Did you know that there are more than 9 million new worldwide cases of dementia every year?
If you have parents with dementia, you may not know where to turn for help.
Don’t worry, because you’re not alone. Caring for parents with cognitive issues can take a toll on anyone. Researchers found that 60% of Alzheimer’s caregivers feel overwhelmed by their role.
But caring for someone with dementia is a lot less stressful and exhausting when you have a plan.
Here is a short guide with tips for taking care of the most important people in your life. Keep reading to find out what steps you can take to be the best caregiver for your parents.
Adjust Your Style of Communication
Keep in mind that you’ll have to alter your communication style when speaking to your parents. It might take some time to get used to, but it’s not hard after a while.
Make sure you’re straightforward during conversations. Instead of asking your parents if they want to do something, encourage them to take action. Never make more than one or two important points at one time, and slow down your speech.
Also, eliminate any potential distractions, and cut the use of negative words.
Lastly, make sure you show proper levels of affection so your parents feel loved. Hold their hand and hug them when you can, and show a natural smile as often as possible.
How to Deal With Common Situations
Parents with dementia may get overly aggressive at times. Try to find underlying reasons for the aggression, and provide them with space they need to cool off. Don’t respond with “no.” Above all, don’t attempt to restrain them unless you absolutely have to.
Impaired judgment is also quite common among parents with dementia. Do your best to help your parents stay organized, especially financially. Take care of complex tasks when you can, and avoid putting your parents on the defensive. Contact any financial representative your parent has, and let them know what’s going on.
Another common scenario involves confusion about a time or place. Explaining the situation using palpable proof is the best approach to resolve this. If necessary, find a new activity for your parent, or come up with an excuse that will make them feel safer.
Talk With Your Doctor
The doctor will never spend as much time with your parent as you do. As a result, it’s very difficult for the doctor to know exactly what goes on outside of the doctor’s office.
Informing the doctor about important things you’ve noticed at home is critical. The more information you provide, the more health professionals can help.
For example, make sure to tell the doctor if your parent spent most of the night walking around the house. Keep a notepad handy and write down any noteworthy behavior.
Doing Your Part for Parents With Dementia
Helping someone who suffers from dementia is no easy task.
Remember not to be too hard on yourself, because nobody is the perfect caregiver. Like every human being, you’re entitled to make mistakes, particularly in the beginning. The fact that you’re seeking information means you’re doing a great job, but you can only do so much alone.
If you need more help learning how to care for your parents with dementia, feel free to reach out. We’re always happy to offer my support.