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What To Do When A Parent Has Dementia

Know That Timing Is Everything

My Parent Has Dementia – Do I Need a Guardianship?

Productive conversations never happen when everyone is feeling stressed out or exhausted. Make sure you choose to have challenging conversations on days when your parents are feeling relaxed rather than depressed or anxious. That goes for you, too avoid talking when you feel particularly stressed because your anxiety will only add to their fear.

Refusing To Move To Assisted Living

At some point, there may be no other option than to move your parent to assisted living. Perhaps your parents caregiving needs have exceeded what you can safely provide. You cant force someone to do something they dont want to do, but you may have to cajole them to guide the process along.

  • If it seems like a good idea, visit an assisted living you have in mind. Do this several times and introduce your parent to the staff.
  • Try a respite stay for your parent. This is a short term stay in a furnished room to help someone adjust to the idea.
  • When all else fails, you may have to make the move without your parents cooperation and hope that with time, things will settle down. Plan on frequent visits after move-in.

Existence Of A Written Will

If your loved one does not have a will, and there are no signs of dementia, it may be a good idea to draft a will in anticipation of the future onset of dementia. This also is a good time to create an inventory of all assets and liabilities locate deeds, bank accounts, tax documents, and insurance policies and tie up any other contractual and/or financial loose ends.

If he or she does not have a will and is exhibiting clear signs of dementia, you may want to consider options such as guardianship. The court may not recognize a will signed or executed while the individual is suffering from dementia but the individual’s estate will be handled by the state in the absence of a will.

If he or she already has written and signed a will, keep in mind that changes made by someone deemed mentally incompetent may not be held as valid .

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Get Support And Education

First and foremost, it is important to get the support you need so you can advocate for your loved one. The more education and resources you have, the better you can make confident decisions and plan for the future. You can also begin to form a peer group, which is especially important as you grapple with an uncertain future.

Make Safety A Priority

7 Things You Should Know If You Care for a Parent with Dementia

Safety becomes more crucial than ever when a parent is in denial of their symptoms because the information they are giving you is not reliable. For example, you may be actively discouraging your aging parent from driving but they may assure you that they are driving just fine.

With dementia, unfortunately, you cant take what your parent tells you at face value. Any information should be validated if possible, and there are ways to do this that we will discuss in the next tip.

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Focus On Solving Issues Together

People with early signs of dementia may feel embarrassed or overwhelmed when they cant perform complex tasks or things that once came naturally.

When you see your parents having trouble completing everyday activities, consider sitting down with them and helping them solve the problem together.

This may be as simple as assisting them in crossing items off a to-do list or reminding them how to perform a task theyre struggling with. Stay patient, calm, and positive.Words of encouragement can go a long way.

What To Do If You Think A Loved One Has Alzheimer’s

Have you noticed your mothers memory declining? Do you question your husbands judgment in areas where he has always displayed competence in until recently? Has your sister been behaving strangely lately and falsely accusing you of taking her money?

If youre in that uncomfortable place where you suspect your loved one may have Alzheimers, it can be difficult to know what to do. Its a touchy subject to raise, and one that requires careful thought before doing so.

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Be Kind And Supportive

No one knows what goes on in the minds of people with dementia, but the experience can be confusing, frightening, and bewildering for them. These emotions can lead to agitation and anger when someone doesnt feel they are in control.

A kind and supportive approach will help keep your parent calm and relaxed. It can also give you a better opportunity to communicate changes and plans for care.

A Quick Note Before You Go

Dementia What To Do If Your Parents Have Dementia

Does your parent face challenges with any of the following?

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    Whats more, the Peach Mat Core keeps skin dry, prevents bacteria growth, and stops odors.

    Multi-fold hand towels made from sustainable ingredients.

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    Tips For Caregivers: Taking Care Of Yourself

    Being a caregiver can be extremely rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming. Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia takes time and effort. It can feel lonely and frustrating. You might even feel angry, which could be a sign you are trying to take on too much. It is important to find time to take care of yourself. Here are some tips that may offer some relief:

    • Ask for help when you need it. This could mean asking family members and friends to help or reaching out to for additional care needs.
    • Eat nutritious foods, which can help keep you healthy and active for longer.
    • Join a caregiver’s support group online or in person. Meeting other caregivers will give you a chance to share stories and ideas and can help keep you from feeling isolated.
    • Take breaks each day. Try making a cup of tea or calling a friend.
    • Spend time with friends and keep up with hobbies.
    • Get exercise as often as you can. Try doing yoga or going for a walk.
    • Try practicing meditation. Research suggests that practicing meditation may reduce blood pressure, anxiety and depression, and insomnia.
    • Consider seeking help from mental health professionals to help you cope with stress and anxiety. Talk with your doctor about finding treatment.

