When you and your senior discover that she has dementia, you’re going to need to talk about some plans. Finding the right path forward can help you to keep your senior’s quality of life much higher than you might expect.
Spend Time Together Doing Things She Enjoys
No matter how advanced your senior’s dementia is, there are things you can do together that she loves doing. Those activities may need to adapt over time and as the disease progresses, but they’re still possible. Talk to your elderly family member now about what she finds enjoyable and what she wants to do. Talk also about how those same activities might be possible later. This is easier with help from her doctor.
Pre-plan as Much as You’re Able
There’s not just the fun stuff, though. You and your senior need to talk about all of the different variables involved in caring for her as she continues to age. Find out now what she wants from the rest of her life. Those plans may still need to change some if her circumstances are markedly different, but you need to know as much as you can about what she does want. This is going to help you to pre-plan as much as you can.
Keep in Mind Your Senior Is an Adult
It’s easy to fall into the habit of infantilizing someone with dementia. The behaviors may sometimes feel childlike from your perspective. But it’s really important to remember that your elderly family member is an adult. It’s equally important that you continue to treat her like an adult. This helps to maintain her dignity and her self-esteem, even if it appears to you that those things no longer matter to her. Those are always going to be important for your senior.
Do Take Respite Time Regularly
Respite time is always exceedingly important for caregivers, but especially when your family member has dementia. Line up help now from home care providers so that you know your elderly family member will be safe. Taking that time is not selfish, although it may feel as if it is at first. When you’re taking care of yourself, you’re going to be better able to care for your senior.
There are always going to be challenges with something as complicated as dementia, but these tips can make caregiving much easier. They’re also going to help you to ensure that your senior’s life is as full and as happy as possible.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elder Care in Queen Creek, AZ, or anywhere in the East Valley, please contact the caring staff at Legacy Home Care.
Call (480) 777-0070
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