If you’re already in a crisis, it’s too late! These are the obvious times to immediately call for more help. If you’ve already found a facility for your love one’s next level of care, great! Call them. If not, find one NOW!
The Caregiver’s support team cannot or is not available to help
Caregiver(s) gets sick
Caregiver(s) begins to have or has had an accident
Other priorities (like the children) require the Caregivers attention
Who are in your Personal Support Network and how can they help.
We are only human and cannot carry it all alone. We burnout without help.
Make family aware of your situation as early as possible. Waiting is simply unfair to both your loved one and the family members. Once loved one is in later stages of advanced dementia may be to late for them to say whatever they may need to say to each other.
Let family and friends know what you’re facing. It will be easier to ask for their help at the early stages when the needs are likely less.
The same goes for your friends and neighbors. They may or may not be aware of some early changes. It’s a conversation friends may need you to have with them. It’s may be simply unfair to not include them.
We all have doctors, lots of doctors… Keep them involved and apprised of changes you are seeing in your loved one. I have learned that it’s probably best to do this sooner, rather than later. My Primary Care doctor knew of the Neurologists who did my husband’s evaluation and enrolled him in a Clinical Trial for Early Stage Alzheimer’s. She also got us to the evaluation for driving, when it became time for to take over that duty. Having our doctors involved was invaluable when the time came for John to need care in the Assisted Living facility.
Learn about the National Alzheimer’s Association. Please don’t allow that ‘A word’ to scare you. Remember dementia covers a large spectrum of conditions which have an impact on cognitive capacity. They have so much useful information both online at alz.org and in local meetings and workshops. They helped educate me a great deal.
Make aCall in Case of Need Notebook
Organization will be vitally necessary for you as the disease continues. It is much easier to do this early. I really wished I had done this a lot earlier. It would have been easier to have organized my own list earlier. Later on I rearranged my myriad post-it note stack of numbers. List by care assistance category: Family, friends, doctors, social worker, facility, etc. For each category, I listed their: name, phone number, work number, cell number, email addresses, preferred method/times of contact, medical specialty, or sort of help they may offer (companionship, shopping)