When a parent, or indeed any loved one in your life, is diagnosed with a memory-based illness such as dementia, it can be an incredibly emotional time. It can often feel as if you are constantly second-guessing yourself. You are trying to take on many more care duties when you are unlikely to know the best ways of helping.
The extra work and responsibilities will make you tired and stressed. It’s possible that you will feel constantly on edge as you don’t know whether you are about to be called out to an emergency. Or maybe trying to remember every little thing that needs to be done in the family member’s life as well as your own. For anyone who has to care for another, it is important to seek help wherever you can. Also ensuring you get regular breaks.
For people looking after a loved one with dementia, this is particularly important. The level of care needed is high and constantly changing. It is also mentally draining and upsetting to watch the disease take over and alter the person you once knew.
So, to help, here are five key options for extra care and additional help for a parent with dementia.
Day Centers for Adults
The first option you may want to consider if your close friend or a family member has been diagnosed with dementia and needs extra assistance to one extent or another is to look into adult day centers.
Essentially, adult day centers are beneficial to both your loved one and yourself and other caregivers as for the former, they have a chance to socialize and engage in new hobbies and activities in a safe and protected space, and for the latter, to allow you more time to complete your other responsibilities.
Senior Living Facilities
If, rather than extra assistance or a regular break from caregiving, your loved one needs a more specialized level of care, then perhaps the best option to seriously consider would be to discover more info on senior living facilities.
There are several types of senior living facilities, or nursing homes, including assisted and independent living, but memory care facilities would be the specific area you should concentrate on.
Thinking about a move to senior living facilities can be tough. Especially if your parent has only recently been diagnosed with dementia. But in-home care options could well be the right decision.
The most well-known forms of in-home care services include the following:
- Homemaking and housekeeping services
- Companion and recreational services
- Skilled care & physical therapy services
- Personal care services
If you don’t know, respite services are similar in nature to in-home care services. But always focus much more specifically on medical care and treatment.
Respite care does indeed provide respite for the primary caregiver and is always a good choice if your parent or other loved one resides with you full-time. Burnout and high levels of stress and anxiety are all common side effects of looking after a loved one with dementia, and respite care can make the difference between being able to cope or not.
Long Distance Care
Finally, in the same way, that it would be entirely unhealthy for one person to only interact and see one another for the entirety of their life, the same applies to a loved one with dementia and a single caregiver.
Moreover, perhaps your loved one lives a train ride away or even in a different part of the country. So, you feel as if you want to help out the primary caregiver in other ways. Luckily, there is a plethora of ways to help. These include providing emotional support phone calls, or taking care of the financial aspect of your loved one. Visiting, of course, whenever you can, and arranging for your loved one to stay with you for a holiday. Time away from the home can be very beneficial as well.