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At COA, we understand that for an adult child, taking care of your aging parent who is suffering from early-stage dementia can be one of the most stressful jobs that you will ever take on.

Although you want to always be there for your loved one—supporting and caring for them as much as possible—it’s also important to remember to take care of yourself during this difficult journey.

Do you take care of a parent or loved one that has been diagnosed with early-stage dementia? Remember, you’re not alone! At COA, we’re here to support you and offer advice to try to ease you through this transition period.

Keep reading for some of our top tips for Caregivers!

Knowledge is power

The old saying is true! The more you educate yourself with information from books, websites, and medical forums, the more empowered you will feel to make decisions that are in the best interest of your loved one.

Today, there is more information available to caregivers than ever. Learning more about what to expect, and all the options available to you and your loved one, will make it easier to deal with certain challenges as they arise.

The more you know in advance, the more prepared you will be!

Get organized

It may seem like the number of financial bills, medical history reports, legal documents, and insurance policies is never ending! Most caregivers realize the work they will be doing to take care of their loved one’s physical needs, but taking care of all the paperwork can be just as overwhelming!

We recommend that you get organized—and, the sooner the better. Compile all the materials you will need and keep them in separate, labelled files, folders, and notebooks.

It’s important to have easy access to your loved one’s banking information, computer passwords, wills, trusts, or power of attorney, and identification cards. By keeping everything organized and on-hand, you can decrease the chances of delays due to missing paperwork.

Trust your gut

Remember, that everyone you meet during this process—doctors, nurses, neighbors, other family members—is going to have an opinion. But as the caregiver, you are ultimately responsible, because you know first-hand what your loved one goes through on a daily basis.

Listen to the advice, but follow through on the care plans, activities, and treatments that you know are best.

Find out more about our Respite Program

At COA, we offer primary caregivers of loved ones with early-stage dementia (aged 60 or older), some much needed time off through our Respite Program. This program is designed to give the caregiver some time for themselves, while the loved one participates in a therapeutic, supervised, social activity program.

The program is held from 9am-3pm (Monday-Friday), and half-day sessions are also available from 9am-12pm or 12pm-3pm. An assessment is required prior to being accepted into the program.

Our Neighborhood Respite Programs are located in Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, New Smyrna Beach, Orange City, and Port Orange. Call Theresa at 386-253-4700 ex. 216 for more information.

Lastly—remember to take care of yourself, too

We know it’s hard to put yourself at the top of your list during this time, but it really is necessary. If you aren’t properly eating, sleeping, and taking care of yourself, then you won’t be able to properly take care of your parent either.

Are you currently a caregiver or have you been in the past? Do you have some other helpful advice to share? Let us know!


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