Taking care of our parents is always a tricky situation, especially as they age. Like anyone else, our parents can be stubborn, and they may take it as a form of disrespect if you don’t listen to them. It becomes even more problematic if they have dementia. This condition can make forgetfulness very common, which can be exhausting. If you’re feeling burnt out, here are some tips for taking care of your senior parents with dementia:
Learn to Accept Help
Caring for your elderly parents can be tiring, and this is amplified when they are diagnosed with dementia. You have to accept the fact that you cannot always take on this task alone. It is perfectly okay if you accept help from other people. If you feel exhausted, it is okay to ask for a time out. Besides, you cannot properly take care of your senior parents if you aren’t taking care of yourself. If you have siblings, ask them if they can take care of your parents while you focus on self-care.
Empathize With Genuine Care
The best way that you can take care of your senior parents is through compassion and empathy. This may be difficult to achieve, especially since you don’t personally experience the struggle of dementia, but it would be beneficial for you to dig deeper to learn more about the disease. Research about your parents’ struggles, and put yourself in their shoes so you can learn how you can support them. Suppose you travel abroad and you get lost with no familiar person to help you out. Now imagine your parents experiencing this whenever they go out, sometimes without knowing what year it is or who they are. It’s a scary situation to find yourself in. Apply this mode of thinking when caring for them.
Accept the Reality of Dementia
Suffering from dementia means that there are good days and bad days. It is an unpredictable condition. The best thing that you can do for your parents is to help them enjoy the good moments. When bad days come, give them the support they need and make them feel comfortable as much as possible. You also have to accept the reality that dementia is a progressive condition with no cure, and you have to prepare for the days when the symptoms become much more severe.
Prepare for the Future
There are many options available for you if you find it hard to juggle your time between your work, family life, and taking care of your senior parents. In this scenario, it is perfectly okay to admit them into an assisted living facility. You have to make sure that the facility you choose is well-versed in caring for dementia patients, such as Longhouse Adult Family Homes. This way, you have the assurance that your parents will receive the best level of care that they need.
Taking care of senior parents with dementia comes with a full understanding of the disease process and progression. Children who bear the burden of being the primary caregiver find it difficult at first because it might be something unfamiliar to them. Seeing your parents become dependent on you may be a big change for all of you, so make sure to be a little more patient with them.