A dementia diagnosis can be devastating to any family. Whether your partner, parent, or someone else you love has been officially diagnosed with dementia, or you’re in the beginning stage of seeing the signs, it’s important to get as much information as possible early on to give your loved one the support they need. If you have a family member suffering from memory loss, forgetfulness, confusion, and/or dementia fog, read on for things to consider and answers to common questions.
How do I get my loved one help and resources?
If you love someone struggling with dementia issues or Alzheimer’s Disease, you likely already know about some of the many memory care services and facilities available that could help you to keep the person you love both safe and looked after in a secure environment like Victoria Mews Assisted Living.
Knowing about a safe place with a memory care facility is not the same as finding the strength to trust a care team or care home with your family member’s care. If you’re considering putting your family member into an assisted living facility, nursing home, or other residential settings, it’s a great idea to contact the facility you’re thinking about directly. You might be surprised how happy staff at a place like Victoria Mews are to let you come in for a tour and ask questions about the personal care that your family member with dementia could receive.
If you still aren’t sure you’re ready to stop serving as the family caregiver for your loved one yourself, another way to get help for your family member is to speak directly with their doctor, a hospital social worker, or the insurance company involved. By forming a support team of professionals who can help you and your family member through this difficult transition, you’ll be in a better position to have peace of mind regarding dementia care and overall quality of life for the person you love.
How can I support the person I love?
Depending on the form of dementia the person your love has, or even how severe it is, you may experience resistance. It’s normal for a person with dementia to experience periods of full lucidity and other times of total confusion. This can make it difficult to know how to help your loved one best. If this is the case, a great way to support your family member is to be as patient as you can, write down patterns, and provide your loved one with positive social interaction during times of lucidity.
What is the best way to spend time with someone with dementia?
Every day can be different for the caregiver of a person with dementia. While your loved one seems like themselves one day, they may find themselves unable to complete ordinary tasks the next. The best way to handle this is to allow the person you love to set the pace. In going into each day without expectations or a set plan, you’ll be better equipped to be more spontaneous with plans. When in doubt, consider the things your family member enjoys. If they’re someone who loves exploring courtyards and parks on a good day, there’s no reason not to try to spend some extra time in those places on bad days, too. In fact, it could be the very thing they need to change a mood or bring up a memory of other moments spent with you.
In summary, while a dementia diagnosis can be difficult, it doesn’t have to be all-encompassing. With the right supports, some great research, a little patience, and an open mind, you can help your family member adjust to this difficult challenge with minimal unnecessary impact on their overall quality of life. If you’re a caregiver to someone who has dementia, it’s important that you have supports for you, too. Someone like you might benefit from joining a caregiver support group or seeking help from a licensed therapist or social worker. Remind yourself that the person you love wants the best for you, too.