A diagnosis of dementia for an aging parent can bring about a variety of emotions. While uncertainty and sadness are common emotions that a senior’s adult children and family members will face, there can also be feelings of selfishness and guilt. This post from Naples Home Care Assistance will identify and examine some of these feelings and provide information as to how to cope.
The Feelings after a Life Altering Diagnosis
When a loved one receives a dementia diagnosis, those who are closest to the senior will often be most affected. If you are the son or daughter of a senior who has recently been diagnosed with dementia, your initial reaction may be “Who will take care of mom or dad? What am I going to do? How am I going to manage everything? Why me?” Asking yourself these questions may seem selfish, however it’s very normal to feel this way and to question how your life is going to change as the result of a loved one’s diagnosis.
Understanding Where the Feelings are Coming From
As mentioned previously, sadness is often a part of the coping process, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. You may also feel resentment, anger and feelings of helplessness. These feelings are not just a result of the actual diagnosis of dementia, but the changes that the diagnosis will bring to your life. When planning a future, many do not envision having to care for an aging loved one and they may have to make considerable lifestyle adjustments to do so. This is where the resentment, anger and “why me” often come from.
Managing the Roller Coaster of Emotions
It is perfectly healthy and normal for the emotions surrounding such a diagnosis to focus inwards, rather than on your loved one. What is not healthy is to guilt and shame yourself for having such feelings. You should acknowledge how you feel and why you feel this way. Only then can you manage such emotions. Talking to someone in a similar situation or joining a support group can also assist, as others have gone through the same roller coaster of emotions and can share tips and tricks for how to best cope with the situation through each stage of the disease.
Moving Forward with Confidence
With the right planning and support systems in place, it is possible to tackle a dementia diagnosis with confidence. Do as much research as you can about the disease and look into local support services that can help your aging loved one. If you plan on becoming the primary caregiver for your loved one, be honest with yourself about how big of a job caring for another person is and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Friends, family and live-in and hourly home caregivers in Naples can offer you the level of assistance you need as the disease progresses and needs change over time.
To request more information about in-home care for seniors, reach to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of dementia home care in Naples. Our caregivers are experienced and compassionate and are also trained in our exclusive Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an in-home wellness program that has been shown to promote brain health and mental acuity for seniors and older adults of all cognition levels. Call 239-449-4701 to speak with a friendly Care Manager and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.