Assuming The Head of Household Role When A Parent Has Alzheimer’s or Dementia


Early on when a parent or loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia it’s important to be supportive during these early stages. It’s also imperative that you begin making solid plans for the journey of supporting and caring for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s or dementia. A solid and well thought out dementia care plan, which may or may not include dementia home care, is a critical step to make life for you and your loved one as smooth and seamless as possible. In this week’s blog we will briefly touch on a plan to take during early diagnosis as well as a longer-term plan if you’ll be taking on the role of head of household.

Support, Plan, and Provide Companionship

Dementia care for a loved one who has recently been diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer’s or dementia includes providing support and companionship while simultaneously planning for the future. Someone in the early stages of any form of dementia will often have the ability to continue to care for themselves with some assistance from a loved one. The early stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia can last for years.

Plan For the Future Together

One of the many benefits of early diagnosis is that you and your loved one can plan for the future together. From legal decisions like power of attorney and financial decisions to deep discussions about a long-term dementia care plan, you and your loved one can decide what’s best for everyone involved. Making these decisions together early on will help protect your parent or loved one down the road.

Access Early Dementia Care Resources

With an early diagnosis, decisions can be made about current available treatments. While there is currently no fast fix for someone living with dementia there are a range of treatment options to consider while in the early stage of diagnosis. Whether your loved one wants to go the route of prescription medications or alternative medicine there are many options to research and discuss with a doctor.

There are also quite a few other conditions that are secondary to the original diagnosis like an inability to sleep, behavioral problems that stem from frustration and irritability, anxiety and depression. If a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms or exhibiting any of these behaviors we urge you to check out our Alzheimer’s and dementia care resources.

Reach Out For Support

Many support services and groups exist to help those living with dementia seek the care and support they need. From message boards and virtual support groups, the Alzheimer’s Association provides a great number of resources to support you and your loved one’s dementia care plan. Be sure to ask a healthcare professional for a list of local and national options.

What About Dementia Home Care?

As Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia progress you and your family may opt to seek out professional care and that’s a great option for some care partners. Dementia home care offers a wide scope of options for caregivers and allows those living with dementia to maintain independence while continuing to live in their homes.

There are four common types of dementia home care:

Companion Services

Companion services for dementia home care include visits, assistance and support with recreational activities as well as general supervision.

Personal Care Services

From getting dressed, eating and excursion to assistance with using the restroom, personal care services can include a good mix of assistance with the necessary daily activities.

Homemaker Services

These services include shopping for, dropping off and putting away groceries as well as assistance with more generalized activities like laundry, bed making and meal prep.

Skilled Care

Skilled care includes anything that might fall under the direct care and supervision of a licensed healthcare professional. From injections and wound care to physical therapy and assistance with prescription medication, skilled care is a great option for those who require detailed attention and a watchful eye.

What about a memory care program?

At Prestige Senior Living we offer a wide range of assisted living services including our award winning memory care program, Expressions. Our Expressions Memory Care Program has been thoughtfully designed to lessen the fear and stress associated with the illness while simultaneously promoting friendship, activities and care backed by a professional team trained in the most advanced forms of memory care.

Expressions uses innovative care techniques and life enrichment programming to provide people with dementia and their families an environment in which the individual can live a productive and active life and be treated with dignity and respect.

Our team uses five pillars of self-expression as part of the program: Healthy Expressions, Artistic Expressions, Spiritual Expressions, Tasty Expressions and Educational Expressions.

If you or a loved one is curious about creating a dementia care plan while in the early stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia please contact the community nearest you.