When an aging parent is diagnosed with dementia, you will likely notice a decline in their abilities to perform regular activities.
However, sometimes it can be challenging to deal with a parent with dementia, as they may feel like they can take care of themselves.
Sometimes, providing eldercare support can be straightforward, such as arranging transportation or assisting with a household chore.
In other cases, dementia can affect a senior’s ability to remain independent, requiring them to seek assistance for essential activities, such as managing medication, cooking meals, or getting dressed.
So, how can you address your loved one’s needs if they refuse to accept help?
1. Assess Your Parent’s Needs
Caring for an aging parent can feel overwhelming if you’re unsure of their needs. Taking the initiative to determine what type of help they need can be useful.
Some key areas where an aging adult with dementia often requires help are home safety, medication management, cognitive health, personal hygiene, and social interaction.
After you’ve established which areas your loved one needs help with, start thinking of a plan to address each problem to help them stay safe and healthy.
2. Explore Available Memory Care Options
When your loved one is at a dementia stage where it’s difficult for them to perform daily tasks, they might require professional care.
You may not have the time or adequate knowledge to help them, but professional caregivers possess the necessary knowledge and skills to address an aging adult’s needs.
If you’re seeking memory care in Ontario or your own location, look for a residential home that offers specialized care for seniors with dementia.
A home-like residence staffed with trained nurses and care specialists will ensure that your loved one is in good hands. They can address your parent’s needs and offer memory-care-based activities.
3. Pay Attention to Home Condition & Hygiene Habits
You may notice several signs indicating that your aging parent needs help. Observe their hygiene habits, check if they have food in the fridge, and the cleanliness of their home.
If it seems that they’re neglecting personal hygiene or other essential tasks that they usually perform, it might be a sign that they need assistance.
4. Have an Open Discussion with Your Parent
Including your parent in the decision-making process will often help them feel more comfortable with the choices being made.
If you’re considering moving them into a memory care home, discuss the option with your parent and prioritize their needs.
If you explain the options available and emphasize how the new environment can help them, they might be more open to the idea of receiving specialized care.
5. Create an Actionable Plan
Once you’ve assessed your parent’s needs, create an actionable plan addressing your parent’s most critical current needs.
This may include getting a medical evaluation, discussing the value of moving into a memory care home, and addressing safety issues if they choose to live alone at home.
After you’ve created a plan, be prepared to implement it. It may take time to implement the plan and get your parents on board, so patience is important.
When you’ve established that your aging parent with dementia needs help, it’s essential to take your next steps carefully.
The key to knowing how to deal with a parent with dementia is keeping your parent involved in the process, and being considerate about how they react to your suggestions.