Are you living with dementia in a loved one? What should you do when your loved one starts to forget? If you are living with or caring for someone with dementia, there are no easy answers. But here are a few ideas that may help you along the way.
1. Find a support network
The first thing to remember is that you’re not alone. In Australia, there are more than 332,000 people living with dementia — with around 1,700 new cases diagnosed each week.  This means that at least 1.2 million Australians are involved in caring for a loved one with dementia.1 If you are a caregiver, it is important to look after your own well-being as well as that of your loved one, so make sure you seek out a support group in your area.
2. Get the right level of care
When it comes to dementia, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. But fortunately, there are a range of care options — so you can find the one that caters best to the needs of your loved one.
Depending on the stage of the disease, care options can include:
n Care at home: In the early stages of dementia, your loved one may be able to stay at home, with adequate levels of care and assistance. If you aren’t able to provide full-time support, it’s worth considering hiring a caregiver to supervise and support your loved one around the house.
n Day care: While your loved one is living at home, you may choose to use day care facilities in addition to, or instead of, a caregiver. These offer trained staff to assist your loved one in a supportive environment while giving them a chance to socialise.
n Respite care: Taking care of a loved one can be emotionally and physically wearing, and it’s vital that you allow yourself a break. That’s where respite care comes in — so your loved one enjoys a change of environment and you can take a little time for yourself.
n Residential care: As your loved one progresses to the later stages of dementia, you will need to consider residential care options. Based on the level of care required and your financial situation, there are a range of assisted living and nursing homes with dementia facilities.
3. Sort out your estate
As tough as it is, you need to acknowledge that there will come a point at which your loved one is no longer able to make financial decisions. As early as possible, make sure they have a current will to determine the future of their estate. And by appointing a Power of Attorney, your loved one can have peace of mind knowing that a responsible person will have the legal right to make financial decisions in the future.
4. Seek professional help
When dealing with dementia, it can be difficult to know if you are making the right decisions on your own. That’s why it’s a good idea to seek professional advice. For help with planning your finances to prepare for the future, speak to the experts at .