Dementia Blog

Mom has dementia! Is my life over now? DON’T FORGET TO BREATH

Four Truths about Dementia:

1. Two parts of the brain are dying
2. There is no cure
3. It’s a progressive condition
4. It’s terminal.

Don’t fall apart now! It’s a journey and here’s a plan!

8 Steps to take right now!

1. Make sure her legal documents are in order. With the diagnosis in writing, lawyers are leery to change or create new documents. If there isn’t someone who will question the content (a wayward son looking for trouble or money), you have a better case with a lawyer for making new documents when she’s just been diagnosed. Financial powers of attorney, medical powers of attorney, and an advanced directive to outline her wishes (ie, no feeding tube, do not resuscitate, etc.)

2. Make sure you have a brain scan to indicate the current state of her brain. It’s a tool against which you can measure the progression of the disease to predict care needs. Knowing the kind of dementia, is a bonus.

3. Put together your care team: who and what are the responsibilities, according to location and willingness to be involved. You will need these people as you develop a care plan In fact, right now make sure she is safe as you plan everything.

4. Put together a folder, binder, notebook, for all of her records, your conversations with others, and questions for medical professionals. Keep her current list of medications in that area ready for visits to the doctor, or hospital.

5. Learn about her particular disease by having a diagnosis with a neurologist or geriatric psychiatrist. Anything they can tell you will be more helpful that what her internist tells you because of their training. There are over 100 types of dementia, but there are a few more common types. These doctors don’t have practical advice.

6. Get practical advise from support groups, certified dementia trainers or consultants, The Alzheimer’s association. I recommend because I am a certified trainer and consultant with her organization. She has a wealth of videos and articles to teach you practical approaches to caring for your Mom.

7. Learn from a seasoned professional what your options for support are throughout this journey: day care, in home care, respite care, or moving her to 24/7 care and what all of this costs. Nothing is free unless she is on Medical and that’s a bleak picture.

8. Build in support for yourself as part of the care team or as the leader of the care team. Every day do something to feed your soul or to lower your stress. It’s common to feel overwhelmed. You just have to be aware and know that feeling can affect your health; and you need to be there for your Mom!


Sydney J Kennedy,

Certified Senior Advisor ( since 2007)

Certified Placement and Referral Specialist (
since 2019)

Certified (ind) Trainer and Consultant with Positive Approach to Care
( since 2017

Certified RCFE Administrator

Past President of the San Diego chapter of the NPRA

Current and past Ethics and Disciplinary Committee for the Society of
Certified Senior Advisors.

Since 2006, I’ve worked with thousands of individuals and families to educate them about how the system works so that they can build a plan. My services are free for placement and referral because I am paid a commission by the community if they choose to move there. It’s my business to tour and to have relationships with every option, so that I can refer only to the better communities. I also am available as a trainer and consultant for families dealing with dementia challenges.