Your parents have been there for you through thick and thin, so watching them struggle with dementia in their senior years can be very harrowing, especially if you’re not sure how to help. Dementia is a disease that does not discriminate and can come in the form of steady and slow deterioration or appear quickly out of nowhere. Dementia can leave your parent feeling out of sorts, and it can leave them feeling overwhelmed, confused, and at times downright distraught about what is going on and why. When your parent develops dementia, it is important to take the following steps.
Be patient with them
Your parent will be as confused as you are, so it is vital that you stay calm and you maintain a patient and caring attitude at all times. Dementia is certainly very frustrating, and there will be times when you get annoyed and frustrated with your parent, but you have to learn to let this annoyance and frustration go and realize that they are just as frustrated as you are. When you are patient with your parent, you can work out what may be triggering reactions or emotional outbursts and then begin work to rectify and minimize these incidents.
Check the severity
There is no one level of severity that all dementia suffers will follow, as it is a disease that attacks people in different ways. For example, some people affected may become aggressive where they might have usually been very placid, and others may become very rude, outspoken, and possibly even crude when before they may well have been very quiet and reserved. Dementia affects more than just a person’s ability to socialize, hold conversations and retain memories, so it is important to check the severity of your parents’ dementia. Once you have established where you are at, then you can begin to move forwards in a positive manner.
Assess the situation
Once you have established how serious their dementia is, then it is now time to start working out if they are in the best place to treat their illness. For example, if your parents’ dementia is worsening, then it may well be worth considering signature care homes that offer nursing care and dementia care which will ensure that your parent maintains a very good standard of living and support at all times. Of course, if you feel they are coping okay at the moment and they just require a bit of additional support or help, you may well look at assisted living to ensure they maintain their independence and level of freedom as much as possible.
Talk with family and friends
Your parent developing dementia can and will affect you just as much as it affects them. Helping your parent, getting them support or adequate care can take a lot out of you and can leave you feeling emotionally and mentally drained, so it is important that you always talk to family and friends and discuss your feelings and emotions as much as possible. Keeping feelings and thoughts bottled up will not benefit you, so do not be afraid to share your experiences with those around you.