A dementia diagnosis can feel nothing short of devastating. Learning that your parent has dementia is bound to bring up all kinds of emotions both in them and you, as the future can look very uncertain, stressful and scary. And while the diagnosis will mean several changes need to be made, it doesn’t mean this is the end of a fulfilling and happy life. There are plenty of steps you can take to help ensure your parent’s golden years are as healthy and positive as possible.
Create a Routine That Your Parent Can Follow
One of the best tips for those living with dementia is to have a routine that they can follow. The routine should be simple with just basic tasks. You can even write the routine down so there is no confusion. If they are in the early stages of dementia and still living on their own, perhaps with caregivers coming in to help them, having the routine written down will be even more useful.
You may want to give your parent a few notebooks, a large calendar, and even a whiteboard so they can also write down things and you can create to-do lists and so forth.
Arrange In-Home Care – Alleviate Their Stress
In-home care will also be important as their illness progresses, even if they just need help with simple things like meal preparation, cleaning, doing errands and doctor’s appointments. You may be able to cover most of that yourself, and just need a caregiver for a few hours or days a week. Having the extra help will alleviate your parent’s stress since they aren’t left on their own to figure things out.
Prioritize Social Opportunities for Them
So much focus is given to a person’s healthcare needs, but they also need to feel fulfilled in terms of their mental health. A dementia diagnosis can leave them feeling lonely, depressed and isolated. This is why social opportunities should be encouraged. Visit as often as possible, encourage their close friends to visit and look for senior groups or facilities that allow them to meet and socialize with others.
Look for a Senior Residence with Memory Care
If the time has come to look into senior care facilities, you want to be sure to look for one with memory care programming that can be tailored to your parent’s needs. This top memory care in Glendale, AZ features programs and care that focus on emotional, social, physical and intellectual support for its residents based on their needs. Memory care needs to be a holistic approach so that your parent is fully supported, taking into account their current health and what their future needs may be.
There is no question that a dementia diagnosis is life-altering, but it isn’t life-ending. Your parent can still have a very fulfilling life that contains joy and happiness. Family members need to be flexible,they need to understand that their illness will progress, and they must be willing to make changes when necessary.