6 Tips for Helping a Parent Who Is Struggling with Dementia

  |     |   Memory Care

senior with dementia sitting on couch with her son looking at old photos on her son's smart phone device

Watching someone you love struggling with dementia can make you feel helpless. Even when considering long-term dementia care, you might be uncertain if you’re making the right decision or if you can trust the people you’ve entrusted your loved one to.

More than that, you might be struggling with the feeling of losing someone who is still there. Be patient and kind with yourself as you go through this and remember, you’re not alone. Many have walked this path before you and have offered insight on how to make this transition easier on you, your family, and your loved one. 

1. Become Familiar with Dementia Care

Look into your many options for dementia care after a diagnosis. Ask your doctor for recommendations given your loved one’s unique circumstances because after all, they are the experts. See if an assisted living or memory care facility is right for you, or if in-home support is an option.

On top of that, become familiar with what things might look like as the condition progresses. It may be difficult to see what’s to come, but looking ahead can help you cope ahead and prepare accordingly. 

2. Don’t Wait to Search for “Dementia Care Near Me”

Don’t wait for things to go downhill or even for the diagnosis to start looking for extra help. You are not failing anyone by looking for dementia care or in-home nurses to assist in your loved one’s daily needs. In fact, finding dementia care assistance can be more freeing to you and your parent. They can live a higher quality life with more security, dignity, and comfort than they might be able to without. 

It may feel like you’re giving up to start looking for help before things become “impossible to deal with,” but consider the stress and emotional pain that could come with waiting. Consider your happiness as well. 

3. Have a Checklist for your Dementia Care Homes

Know what you and your loved one are looking for as you start to look into dementia care facilities and options. 

What is the food like? Can they have a private room? Are the bathrooms equipped with railings and safety measures? Is there a doctor on site and are there staff members trained in memory care?

For a whole list of questions to consider, check out this Long-Term Care Home Checklist.

4. Stay in Contact with your Loved One’s Caregivers

Don’t back off, but don’t hover either. Remember, the caregivers at these facilities are experts for a reason. Trust them to do their jobs and they will be more than happy to remain in contact and answer questions you might have. 

5. Visit and Be Involved

Remember, an assisted care facility isn’t goodbye! You can visit as often and for as long as you like. Accompany your loved one to meals, activities, on walks, during daily grooming. Acclimating to a new environment is tough, but can be made a lot easier with a familiar face nearby!

6. Take Care of Yourself

Of course, you can be as prepared and calm as you want, but this will likely be a long, hard road that will get harder before it gets easier. You might find yourself challenged with the unbearable feeling of losing a loved one. On top of that, you might be tasked with helping your children or other family members try to understand the same thing. 

Be honest with yourself about how you’re feeling. Admit to yourself when it’s too much and you need a break. Keep a journal, talk to a therapist, or just lean on your community for support. There’s no reason for you to do this alone. 

For more insight and suggestions on taking care of yourself during this difficult time, visit https://www.symphonyseniorliving.com/blog/2022/02/02/losing-a-parent-to-dementia-6-coping-tips-from-caregivers/

Finding a long-term care solution for older loved ones can be difficult and emotional. Symphony Senior Living has four locations across Ontario with extensive options for you and your family. To learn more and to get in contact with Symphony Senior Living, visit https://www.symphonyseniorliving.com/

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