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Five Things I Wish I Knew Before My Loved One Was Diagnosed with Dementia

Updated: Jun 21, 2023


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Receiving a dementia diagnosis for a loved one can be a life-altering experience. It brings about a range of emotions and introduces a new set of challenges that many of us are unprepared for. In this blog post, we will discuss five things I wish I knew earlier before my loved one was diagnosed with dementia. These insights can help other families navigate the journey more effectively and seek the necessary support. We will explore the significance of senior home care, understanding insurance coverage, the need for comprehensive health management, the impact on personal life, and the importance of utilizing local dementia resources in Sarasota, Florida.

  1. Senior Home Care and Dementia: One crucial aspect I wish I knew earlier is the significance of senior home care in providing specialized support for individuals with dementia. Senior home care services offer personalized care plans, assistance with daily activities, medication management, and emotional support for both the individual with dementia and their family caregivers. This type of care allows seniors to age in the comfort of their own homes while ensuring their safety, well-being, and quality of life. I wish I would have felt comfortable enough to engage these services earlier.

  2. Understanding Insurance Coverage and Long Term Care Insurance: Navigating insurance coverage can be complex, but it's important to understand what is covered for individuals with dementia. Medicare typically covers doctor visits, hospital stays, and some medical services. However, it may not cover long-term care services such as in-home care or assisted living. Exploring long-term care insurance options and understanding what your policy covers is essential to ensure adequate support and minimize financial burden. I wish I would have known how important long term care insurance was, and planned for that earlier in life.

  3. Comprehensive Health Management: Caring for a loved one with dementia involves managing various health needs, including medical appointments, medication management, and coordinating care between different healthcare providers. I wish I had known earlier the importance of seeking support from healthcare professionals who specialize in dementia care. Engaging with a geriatric care manager or a healthcare advocate can help navigate the complexities of healthcare, provide guidance on treatment options, and ensure comprehensive and coordinated care for your loved one. Instead I found myself completely overwhelmed and not sure where to begin.

  4. Impact on Personal Life: Caring for a loved one with dementia can have a significant impact on your personal life. It is crucial to recognize and acknowledge that your life will change drastically. Balancing caregiving responsibilities with personal needs, relationships, and work can be challenging. Seeking support from family, friends, or support groups can provide emotional support, respite care, and an opportunity to share experiences with others who understand the journey. I wish I had understood just how much my life would be placed "on hold" and I would have planned for more respite care or more outside support in order to maintain some boundaries for myself and continue to do some things that were just for me.

  5. Utilizing Local Dementia Resources: Sarasota, Florida, offers a wealth of local dementia resources that can provide valuable support to both individuals with dementia and their caregivers. The Senior Friendship Centers provide a range of programs and services, including support groups, respite care, and educational resources. The Alzheimer's Association Gulf Coast Chapter offers support groups, education programs, and a helpline to answer questions and provide guidance. By utilizing these local resources, families can access valuable information, assistance, and a network of support tailored to their specific needs.

Receiving a dementia diagnosis for a loved one can be overwhelming and challenging. However, by understanding the importance of senior home care, navigating insurance coverage, seeking comprehensive health management, acknowledging the impact on personal life, and utilizing local dementia resources in Sarasota, Florida, families can find the necessary support to navigate this journey. Remember, you are not alone, and there are resources available to help you provide the best possible care for your loved one while also caring for yourself.

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