    Do Not Ask Your Parent To Remember Something

    As you carry on this challenging conversation, you might tend to ask your parent if they remember a person or event. Keep in mind that they are in the throes of dementia and do not remember things as they once did. All you would accomplish by asking them to remember something is to embarrass or frustrate them.

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    Tips For Home Safety For People With Dementia

    As a caregiver or family member to a person with Alzheimers or related dementias, you can take steps to make the home a safer place. Removing hazards and adding safety features around the home can help give the person more freedom to move around independently and safely. Try these tips:

    • If you have stairs, make sure there is at least one handrail. Put carpet or safety grip strips on stairs, or mark the edges of steps with brightly colored tape so they are more visible.
    • Insert safety plugs into unused electrical outlets and consider safety latches on cabinet doors.
    • Clear away unused items and remove small rugs, electrical cords, and other items the person may trip over.
    • Make sure all rooms and outdoor areas the person visits have good lighting.
    • Remove curtains and rugs with busy patterns that may confuse the person.
    • Remove or lock up cleaning and household products, such as paint thinner and matches.

    How To Get Help Coping With Dementia Symptoms

    What to Do When Your Parent Has Dementia

    For help coping with the experience whether its how to get your mom in to see the doctor, how to deal with the doctors, how to cope with your stress, how to manage her outbursts, how to plan ahead I would recommend you try the following resources:

    • Talk to a professional trained to help people struggling with aging parents, such as a geriatric care manager or a senior care adviser.
    • Visit online support forums. Theres a quite active forum at AgingCare.com. The Alzheimers Association is another good source of support groups.
    • Read a few good books, as its hard to learn a lot by skimming web pages. For dementia, the 36 Hour Day is well respected, and I like Surviving Alzheimers a lot too. Or consider a course offered by your local Alzheimers Association. Another option would be dementia management videos, such as those by Teepa Snow. Pick whatever method of education works best for your style of learning.
    • Remember to take deep breaths, and to take care of yourself. Dementia or no, helping an aging parent is usually a long journey. Building some daily walking and daily mindfulness practice into your day can make a big difference.

    Good luck! Do get that dementia assessment and then get help learning to deal with her behaviors. Its an effort but it will pay off in the long run.

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    Focus On Problems And Solutions

    Instead, try identifying the problems first. Examples would be wandering, falling, difficulty managing medications, and then find solutions to those problems. Your parent may be much more likely to recognize and accept that there are safety issues and allow you to put things in place to address those.

    You can add or install some safety features that your parent doesnt even know have been done. Some ideas can include installing alarms on windows and doors, removing clutter that increases fall risk, improving lighting, and installing handrails. Many of these additions will go unnoticed by your parent.

    How To Get In

    If you find yourself caring for someone with dementia, its helpful to be prepared and do some research. Youll want to make some in-home adjustments for the safety of your loved one. Once care begins, make sure to monitor your parents physical condition and also care for yourself. And if caregiving becomes too tough, you can always reach out to an in-home care company.

    Its challenging to know how to care for an elderly parent with dementia, but you dont have to do it aloneprofessional help is available.

    At Stowell Associates, we have a great deal of experience supporting adult children caring for a parent with dementia at home:

    • Our Care Managers are registered nurses and masters-level social workers have extensive experience in dementia care and can create tailored care solutions for your loved one.
    • Our Care Coaches help family caregivers better understand dementia and can provide ongoing guidance, support, and empowerment so that you can provide the care your loved one deserves.
    • Our Caregivers are highly trained in dementia care and understand what to do if a parent with dementia refuses care.

    Together, our Care Team supports adult children and their parents as they navigate dementia care.

    Contact us today to get firsthand insight into how in-home dementia care can help your aging loved one.

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    Expert Tips On How To Care For A Parent With Dementia

    Most adult children with aging parents arent sure how to take care of an elderly parent with dementia. So if youre an adult child and you find yourself needing help caring for parents at home who are suffering from memory loss, youre not alone.

