Receiving a diagnosis of dementia in a loved one can raise a host of questions. Thoughtful Healthcare and our affiliates have created a video specifically for new caregivers, to help them understand the steps to take once a diagnosis of dementia has been given.

It can be overwhelming to try to fit the pieces together, but Tim Tholen, Founder and CEO of Thoughtful Healthcare, walks viewers through the process, giving answers for questions that families living in Kansas City might not have considered to ask.

Watch the “Mom’s Been Diagnosed with Dementia” video below.

Loved ones caring for people diagnosed with dementia will want to know about the diagnosis itself—not all dementia diagnoses are Alzheimer’s. Progressions of diseases can vary, so it’s important to educate yourself about treatments and new medications. Routines will probably need to be altered, and more support may be needed.

That’s where Thoughtful Care comes in—we are a locally owned, Kansas City metro area in-home care provider here to support you and your loved ones. Contact us for more information. We are here to help.

Click here for more Alzheimer and dementia care videos.

For more information about Thoughtful Care visit the Thoughtful Care website.

Relationship dynamics change when a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia. And it can be hard to find ways to communicate or connect. Here are some tips for dementia caregivers:

Find new ways to communicate. Communicating with someone who has dementia can be frustrating. Odds are you’ll have to do most of the talking, especially in the later stages of your loved one’s disease. Keep questions to a minimum, and stick to those with “yes” or “no” answers.

Be prepared to tell your loved one about your day or what your kids or grandkids have been doing. Or the new Kansas City restaurant you tried.

And don’t argue. You won’t win. If an argument seems imminent, change the subject.

Learn what not to say. Knowing what not to say to someone with dementia can be just as important as finding new communication strategies. For example, if your loved one is looking for a deceased relative, don’t remind him (or her) that person is dead. Just say something like, “She’s not here right now,” and change the subject.

Plan activities in which your loved one with dementia can participate. If your loved one is unable to participate in the usual family activities, find new things that you can all do together. Some examples may include looking at old photos, listening to music, baking cookies, or just taking a walk around your Kansas City neighborhood.

Maintain a positive attitude. Dementia can cause frustration for both you and the person who has dementia. Starting each day with a positive outlook can set the tone for the rest of the day.

Be flexible. Unfortunately, dementia is a progressive illness. So you’ll have to learn to adapt to new routines and activities as your loved one’s disease progresses. For example, you may need to replace “game night” with “movie night” when games become too difficult for the person with dementia.

Get help if you need it. Being a dementia caregiver is challenging, so it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. Remember, you can’t be an effective caregiver if you don’t also take care of yourself. Enlisting the help of Kansas City home care agency that specializes in Alzheimer’s and dementia care can take some of the pressure off of you and allow you some much needed respite.

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The cost of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, or other form of dementia, can vary greatly depending on what type of care the person needs and for how long. If you, or someone you love, have been diagnosed with dementia, advance financial planning can help you determine how much money you have vs. what type of expenses lie ahead. Here are some financial planning tips:

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You’ve probably heard the word care plan before, but you may or may not know exactly what it is or why someone with dementia might need one.

For a person with Alzheimer’s, or other form of dementia, the care plan is an outline of his or her daily routine, current needs, and medical status. It lets you, and everyone on your medical team, know who is responsible for what and when. Which is particularly important for people with dementia because their short-term memory has been compromised, and they’ll need a lot of help as the disease progresses.

Here are some tips for developing a dementia care plan:

Get organized.

Determine who all will have access to the plan and how it will be documented and shared. Assign roles for different aspects of care, including who is responsible for updating the care plan.

Create a daily schedule.

People with Alzheimer’s, or other form of dementia, tend to be more comfortable with a daily routine. So set scheduled times for things like meals, bathing and grooming, activities, quiet time, and a daily walk around your Kansas City neighborhood (and/or other forms of exercise).

Address current and potential upcoming issues.

Some things to consider include home safety, communication barriers, aggression, shared activities, medication management, transportation, financial resources, and sleep problems.

Note behavioral patterns.

To avoid potential behavioral problems, try to identify any triggers. For example, if your loved one gets agitated or aggressive, note things like the time of day, noise level, and/or medication changes.

Review and update, as needed.

Care plans need to evolve as dementia progresses. Periodically review the plan, and update as needed.

Get help

If you need help developing a care plan or implementing your plan of care, contact a Kansas City home health agency that specializes in dementia or Alzheimer’s.

For more information about THOUGHTFUL CARE services, or to view more topics in our Care Video Library, visit

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It’s hard to know how much time you’ll have to prepare for the future if you or a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia. Disease progression can vary greatly from one person to the next. So for your peace of mind (or for the sake of a loved one who will be caring for you) there are some things that need to be discussed in advance. Here’s a checklist to help make sure you’re covered:

Determine what resources are available. Living with Alzheimer’s or being an Alzheimer’s caregiver is tough, so you’ll want to take advantage of the Kansas City Alzheimer’s resources that are available. Educational resources are particularly important; they can prepare you for meeting new challenges head on.

Evaluate lifestyle. Be aware of what you (or your loved one with dementia) do on a day-to-day basis. If you own a computer, make a list of passwords for future reference. Consider what else you might need to do that will help as the disease progresses.

Develop routines. It’s important for people with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia to have daily routines. A consistent routine will help with focus, decrease anxiety, and allow for some sense of independence. Create a family calendar and enlist volunteers to help with appointments.

Store all relevant care information in one place. Get a notebook to store all important information about your dementia care. Include all medical and legal contacts, family contact information, test results, a current medication list, a weekly appointment calendar, and anything else for which you might need easy access. This will also help as you make the transition to home care or long-term care.

Encourage healthy living. As you’re establishing a daily routine, make sure you include activities that encourage healthy living and eat healthy meals. If you don’t already have an exercise routine, consider enlisting family members for a 30-minute walk around your Kansas City neighborhood after dinner each night. If you live alone and don’t have relatives nearby, you might want to purchase a treadmill instead. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy.

Deal with financial and legal issues. You’ll want to make sure you (or your loved one with dementia) develop a living will and designate a healthcare power of attorney before the disease becomes too advanced. You’ll also want to designate a financial power of attorney and put alerts on credit cards to curb overspending.

Know where to go for help. While you’re still able, develop a plan for the future. Choose a Kansas City home care agency that specializes in Alzheimer’s and dementia care to help with bathing and grooming, meal preparation, light housekeeping, and cognitive exercises. If your plan is to eventually transition to long-term care, you’ll also want to tour facilities with experience in dementia and Alzheimer’s care.

For more information about THOUGHTFUL CARE services, or to view more topics in our Care Video Library, visit

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