Most adult children with aging parents aren’t sure how to take care of an elderly parent with dementia. So if you’re an adult child and you find yourself needing help caring for parents at home who are suffering from memory loss, you’re not alone.
Caring for a family member with dementia at home can be both rewarding and challenging. It’s rewarding because taking care of your mother or father allows you to spend quality time with them. However, dementia is a progressive disease and its symptoms get worse over time, leaving most family caregivers wondering what to do when a parent has dementia.
Fortunately, when it comes to looking after an aging parent with dementia, many elderly care resources are available for family caregivers.
Are you interested in learning more about how to care for a parent with dementia?
In this article, we’re providing expert elder care tips to help those caring for parents at home. As you read, you’ll get:
- An answer to, “How can I help my mother or father with dementia?”
- Information about how to cope with a parent with dementia
- Recommendations for where to get in-home care for seniors with dementia
Join us for our valuable discussion about home care for elderly parents with dementia.
How to Cope with a Parent with Dementia
Caring for a loved one with dementia involves caring for yourself. If you don’t practice self-care, then the stresses of looking after your loved one may cause your quality of care to decline.
Here are four expert tips for those wondering how to cope with a parent with dementia.
1. Schedule Personal Time
As a family caregiver, it’s important that you set aside time for yourself when taking care of a loved one with dementia, whether it’s your mother or father.
Scheduling in time to get away from caregiving will allow you to:
- Take care of your own responsibilities
- Spend time with other family members
- Participate in hobbies/enjoyable activities
It may seem tough to pull yourself away from your loved one with dementia and you may need to be very intentional in making it happen. However, not getting away from your caregiver duties to care for yourself can lead to a decline in your own physical, mental, or emotional health.
2. Maintain Healthy Lifestyle Habits
In addition to scheduling in time for yourself, you’ll also want to maintain healthy lifestyle habits.
Some ways to keep your health a priority include:
- Eating healthy meals and snacks
- Exercising regularly (e.g., doing yoga, taking walks, going to the gym, etc.)
- Attending medical and dental appointments
- Engaging in social activities
It’s easy to neglect your own health when you’re caring for someone else, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle is necessary when involved in dementia elderly care.
3. Join a Support Group for Dementia Caregivers
Talking with others who are also caring for a loved one with dementia at home can also help you cope with caregiving.
Joining a memory care support group is a great way to:
- Get encouragement from others
- Share caregiving stories and receive advice
- Enjoy social interaction with others in your position
If you’re not sure how to find a support group, the Alzheimer’s Association website can help you get connected to online groups and resources in your community.
4. Get Dementia Elderly Care When Necessary
We mentioned that scheduling “me-time” and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are two ways to handle the stresses of caregiving. But with all the demands of looking after a loved one, how do you possibly make those items a reality?
Hiring respite caregivers can help when caring for a dementia parent at home.
Respite caregivers enter into you or your loved ones’ home for a few hours a couple of times a week. They have training in skills specific to taking care of elderly adults with dementia.
While the caregiver looks after your loved one, you’ll have free time to take care of yourself and rest before jumping back into caregiving.
Now that you know how to personally cope with a parent with dementia, let’s look at how to practically care for a parent with dementia.
How to Take Care of an Elderly Parent with Dementia
Are you still unsure what to do when a parent has dementia?
Here are our top four tips for how to take care of an elderly parent with dementia.
1. Understand the Complications of Dementia
The first step to caring for someone with dementia is to understand the disease, its progression, and its complications.
For example, the early stage of dementia is usually only characterized by slight memory loss and your loved one may need less hands-on care. However, the middle and late stages can come with symptoms like wandering and sleeplessness which often require caregivers to be more attentive and focused.
Having knowledge about the different stages of dementia and what to expect can help you plan ahead.
2. Remain in Contact with Healthcare Providers
Another way to practically provide quality care to your loved one is to stay in touch with their healthcare providers.
The memory loss associated with dementia can cause your parents to forget appointments or mix up medications. Staying up to date with your parent’s scheduled appointments and necessary medications can help them stay on track.
In addition, your parents could experience a physical injury or start to show signs of mood/behavior changes. It’s beneficial to know who to contact for medical advice if issues like these arise.
3. Be Aware of New Changes or Developments
A third answer to, “How can I help my mother or father with dementia?” is to continually monitor their physical, mental, and emotional health.
As dementia progresses, it can lead to changes in:
- Physical abilities (e.g., eating or walking)
- Mental capacity and the ability to recognize familiar places
- Emotional changes (i.d, mood swings during the evening hours)
If you’re already following the first two tips above, then you’ll be prepared for these changes and can quickly seek out medical advice and help.
4. Hire In-home Caregivers for Dementia
As your parents’ dementia symptoms progress, there may come a time when you need to look into getting professional help for a parent with dementia.
One of the best elderly care options for those with dementia is dementia in-home caregivers. Home care for elderly parents with dementia is beneficial because:
- It provides your loved one with a trained dementia caregiver—quality care
- Your loved one can stay in the comfort of their home—convenient care
- As your loved one’s needs change, so does their level of care—personalized care
With in-home care, you can also usually choose the type of care, ranging anywhere from a few hours a week to 24-hours a day. So no matter what kind of care your loved one needs, an in-home caregiver can ensure they receive it.
You may recognize that the final point here, “hire dementia in-home caregivers” is similar to the last idea in the previous section, “get dementia elderly care when necessary.” That’s because getting expert help for a parent with dementia is one of the best ways to cope with and care for a loved one with dementia.
So, how do you get in-home dementia care for a loved one?
Professional In-home Care for Seniors with Dementia
For those caring for an elderly loved one at home with dementia, it’s important that you know how to cope with a parent with dementia and how to take care of an elderly parent with dementia.
Some ways to handle the stresses of caregiving and deliver quality care involve:
- Scheduling personal time
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle
- Joining a support group
- Getting in-home dementia elderly care
And a few of the best ways to care for your loved one with dementia are:
- Understanding the complications of dementia
- Remaining in contact with your loved one’s healthcare providers
- Being aware of new changes and developments
- Hiring in-home caregivers
Since getting in-home care for elderly parents with dementia is an excellent way to cope with and care for a loved one, here’s how you can access it today.
Stowell Associates is Milwaukee’s leading home care management provider for dementia elderly care. With a team of highly-trained Care Managers, we’re ready to ensure your loved one has all their needs met. All our clients receive a personalized care plan so that each client gets the proper care they need. Additionally, Care Managers walk alongside family caregivers to help them understand their loved one’s needs and make the right decisions for them.
If you’re looking for an in-home caregiver for your loved one, you can contact TheKey. They provide trained, in-person caregivers to assist aging adults as they age in their homes.
Contact us today to learn more about how in-home dementia care can improve your loved one’s quality of life.
If you’re outside of the Milwaukee area and are looking for elder care, you can contact Home Care Assistance. They provide premium in-home elder care in cities all over the U.S.