Contributed by: Sandra Adams, CFP®
More and more of our clients and families are being impacted by dementia. What is it and how does it impact those diagnosed and those who are caring for them?
Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. While it is believed there are over 50 different types of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease is the most prevalent type, with more than 5 million people currently living with this specific type. 1 in 9 seniors has Alzheimer’s disease, but half don’t know it. There are currently medications available to slow the progression of dementia, but there is no cure.
Most individuals with dementia are being cared for by family caregivers. Having knowledge about the signs and progression of different types of dementia can be extremely helpful to both the person with the disease and the caregiver. Planning ahead to make sure that the appropriate legal and care plans are in place in advance can relieve a tremendous amount of stress from everyone involved.
Realizing that the person with dementia is still the same person, just with a disease, is essential.
Dr. Paula Duren shared with us the 5 Foundational Care Concepts for Caregivers of individuals with dementia:
- Everyone has basic human needs
- You are the one with the healthy brain
- Be a good detective
- They may not remember your words but they will remember your spirit/energy
- Know that every behavior is an effort to communicate
Dr. Duren of Universal Dementia Caregivers also teaches care strategies for caregivers about how to work effectively with those they are caring for. She also works with caregivers to care for themselves. After all, if caregivers are not healthy and strong, they cannot care for their loved ones with dementia fully.
Listen to the replay of our webinar “Carepartners Passage Through Dementia” for additional tips and information AND watch for information about our May workshop for caregivers being facilitated by Dr. Duren.
Sandra Adams, CFP® is a Partner and Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.® Sandy specializes in Elder Care Financial Planning and is a frequent speaker on related topics. In addition to her frequent contributions to Money Centered, she is regularly quoted in national media publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Research Magazine and Journal of Financial Planning.