Are you dealing with a parent with dementia? Some days are harder than others, but you do what you can in order to care for your aging parent.
If you’ve had a rough time trying to balance your own life while dealing with a parent that has dementia, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s extremely normal to feel overwhelmed and then to feel guilty that you’re overwhelmed.
If you’re looking for some helpful tips that will help you take care of your parent without losing your sanity, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’re sharing how to care for a parent with dementia while maintaining your own life.
When you’re communicating with a person with dementia, it can sometimes be easy to lose your patience. They can be stubborn, harsh, and downright difficult, but that doesn’t give you the pass to yell, command, or nag your parent.
Understand what dementia does to a person’s brain, and then try not to take it personally when your parent is being difficult or doesn’t want to work with you. By reacting with impatience, you could seriously damage the relationship.
Consider Their Thoughts and Feelings
A person with dementia might have trouble remember who they are, but that doesn’t mean that their thoughts and feelings aren’t valid.
Always ask how your parent is doing/feeling, and ask them what their preferences are. Are they comfortable? Do they want to do something else? Do they need something? Never disregard your parent’s thoughts and comments. Make them feel heard and it will be a better situation for the both of you!
Have a conversation about senior care with them. Explain the benefits and assess if it’s right for the situation; check out this article for more information.
Be Assertive, Not Aggressive
Dealing with a parent who has dementia is stressful. Sometimes, stress makes us easily agitated or overwhelmed, and we can take it out on our well-meaning parents.
When you’ve got to get your parent to do something (take their medications, go to a doctor’s appointment, etc.) you must be assertive without being aggressive. Tell them simply what you need them to do, and then help them do it. Be by their side and assure them that you’re doing what’s best for them.
Ask Simple Questions
When communicating with a person who has dementia, try to keep your questions and/or comment short and to the point. You don’t want to confuse or overwhelm them.
Ask simple yes or no questions, and be sure to give them choices. For instance, “Would you like a banana or an orange?” You’ll be able to get a clearer answer this way.
Keep Your Sanity While Dealing With a Parent With Dementia
When a parent is diagnosed with dementia, life can get tough. It can be overwhelming to try and manage your own life while taking care of them, but that doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice your sanity. Now that you’re aware of these tips that will help you when dealing with a parent with dementia, you can look forward to a less stressful life and an improved relationship.
Did you find the information in this article helpful? If you did, be sure to check out the rest of our posts about all things family and relationships.