Dealing with a Loved One’s Dementia

When an aging parent develops dementia, you can’t take a program or course telling you what to do. You may not even fully understand what the disease really means. The only thing that’s clear to you is that everything is not going to be the same from now on.

Understanding Dementia

Old Man in a wheelchairDementia is a symptom of brain disease. It refers to the loss of cognitive function and intellectual reasoning due to changes in the brain. Those with dementia experience difficulty in their ability to think, feel, speak, or act. As the disease progresses, they will have trouble performing basic activities that they were once familiar with.

There is still no cure for dementia. There are a few ways to prevent it, but it may not work for an aging person with a significant problem in memory loss. Though some prescriptions can provide improvement in short term memory, there is no medication that can change the course of the disease.

Dealing With Dementia

When your loved one is showing signs of persistent memory loss, you need to act fast. You may need to consult a doctor (preferably a neurologist) to understand exactly what is happening and what you can do. A diagnosis of memory loss is a sign that it is the time to take into account your aging parent’s future.

You have to remember that your parent’s dementia won’t remain the same over time. People with memory loss get more dependent on assistance for their daily needs. You can hire a private nurse or consider retirement homes with a memory care facility.

Get Everyone Involved

If your parent has dementia, everyone in the family must be involved in the situation. You have to cooperate and make decisions together. You may need to share caregiving responsibilities or make financial contributions. An intimate discussion regarding your parent’s condition may help avoid conflict and resentment in the future.

Caregiving for a person with dementia gets bigger over time. Eventually, the person suffering from the disease will need round-the-clock care. Communication is important to ensure the patient’s needs are met and that the caregiver has the support to meet those needs.

Many people are dealing every day with loved ones suffering from dementia and they find a way to deal with it. Look at different options to find the best care for your parents. Seek expert help or look for living facilities and retirement communities that can provide for your parent’s needs. Be strong and do your part.

About Ted Toohey 49 Articles
Ted Toohey is a neurosurgeon in a hospital in New Jersey. He's also a columnist in different medical journals in the state.