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Developing a plan for a parent with Alzheimer's Disease

A parent's mental capacity, memories and sense of self may become impaired over time. For family, it's difficult to see a loved one change and decline in these ways. However, you can take steps and make decisions to help maximize your parent's quality of life.

Long-term plan

As a caregiver and likely guardian of your parent, you need to develop a care plan. This gives you a road map to follow, but it is not set in stone. Your parent's condition and circumstances may change, and this dictates that your care plan may change. When developing a plan, it's wise to consult a professional at a memory care facility or a social worker with Alzheimer's disease care experience. This person will help you build a plan that works for your parent and your family.

Family care plan for parent

Caring for a parent with Alzheimer's is demanding, and for many families, siblings share parent-care duties. You want to avoid confusion and disagreements, so you need to develop a daily and weekly care plan that all parties agree to. Each sibling's participation should be consistent and reliable, so essential tasks are performed on time. You don't want to risk the health and well-being of your parent. Keep in mind you don't need to schedule activities throughout the day for your parent. A parent suffering from Alzheimer's needs the right amount of rest along with various activities to keep them engaged.

Day care or home health care

In the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer's, an at-home nurse, personal care assistant or family members can provide care, cook meals and clean and perform other necessary functions in your parent's home. Typically, a companion service provides regular visits, supervision around the home and assists in recreational activities. A personal care service provides help with exercising, dressing, bathing and other personal care activities. A homemaker service company typically offers cooking, cleaning, shopping and other common household services.

A financial plan

You need to meet with your financial advisor or at least determine a basic plan to pay for all the possible upcoming expenses. Alzheimer's and memory care often requires considerable resources. You want to be prepared so you can make vital decisions in a timely manner.

Long-Term care

If your parent is no longer able to care for himself or herself and is no longer able to live in at home, memory care, nursing home and assisted living facilities provide varying levels of services, including daily cooking, cleaning and laundry duties. Thinking ahead to when these services may be needed can help you plan for the future, and may also provide your parent a chance to choose a facility as well.

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