How to Care for a Parent with Dementia

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At the Senior Care Society we know both from professional and personal experience how hard it can sometimes be when caring for a loved one, and that is why we are here to offer you helpful hints that you may find a blessing. We offer useful guides, tips, listings and information to make your care giving experience a labor of love that will enhance your life as well as that of your loved one. The following are some useful tips on caring for a parent with dementia:

  • The Alzheimer’s Association reports that there are over 10 million caregiver’s coping with the day to day care of a loved one suffering from various forms and stages of dementia. Taking on the responsibility of caring for someone who has been stricken with dementia is no easy task and as the disease progresses may become more than a loving family member can cope with alone and in fact may take a toll on the caregiver’s physical and mental health as well; other factors that can be adversely affected are the caregiver’s family relations, work and finances. We strongly suggest that you follow the guideline suggested by the American Geriatrics Society that states that a caregiver should include provisions for getting relief in their program of care. If a caregiver does not receive relief and support in the care regimen, he or she is susceptible to a higher risk of illness, anxiety and depression.
  • BE INFORMED – Have your loved one fully evaluated by his or her doctor and acquire a full understanding of the stage of dementia your loved one is in. Dementia is a deceptive disease in that your loved one may look the same physically, making it hard to understand that the brain is progressively deteriorating and that their mental and physical abilities are lessening as the disease progresses. Because the disease is a long one lasting for years, this will enable you to plan for the disease in its progression when you know what to expect and how to recognize the next stage you’ll have time to prepare. That information and your early preparation will enable you to give quality care for your loved one and to reduce your risk for increased health concerns and stress that is often associated with caring for a parent with dementia.
  • ENLIST THE HELP OF OTHERS – It is essential for the caregiver to fully recognize that this is a task you cannot do alone and to get the help from others. This help should include professional organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association and the American Geriatrics Society. But, your help should also include other family members, relatives, willing friends and that of paid professionals such as; doctors, nurses, and paid caregivers.
  • HIRE EXPERTS IN THE FIELD OF DEMENTIA - When hiring paid professionals to care for your loved one whether it is just to aid you with the daily tasks of housekeeping, dressing, feeding or it is in a medical capacity, it is very important that they have been specially trained in caring for patients with dementia. Dementia is a specialty area of care and requires the proper training to ensure the best possible care for your loved one.

For more helpful tips and information on dementia please visit our blog where you will find the understanding caregiver support we all need.

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