Taking care of aging parents comes with a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. In spite of various challenges and complexities that come along the way, adult children always feel indebted to support them at all times. With that said, taking care of a parent with dementia is far more complex. First, as the condition progresses, it leaves you feeling as helpless. Secondly, since the condition affects their memory, emotions, and to a greater degree character, it exposes your parents to potential risks. Due to this, adult children strive to look for ways on how to manage the condition. The primary objective of this article is to help you learn five important ways you can take care of parents with dementia.
- Don’t panic but learn about the condition
Most people tend to jump into the role of helping their parents without adequate knowledge. Without knowledge, the probability of making mistakes is always high. Since dementia gives rise to challenging behaviors such as anger and aggression, it is important to be aware. Essentially, when you notice any signs of dementia, do not panic, but learn about it. Right from the diet to learning how to monitor the signs, the information will go a long way in helping you create the right environment for your parents to live longer. You can gather information from online platforms as well as consulting professions. Jane Byrne from FirstCare nursing home Kildare points out that one of the biggest issues in healthcare is dementia. “Rising numbers of cases, coupled with demographic changes such as a rapidly aging population, are making dementia one of the major health problems of our times.
- Spend as much time with them as possible
Regardless of their behavior, being there for them helps in managing the condition. Your availability communicates concern. Due to our busy schedules, being there all the time can be a challenge. However, you can invite other members of the family to take turns in taking care of them. You can also consider requesting close relatives and friends to step in. In other cases, you can have them move in with you.
- Keep them safe
Since dementia has a way of making people wander and get lost, it is important to put in place safety precautions. For instance, get someone who can keep an eye on them and notify you when they are leaving the house. Set a system on the doors to alert you when they are on the move. When they express a wish to go out for a walk, never let them go out on their own. Technology has also helped by introducing emergency bracelets that have GPS tracking systems.
- Seek professional assistance
Many adult children often find it difficult to ask for professional assistance or considering other options to help them. When you can’t cope, seek professional assistance, don’t feel ashamed. In fact, part of taking care of them is by seeking professional help.
- Give meaning to their lives
Apart from protecting them, look for ways to give them a reason to live. Your role is to create an environment that will stimulate them to live and help them appreciate what they are doing. One way of doing this is by allowing them to have occasional stays with their grandchildren. You can also consider having them join another elderly and participate in activities such as indoor games.
In conclusion, with the right information, adult children can create a conducive environment that will enable parents with dementia lead a meaningful life. In effect, this will ease the burden and simplify complexities associated with this condition.