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caring for a parent with dementia at home

Caring for a Parent with Dementia at Home

February 25, 2020

Dementia care is a reality for many people that care for their aging parents. As people are living longer, dementia is becoming more and more common among the aging population, with 7.7 million new cases being diagnosed each year. When it comes to proper care for dementia, it’s necessary to understand what exactly dementia is. After you have understood what it is you can learn the best method for caring for a parent with dementia at home.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is an overarching term for the symptoms associated with the degeneration of memory and reasoning skills. Alzheimer’s disease is a prevalent cause of dementia. But, there are many different ailments and diseases that lead to dementia.

The general symptoms of dementia include: memory loss, confusion, difficulty with numbers, confusion, and more. There are a myriad of dementia behaviors that vary in severity. The beginning can show mild symptoms and small changes in memory that eventually can lead to the necessity of around-the-clock care.

The Stages of Dementia

Mild

In the earlier stages of dementia, the symptoms could include things as small as forgetting names and words.

Moderate

Reasoning and judgment are typically affected. This is typically when you would have a case of your loved one wandering away from the home without necessarily remembering why they left or where they were going.

Severe

At this stage of dementia 24/7 care may be needed. Your loved one may not be able to recognize you or other members of your family. In addition to this, other symptoms in severe stages of dementia could include difficulty with eating and mobility.

Establishing a Plan for Care for Dementia

If you are a family caregiver caring for a parent with dementia at home, establishing a plan of care can help in the day to day responsibilities you will have.

1.Learn about Dementia

The best way you can help care for someone is to inform yourself about what the road ahead of you will look like. This means you have to familiarize yourself with the different stages of dementia and what symptoms look like.

2.Ask for Help

You need to establish an ability to ask for help in care when you need it. This can mean looking to other family members for help on other tasks you may be neglecting in other aspects of your life because of the focus you may have on caregiving.

3.Look for Formal Help

Caring for people with dementia is often a routine part of in-home care. At an agency like Homecare Powered by AUAF, our caregivers are trained to be able to provide senior care for people in the early stages of dementia. Care with a formal caregiver includes help with things from personal grooming and laundry to playing brain games and offering companionship.

4.Join a Support Group

If you don’t feel the need to ask for help, it can still be helpful to join a group of other people who are caring for individuals with dementia. You can share insight and also receive support from other who understand your journey with care.

When you are caring for your loved one with dementia at home it can become overwhelming. It may feel like there is no balance between the care you provide and the rest of your life. That’s why it is important to think about the points highlighted above.

Dealing with Grief

It’s difficult to watch our loved ones go through the stages of dementia. As they progress from mild to severe symptoms, we often lose sight of the family member we once knew. It can be hard for anyone in the family to witness, particularly any family caregiver. It can become a time of high stress and can lead to grief.

There are different resources available to help caregivers dealing with the grief of watching a loved one suffering from any type of dementia, especially in the severe stages. Beyond joining a support group, there are resources available through the Alzheimer’s Association.

How Homecare Powered by AUAF Can Help

There are a few different options that you have when it comes to care. Homecare Powered by AUAF can help. For example, if you want to fully focus care on your loved one, but you currently juggle another career, you can consider going through the application, hiring, and training process of becoming a formal caregiver with Homecare Powered by AUAF. Becoming a family caregiver through these means will allow you to receive training in caregiving and fully dedicate your time to caring for your loved one.

On the other hand, if you have found that you are caring for your loved one, but either need help or for someone else to take over care, we can still help. We have trained caregivers that can provide care to your loved one in the mild stages of dementia. In this case, the addition of a caregiver may help dedicate the proper time and care that your loved one needs. This will help you free up time so that you can handle other parts of your life. But, you will still be able to have the energy and ability to care for your loved one in other moments where they might need it most.

In both of these scenarios your loved one will be able to continue to live at home and receive care. Depending on their needs, this can be the best option for them.

Conclusion

The responsibility of caring for a parent with dementia at home is no easy feat. This is especially true when you have to watch a loved one progress through the different stages of dementia. We understand that caregiving is an increasingly important part of our society with our aging population. We want you to understand the options that you have when it comes to you or your loved ones.

If you have any questions for us at Homecare Powered by AUAF give us a call at 773.274.9262.

References

https://www.webmd.com/palliative-care/caring-for-a-person-with-dementia#1

https://braintest.com/dementia-stats-u-s-worldwide/

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