Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are the most common causes of serious memory loss that can significantly impact an individual’s ability to function normally. Dementia is an illness characterized by a deterioration in cognitive and physical abilities brought on by abnormal changes in the brain. Alterations in character are also possible.
Although dementia’s signs and symptoms might vary from person to person, some of the most prevalent ones are difficulties with:
•Temporary memory retrieval
•Organizing one’s possessions
•Keeping a schedule or remembering important dates
•Locating or recognizing a specific spot
Dementia can worsen over time, a phenomenon known as progression. Some people experience a gradual onset of symptoms, followed by a gradual worsening as they age.
Helpful Advice for Caring for Those Who Have Dementia
Dementia patients require constant care since they may experience a decline in motor skills and short-term memory. These are the two main reasons why taking care of a parent who has dementia can be so difficult. You and your family might need to look into the cost of memory care to see if that is an option for your family member.
For assistance in caring for a parent experiencing dementia, consider the following five expert recommendations.
You Need to Get Organized and Do Some Background Reading
Your first order of business is to educate yourself and become ready. Learn as much as you can about caring for a parent with dementia by reading articles and books and talking to people around you. Additionally, you might look for videos or lessons to take online to get ready. It would help if you also got yourself psychologically and emotionally ready. Put your thoughts and feelings about a lost loved one down on paper. Think about them and what they liked to do. These can be useful in keeping your loved one’s identity intact despite any changes in their behavior.
Make preparations in advance if you can. There are many great starting points out there to help you begin providing excellent care for your loved one with dementia.
Modify Your House
If your parents are staying at home or moving in with you, you should take precautions to ensure their safety.
Avoiding Accidental Falls
Even if their mental health isn’t a concern, elderly parents are at increased risk of falling. Here are a few things to think about to avoid falling:
•Getting rid of old rugs and carpeting
•Maintaining well-maintained stairs with non-slip treads.
•Protecting or setting up rail lines
•By maintaining dry washrooms, putting in non-slip strips, and purchasing a shower chair, you can help those with mobility issues.
•A Wide Variety of Stuff at Home
Older adults with dementia are more likely to lose things or forget where they put them. Having extras of frequently used goods can come in handy. Plenty of used products around the house might make life easier for everyone.
Structure and Illumination
A home accommodating to people with dementia will have appropriate lighting and contrasting colors.
•The scope of lighting alterations includes:
•Maximum reliance on outside sources of illumination.
•Lamps on tables or walls can be used in place of the main light source.
•Setting up lighting that’s twice as bright as typical.
Your parents with dementia may also benefit from using contrast to improve their perception. A white plate on a black tablecloth creates a striking contrast. As a result of the contrast, they can better see what’s on the plate.
Your goal should be to make your parents’ home as neat and easy to navigate as feasible. Adjustments may be necessary as care progresses, but focusing on reducing the risk of falls, increasing access to items, and improving illumination are all smart places to begin.
Keep an Eye on Their Body and Any Changes That Might Occur
Dementia is characterized by cognitive decline. But when dementia advances, it can also have a physical impact on the patient. Keep an eye on your parent’s motor skills and ensure they can still do the following:
•Take a shower or get dressed
•Submit to hunger or thirst by eating or drinking
•Communicate or form an idea
•Carry out routine housework
Care will be intensified in response to any deterioration of physical health. Further medical evaluation may be necessary.
Take Care of Yourself and Your Affairs
If you’ve recently taken on the role of primary caretaker for your demented parent, you may feel exhausted or burned out. Your health and ability to care for your parents depend on taking care of yourself first.
For help clearing some room in your schedule, consider the following:
•Involve other family members, such as siblings, in the caregiving process.
•Plan some quality time to spend together once a week.
•Schedule regular workout sessions into your busy schedule.
Respite care is a great temporary care solution. One form of respite care is to hire a caregiver to come to the house for a few hours every week to help the primary caregiver take a break. Your elderly parent may benefit from having a companion and receiving assistance with personal hygiene, mobility, and housekeeping from a caregiver.
What people consider to be “rest” or “time away” from caregiving varies from one person to another.
Consider a Live-In Caregiver
If your parent’s dementia worsens, they may require more extensive care. Many people with dementia require round-the-clock care.
Your loved one will have support at any time of day or night with 24-hour care. During the day, a caregiver will help with:
•Appointment-Related Travel Expenses
•To settle one’s accounts
•Doing the laundry (e.g., laundry, cooking)
•Caregivers can provide fun and interesting in-home memory care through games and other activities.
If you or a loved one requires 24-hour care, a different caregiver will visit your house throughout the night. People with dementia frequently get lost or stay awake all night. A caregiver who works overnight shifts must be awake and vigilant. If your elderly parent tends to roam, they can help keep them safe, and if they have trouble sleeping, they can remain with them. You shouldn’t worry about the cost of memory care.
For both, receiving round-the-clock in-home care is a great option for your elderly parent with dementia.
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