Guest Post: How to Take Care of a Parent with Dementia

Written by Jane Byrne

January 19, 2019

Aging is an undeniable fact. Sooner or later, we are going to succumb to the calling of time, and with it, experience the inevitable deterioration of our bodies — with dementia being one of the most common health issues for the elderly.

This is, however, more complicated if the dementia patient is your parent because of the amount of physical and emotional stress you need to go through. This isn’t a done deal though because there’s a way to deal with this, and that is by knowing the right ways of taking care of your parent with dementia.

Safety first

The first thing you need to consider is their safety. Dementia patients have a habit of wandering and getting lost eventually. If your parent is showing signs that they’d want to leave the house, you need to take certain precautionary measures so that they can’t leave its confines.

Lock up the doors, set alarms around the house, or perhaps hire a companion. You might also want to have them wear an emergency bracelet which bears important details about them. Their name, address, contact number of a loved one, and other information can be put there in case they get lost. There are even bracelets which have GPS tracking devices.

Patience is key

Your parent is expected to repeat the same sentences and actions over and over again, which can be extremely frustrating at times. Despite this, it’s important that you remain patient. Never force them to remember or learn new things.

Give yourself a break. Don’t kill yourself into attending to them 24/7. An hour of me-time a day would greatly help you to keep up with your bearings.

Have you heard your parent speak inappropriate language at you? Or perhaps displayed unwanted behavior? If so, you don’t need to fret because that is completely normal. Remember that it is not your parent that does this, but it’s their illness.

Always keep calm

The best way to talk with your parent with dementia is to speak calmly. Meet anger outbursts and aggressive behavior with calmness. Keep your voice gentle and soft as this will soothe their emotions.

Dementia patients may be paranoid. To deal with this, you should always be open to listening to what they have to say. Encourage them to be happy and to think of things that give them joy. It’s all about giving them a positive outlook in life so that they may cope with any uncontrollable emotional issues.

Seek professional help

We have to accept the fact that that we can’t do everything. If you feel like you want to give up dealing with all the stress and frustration of not making ends meet when it comes to taking care of your parent with dementia, then simply trust them to the care of the professionals.

Some might say that this is synonymous to giving up, but it isn’t. In fact, this does more good than forcing yourself to take care of them all by yourself. Not all of us are born caregivers, which is why we sometimes are unable to give the best to our parents suffering from dementia.

With this, you can consider putting them in dementia care facilities or hiring a personal nurse to take care of them in your home.

Final verdict

Take note and follow all these tips and you’ll surely see your parents well-being improve. It’s all about knowing what to do and combining these with some tender loving care that you’re able to give the best to your parent.

After all, them having dementia doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the road for them. It just is a part of their life and your life’s journey.

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