Finding out that your parent or loved one has Alzheimer's disease or dementia can be overwhelming -- and heartbreaking. It's OK to grieve. However, it's important that you also take these steps:

  • Accept the diagnosis and understand what it means so you can start creating a plan to deal with your parent's memory loss.
  • Make sure your parent has essential legal documents, including a will, a power of attorney and advance directive.
  • Gather as many details about your parent's finances if you'll be helping with daily money matters as the disease progresses.
  • Discuss what sort of long-term care options your parent prefers and make a plan to pay for care.
  • Get support from legal, financial and caregiving professionals to help plan for the progression of your parent's disease. You don't have to do everything on your own!

For more details about each of these steps, see Your Parent Has Been Diagnosed With Alzheimer's. Now What?