How To Deal With A Parent With Dementia: Recognition, Communication, And Support

How to Deal with a Parent with Dementia: Recognition, Communication, and Support

May 8th, 2020   |   Updated on May 18th, 2020

Fifty million people across the world suffer from dementia. While this disease is devastating to families, there is not much you can do to prevent or stop the disease from progressing.

If you suspect that your parents may have dementia, you might wonder what you should do. Well, there are several things you can do in this situation. One thing you can do is to learn how to deal with a parent with dementia.

When you believe that your parent is developing this disease, continue reading this guide to help you know how to handle this situation.

Recognize The Signs And Be Open With Your Parents

The first thing you can do is start paying attention to the way your parent talks and acts. Some of the early signs of dementia are hard to see, but you can spot them if you carefully observe the way your parent acts.
Here are some of the first signs you might notice in a person with dementia:

  • Difficulty remembering things that just happened
  • Repeating conversations that just took place
  • Asking questions that he or she just asked
  • A loss of interest in things he or she once loved
  • Problems remembering names or details of events
  • Emotional outbursts for no apparent reason
  • Any change in behavior, words, or attitude

Are you starting to see some of these signs? If so, there is a chance that your parent might be in the initial stages of dementia.

Encourage Medical Help and Intervention

If you see some of these signs, you’re probably wondering what to do if you think your parent has dementia. One thing you can do is talk to him or her about it.

Now, this conversation probably will not be easy. In fact, it might be a very challenging conversation to have, yet it is essential.

Before talking to your parents, you should prepare for this meeting. You should decide what to say to him or her, and you should make sure you have a compassionate attitude towards your parent and the situation.

Don’t be surprised if your parent blows you off during it. It’s hard for people to accept this truth, even if all the signs are present.

During this meeting, you should encourage your parent to seek medical help and intervention. Doctors can diagnose dementia by talking to individuals or by performing tests, such as brain scans.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

If the tests confirm your suspicions, you might feel devastated about the news. Your parent, however, might not appear worried. Don’t be alarmed if your parent doesn’t feel concerned. He or she probably doesn’t grasp the reality in the situation.

As time goes on, you will likely see more changes with your parent. As an adult child, it might be disheartening to watch your parent transform into a person that does not know you anymore.

It might be hard seeing your parent’s demeanor, attitude, and personality change. These things are tough, but they are also a normal part of the disease.

One of your jobs as a child is to keep the lines of communication open with your parent. You should stay involved in his or her life and talk to him or her about the disease.

Accept What You Cannot Change

It’s hard for children to watch their parents struggle with dementia and its devastating effects, but you must accept what you cannot change.

Your parent may still have five or ten good years left before you see major effects, or you might see them within the next few months. In either case, you cannot change the way the disease affects your mom or dad.

Healthcare professionals are always working on studying this disease and aiming to find ways to prevent and treat it. The best thing you can do is accept it and be there for your parent.

Be Loving, Supportive, and Patient Through This Change

It might not come easy for you to know how to act and respond to the changes you see in your parent, but you need to learn these things.

You should aim to be loving, supportive, and patient with your parent at all times. If you need more ideas about how to respond to this disease, check out these great tips.

Evaluate Options For The Care Your Parent Needs

When dementia initially begins, your parent might not have any trouble living alone at home, but this can change.
Some people tend to go through the changes of dementia more rapidly than others, so you’ll need to keep an eye on your parent.

If you start worrying about his or her safety, you should start evaluating the options for the care he or she needs.At the onset of the disease, your parent may benefit from in-home care services a few times a week. As the disease progresses, though, your parent may need more supervision and care.

You could consider moving your parent into your home so you can provide the care he or she needs. You could also evaluate long-term care facilities for seniors. Take your time as you investigate the options to make sure you pick the right one.

Learn More About How To Deal With A Parent With Dementia

Reading this guide might help you learn how to deal with a parent with dementia, but there are other ways to learn about this, too. Are you wondering what to do if you think your parent has dementia?

If so, follow the tips listed here and learn as much as you can about this disease. Check out other articles on our website for more helpful tips and articles about dementia.