When a parent is diagnosed with dementia, you may no longer just be their offspring, but also their caretaker.
When a parent is diagnosed with dementia, you may no longer just be their offspring, but also their caretaker. This new role will surely be an adjustment and come with plenty of challenges. Thankfully, there are resources available to make it easier.
Read on below for some expert advice on caring for a parent with dementia:
Thoroughly Understand Your Parent’s Dementia Diagnosis
Before you can become a caregiver, you should be adequately educated about their condition. This means learning all you can about dementia and the best way to care for it. Thankfully, there are helpful resources and organizations designed to help families dealing with dementia.
Keep Up a Regular Routine
Caring for a parent with dementia includes helping with daily tasks like bathing, grooming, dressing, medication management, eating, and more. Try to perform these tasks around the same time each day. Consistency is key for individuals with dementia.
Make Time for Enjoyable Activities
The basic necessities aren’t the only thing involved in caring for a parent with dementia. You will want to keep your loved one engaged and excited. Again, try to schedule these activities for similar times.
Make the Home as Safe as Possible
To start, make sure your parent’s bedroom and bathroom are on the ground floor. Stairs are too much of a hazard, especially at night. The rooms should be well-lit, and free of anything you could trip on. In the bathroom, you can add a shower bar or seat to make getting in and out of the tub easier.
Individuals with dementia are prone to wandering, so remember to lock the doors and make your home as secure as possible.
Take Care of Yourself As Well
Caring for a parent with dementia can be very overwhelming. Unfortunately, first-time caregivers often overlook their own needs. But being the best caregiver means looking out for yourself. If you don’t take time for self-care, you may lose patience and your temper, which isn’t good for either of you.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can try to reach out to friends and family members to lend a hand. You also may be able to receive assistance from local organizations.
There may be a caregiver support group in your area. These can be in-person meetings or an online community. Either way, it’s a great resource to help you feel less alone. Talking to people with experience caring for a parent with dementia can even reduce the anxiety you feel over the uncertainty.
You also need to be prepared for your parent’s dementia to worsen. If it gets to the point where you no longer feel equipped to care for a parent with dementia on your own, other options are available, including memory care at Mission at Agua Fria Senior Living. Our program is designed to give your loved one the best quality of life. You can find more information on Mission at Agua Fria Senior Living and our memory care program by visiting our website.