Christian Provider Service

Dealing with Dementia in Parents

Navigating the challenges of dealing with dementia in parents, offering support, patience, and understanding

When a parent develops dementia, the entire family changes. This journey brings with it new difficulties and emotional complexities. The goal of this article is to provide you with information as you navigate the emotional burdens of dealing with dementia in parents. We’ll discuss the emotional and practical aspects of caring for a dementia parent at home. Caring for a loved one necessitates sacrifice and planning, from the initial diagnosis to managing day-to-day care. Caregivers will need to establish firm boundaries to avoid caregiver burnout.  In this article, you’ll find a blend of empathy and practical advice as you walk this path with your loved one.

Understanding Dementia’s Impact on Families

The effects of dementia on a family can vary from one family member to another. Some family members may be fearful about the days ahead of them and their loved ones, while other family members may go through a time of grief when they think about their loved one struggling with memory recall and daily functions. Still, other family members may be overwhelmed by the caregiving and financial pressures that are associated with dementia. While the effects of dementia on a family will be diverse, it is important that all family members, including the senior with dementia, address the emotional impact of their loved one’s diagnosis.

In addition to the emotional needs of family members, the effects of dementia on a family also extend to the practical needs. Who will be providing care for the senior? What are the care needs that will need to be provided for? What is the financial burden associated with this care? How will the primary caregiver’s life and work be affected by this new responsibility? Family members will need to communicate, work with professionals, and plan for their loved one’s future to ensure that the effect of dementia care is minimized.

Managing the Symptoms of Caregiver Burnout

Many families designate a family member to take on the responsibility of caring for their loved one with dementia. This individual will make many sacrifices to ensure the senior receives proper care. Other family members need to be aware of the symptoms of caregiver burnout. Knowning the symptoms will allow them to watch the designated family member for these signs.

Caregiver burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. Symptoms of caregiver burnout include feelings of overwhelming fatigue, changes in appetite, irritability, and a sense of detachment. To manage these symptoms, it’s crucial to establish a self-care routine, which might include regular breaks, engaging in hobbies, and seeking emotional support from friends, support groups, or counselors. Remember, taking care of yourself is an essential part of being able to care for your loved one.

If family members see the primary caregiver showing symptoms of caregiver burnout, another family member should step in and give the primary caregiver a break. Additionally, many families see home health care aids to support the family in caregiver responsibilities.

Caring for a Dementia Parent at Home

Caring for a dementia parent at home involves more than meeting their physical needs. Caregivers are responsible for creating a safe, comfortable, and loving environment. Establishing a routine to provide a sense of stability, adapting the living space for safety, and engaging in activities that stimulate their minds and spirits are important. It’s also important to stay informed about the progression of the disease and recommended caregiver strategies. Communication with healthcare professionals and utilizing available resources can also provide crucial support.

“Dementia does not rob someone of their dignity. It’s our reaction to them that does.”

Teepa Snow

Emotional Support for Families Dealing with Dementia in Parents

The emotional toll of dealing with dementia in parents extends to the entire family. Open and honest communication among family members is key to coping with emotional challenges. It’s important to acknowledge and validate each other’s feelings, whether it’s sadness, frustration, or helplessness. Family counseling or support groups can offer a space to share experiences and coping strategies. Additionally, finding joy in small moments, celebrating the good days, and remembering the person behind the disease is vital in maintaining emotional connections and resilience during this challenging time.

Get Caregiving Help for Your Loved One

For support in providing care for your loved ones with dementia care, please feel free to contact us. At Christian Provider Service, we’re committed to supporting families with compassionate, professional care. Our home health aids are professionally trained to help individuals with dementia, and our caregivers would love to support your family.