The Importance of Care Consultations
Why having a proper care plan matters
Imagine that you are newly retired, or soon to be retired, with big plans for how you intend to spend your golden years traveling, perhaps with a partner, enjoying visits with family, taking time to finally enjoy the life you have worked so hard for. Now, imagine receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia at this time and being told that you or your loved one will experience irreversible cognitive decline, over an unknown period of time, to an unknown extent.
It’s no surprise that receiving such a diagnosis is devastating to both the patient as well as their loved ones, especially their primary care partner. Unfortunately, those impacted are often left with a plethora of unanswered questions, concerns, not to mention the tremendous anxiety of the uncertainty that haunts them. Care consultations are a critical piece of this daunting puzzle – and should be utilized at every stage of the disease.
Care consultations provide an assessment of a patient’s current needs and an opportunity discuss ways to maintain or even improve quality of life, leveraging the care partner’s and patient’s strengths and mitigating their weaknesses. Effective consultations include options for respite, clinical information and referrals, and general advice from a credentialed expert in the field – and should result in a comprehensive care plan that is flexible and considers the needs of both the care partner and the person living with dementia.