When an older parent is diagnosed with a degenerative condition, it can be overwhelming trying to provide them with the support they need. Nicole was faced with this situation when her father, Geoff, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
After retirement, Geoff struggled to find a sense of relevance and his health began to decline. After a trip to the doctor’s office and a referral to see a geriatric specialist, Geoff was diagnosed. Things began to move quickly, which only added to the stress of the situation.
“It was emotionally very difficult, watching dad decline so rapidly,” Nicole says.
Nicole struggled to cope, not only with her father’s condition, but also how quickly she and her mum found themselves in unfamiliar territory while trying to find assistance. Even though her mum was there to look after Geoff full time, it was clear additional support was needed.
Nicole began to gather information about her father’s condition, which only raised more questions about finding the right care for him.
“It started in a very exploratory way, just trying to understand Dad’s condition and what it meant for him – what it meant for us,” she says. “But as I watched Mum working harder and harder as Dad’s health declined so fast, I quickly started thinking about the next stage.”
Though the research made her feel as though she was doing her part to help care for her father, Nicole found it difficult to navigate all the information about aged care services.
“There was just so much information; I didn’t really know where to start. I had no point from which to understand what I was looking for.”
With some help, Nicole was able to narrow her search, which made the whole process more manageable. Reputation and availability were top priorities and Nicole was able to focus on finding services that fit the brief. It didn’t take long for Nicole and her mum to start receiving the support they needed, and for Geoff to get the care he needed to improve his quality of life.
Knowing that her father is receiving the support he needs goes a long way in easing some of the pressures that come with dealing with his diagnosis. Now, Nicole gets to enjoy time with her father, knowing that he is receiving the care he needs.
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