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Things to Do If You Think Your Parent Has Dementia

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Dementia is a mental health condition that is sometimes a sensitive subject for families. You may notice something is going on with your parent’s thinking and reasoning abilities. Use this guide to handle the matter with sensitivity as you prepare to help your parent with a potential dementia diagnosis.

Know the Early Signs of Dementia

The first thing you need to do is observe your parent for behaviors that are often associated with dementia. For instance, you may notice he or she is experiencing memory lapses that seem more frequent or severe than normal senior moments. Your loved one may also misplace things and have difficulty finding them later, and he or she may also have mood changes that were not a normal part of his or her personality before. Dementia may also generate symptoms related to the effects of these memory lapses. An example would be a senior who has a medication mishap because he or she cannot remember the right dosages for his or her treatments. Once dementia is affecting your loved one’s safety, it is critical to take action immediately.

Caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be an overwhelming duty. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Omaha, Nebraska, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Seek a Medical Diagnosis

Once you notice the symptoms of dementia, you must talk to your loved one about your concerns. If your loved one is receptive to your discussion, recommend a visit to the physician to have him or her assessed for dementia. In some cases, your loved one may deny anything is happening. If this occurs, you may need to recruit support from someone he or she trusts, such as a caregiver or another member of your family. If your loved one continues to deny something is wrong, you can also speak with his or her physician privately to see if he or she might talk to your loved one.

Hire a professional caregiver if you’re feeling overwhelmed and need a break from your caregiving duties. In Omaha, NE, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

Explore Treatment Options

Although a diagnosis of dementia is disheartening, seniors are living in a time when technology and medical advancements are enhancing the type of care they receive today. Dementia can have many different causes, and your loved one’s medical team can assess his or her overall health to understand more about his or her unique situation. Then, they can provide a treatment plan that may include medications and lifestyle changes such as participating in brain-boosting activities.

Hire a Professional Caregiver

Dementia is a progressive disease. Although your loved one’s treatment plan is designed to slow the progression of the disease, you should expect to make some arrangement for his or her continued care. At first, your loved one may only need minimal support at home. For example, he or she may benefit from having a professional caregiver arrive each day to assist with medication management. Over time, additional care strategies can be implemented to support your loved one’s changing needs. Talk to your loved one about his or her preferences now while he or she can provide the best level of input. If your loved one prefers to age in place, discuss arrangements that can help him or her do so safely, such as arranging for overnight care to prevent wandering.

When caring for a senior with dementia, family members should consider hiring a professionally trained caregiver. Families looking for top-rated Omaha, NE, home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. Call us at (402) 261-5158 to schedule a free in-home consultation.