The Emotional Effects of a Loved One’s Dementia Diagnosis

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A diagnosis of dementia for an aging parent can bring about a variety of emotions. While uncertainty and sadness are common emotions a senior’s adult children and family members will face, there can also be feelings of selfishness and guilt. Here’s how to identify and examine some of these feelings and better handle them. 

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’re the son or daughter of a senior who has recently been diagnosed with dementia, your initial reaction may be to ask, “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, but it’s very normal to feel this way and question how your life is going to change as the result of your loved one’s diagnosis. Dementia can be particularly difficult to handle, and both seniors and family caregivers can easily get overwhelmed. Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Understanding Where the Feelings Are Coming From 

As mentioned previously, sadness is often a part of the process, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. You may also feel resentment, anger, and feelings of helplessness. These feelings aren’t just a result of the actual diagnosis of dementia but also the changes the diagnosis will bring to your life. When planning their futures, many people don’t envision having to care for aging loved ones, and they may have to make considerable lifestyle adjustments to do so. This is where the resentment and anger often come from. 

Addressing the Roller Coaster of Emotions 

It’s perfectly healthy and normal for the emotions surrounding such a diagnosis to focus inward rather than on your loved one. What isn’t healthy is to shame yourself for having such feelings. You should acknowledge how you feel and why you feel this way. Only then can you address such emotions. Talking to someone in a similar situation or joining a support group can also help, as others have gone through the same roller coaster of emotions and can share tips and tricks for how to best handle the situation through each stage of the disease.  Your loved one may also get a great deal of benefit from having the assistance of a professional caregiver, who can provide information and emotional support. Families looking for top-rated Waterloo senior home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

Moving Forward with Confidence

With the right planning and support systems in place, it’s 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 loved one. If you plan on becoming the primary caregiver for your loved one, be honest with yourself about the challenges of caring for another person, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Friends, family, and professional caregivers can offer you the level of assistance you need as the disease progresses and your loved one’s needs change over time.  Even when families have the best intentions, caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging. Fortunately, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia care. Waterloo families can take advantage of our flexible and customizable care plans, and our caregivers always stay up to date on the latest developments in senior care. To learn about our premier in-home care options, give us a call at 319-260-2222 today. 


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