    Caring for a family member with dementia at home can be both rewarding and challenging. Its rewarding because taking care of your mother or father allows you to spend quality time with them. However, dementia is a progressive disease and its symptoms get worse over time, leaving most family caregivers wondering what to do when a parent has dementia.

    Fortunately, when it comes to looking after an aging parent with dementia, many elderly care resources are available for family caregivers.

    Are you interested in learning more about how to care for a parent with dementia?

    In this article, were providing expert elder care tips to help those caring for parents at home. As you read, youll get:

    • An answer to, How can I help my mother or father with dementia?
    • Information about how to cope with a parent with dementia
    • Recommendations for where to get in-home care for seniors with dementia

    Join us for our valuable discussion about home care for elderly parents with dementia.

    Consider When And How You Might Dial Back On Usual Medical Care

    VLOG: Having a parent with early-onset dementia part 1

    As you may have noticed, usual medical care tends to be quite oriented towards addressing the goal of helping people live as long as possible. This is done by intervening when people are acutely ill, and by using the emergency room, hospitalization, or even intensive care, in order to minimize the chance of a person dying. It also means providing chronic medical care and preventive care, again with a key goal being to minimize mortality risk.

    This kind of care may sound good to you its what most of us expect from our modern medical system. But in fact, its worth rethinking when it comes to an older person declining from dementia.

    Why? Because when people are declining from dementia or if they otherwise have limited life-expectancy usual medical care becomes less likely to help them live longer, or better. It also becomes more likely to cause confusion, distress, and medical complications.

    Furthermore, usual medical care can crowd out, or directly conflict, with approaches that help people with dementia maintain the best possible quality of life and function. When given the opportunity, most families of people with moderate and advanced dementia eventually decide to prioritize the goals of well being and function helping a loved one be comfortable, out of pain, and able to enjoy companionship and the small pleasures of everyday life to the best of their ability over the goal of extended lifespan whatever the cost.

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    Get Dementia Elderly Care When Necessary

    We mentioned that scheduling me-time and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are two ways to handle the stresses of caregiving. But with all the demands of looking after a loved one, how do you possibly make those items a reality?

    Hiring respite caregivers can help when caring for a dementia parent at home.

    Respite caregivers enter into you or your loved ones home for a few hours a couple of times a week. They have training in skills specific to taking care of elderly adults with dementia.

    While the caregiver looks after your loved one, youll have free time to take care of yourself and rest before jumping back into caregiving.

    Now that you know how to personally cope with a parent with dementia, lets look at how to practically care for a parent with dementia.

    See A Doctor For An Evaluation

    Fortunately, there are tests that can indicate the presence of dementia. When you see a parent struggling to remember or having difficulty performing tasks that were once easy, schedule a visit with a doctor or amemory care provider.

    A doctor will know how to get a parent tested for dementia and provide guidance on how to talk to aging parents about memory loss.

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    What To Do If You Suspect Your Parent Has Alzheimers Disease Or Dementia

    It can be upsetting when you suspect that mom or dad might be showing signs of Alzheimers disease or dementia. When you notice that something just isnt right, its crucial to take positive action and seek out authoritative information right away to ensure that the affected parent gets the appropriate treatment as soon as possible.

    If youre not sure what to do if you suspect your parent has Alzheimers Disease or dementia, weve compiled a list of 7 things that will help prepare you for how to move forward in getting your parent get an accurate diagnosis, an ongoing treatment plan for the future, and a chance to help your parent live as fulfilled a life as possible.

    The 5 Best Tips For Caring For Someone With Dementia At Home

    What if I Suspect My Mother Has Dementia?

    Caring for someone with dementia is challenging and can be full of unknowns. Its even more complicated when its your parent or family member.

    • Do you know how to deal with dementia in a parent?
    • Do you know how to talk to a parent with dementia?
    • Do you know how to care for elderly parents with dementia at home?

    Dont let that list of questions about caring for a parent with dementia overwhelm you. Caring for a parent with dementia at home comes with some burdens, but you can also do many things to alleviate the duty of care.

    Weve compiled a list of the top five things you can do to make dealing with a parent with dementia more manageable.

    Keep reading to learn more about dementia, how to deal with a family member with dementia, and when to get in-home care for seniors with dementia.

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