help and ready to assist you in your caregiving journey.