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Do you have an elderly loved one who has been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease? As the caregiver of your loved one, have you begun to see signs of Alzheimer’s? Were you aware that Alzheimer’s impacts millions of senior adults? Did you know that Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that causes memory loss and diminished problem-solving abilities? Equally important for you to know is that the degenerative nature of Alzheimer’s is as difficult for those suffering from it as it is for those that care about them.

We know you want to provide your elderly loved one with the best possible support, but how do you do it? In addition, if you are providing care for an elder adult with Alzheimer’s, part of helping him or her will involve helping others to understand what he or she is going through.We would like to share some tips on how to do this.

• You need some guidelines in regard to others talking with your elderly loved one. After an Alzheimer’s Disease diagnosis is given, life may be full of uncertainty and emotion for your loved one. In fact, your elder loved one may not want anyone to know about the diagnosis while trying to accept what is happening now and in the future. He or she may never want to talk about it with others. Be sure to discuss with your loved one how he or she would like to proceed, knowing that family and friends may already suspect that something is wrong. However, if your elderly loved one is unable to make his or her own decisions, ask his or her legal decision-maker how your elderly loved one should interact with family and friends.

• You need some guidelines in regard to who needs to know about the diagnosis. There should be differing degrees of information for family, friends and others. Encourage family members and close friends to learn about Alzheimer’s Disease and the impact it will potentially have on your elderly loved one. Talk about symptoms your loved one has now and what he or she may have in the future, address any misconceptions about Alzheimer’s, and let everyone know that your elder loved one is going through changes they cannot control. Try to answer questions and be sure to share all educational resources you have to help them better understand this disease. Now, as for acquaintances and others, just inform them to the extent that it helps explain the elderly adult’s behavior.

• You need to educate family and friends in regard to interacting with your loved one. You know, as the caregiver of your elderly loved one with Alzheimer’s, what your elder loved one can and cannot manage, especially as the disease progresses. Now you need to teach your family and friends how to interact appropriately with your loved one. For example, encourage everyone to reintroduce themselves periodically and to never correct your elderly loved one. Ask family and friends to visit often because social stimulation is healthy, as it provides mental exercise and helps negate feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Because June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, advocates across the health care, nonprofit, and legal communities are offering support for Alzheimer’s patients, caregivers, and families impacted by the disease. You and your family should take full advantage of the many resources available this month. If you or someone you know would like more information or guidance about related legal matters, schedule a meeting with our firm.

At Britton G. Swank, P.A., our mission is to guide you in the right direction to help you provide for yourself and your loved ones no matter what the future holds. We want to help you control the assets you have, leave them to people and causes you care about, when you want, in the way you want. We can help you take care of yourself and those you love in the event of disability due to illness, injury or old age. No matter what risks unfold, we can help give you the comfort of knowing you are prepared. We want you to feel good about your future and the future of your loved ones. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.