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Sunday, November 14, 2021

10 Tips For Family Caregivers: Tips for Caring for Elderly Parents with Dementia

Serving as the caregiver for an aging relative with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia can be exhausting, stressful, and isolating. Since millions of Americans find themselves in this situation, it could help if you have a few pointers to help you on this challenging path.

A California elder law attorney can provide guidance on the many legal issues that you and your loved one might face. This blog will give an overview of suggestions in several areas of caregiving, like everyday care, changes in communication and behavior, a healthy and active lifestyle, home safety, and taking care of the caregiver. Here are 10 tips for family caregivers: tips for caring for elderly parents with dementia.

What Can Help Me in Handling Everyday Care of My Aging Parent with Dementia?

One of the most difficult things about a person needing help with everyday tasks is how hard it is for the parent and the adult child to deal with the fact that the parent now needs help. The parent might feel frustrated and embarrassed. The adult child might fear how much more severe the elderly parent’s condition will eventually become. These tips might help both people:

  • Creating a routine can help both the caregiver and the person with dementia. Do things at about the same time every day and use a similar routine. You will have to allow some flexibility and not become too rigid
  • Eliminate unnecessary roadblocks by getting clothing that goes on easily and does not require buttons, belts, zippers, or shoelaces

How Can You Approach the Situation When Your Parent’s Behavior or Ability to Communicate Changes?

Dementia is often a progressive condition, in which the person’s personality can change and it can become more difficult to communicate. These tips might make these things a little easier:

  • Calmly reassure the person that you understand their worries and frustrations, and do not pressure him or her to remember something
  • Treasured, familiar things like a favorite piece of furniture, a souvenir from a vacation, and photographs of family and friends can help a person with dementia feel safe and secure

How Can You Help Your Relative Maintain a Healthy and Active Lifestyle?

Few things accelerate the deterioration of a person with dementia more quickly than a lack of physical and intellectual activity. These ideas can help your parent stay active:

  • Whether it is baking, gardening, or going for a walk together, try to find a variety of activities that your parent can do for       short periods of time
  • Avoid being a “drill sergeant.” Even if you have the best of intentions, your parent will resent being bossed around
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    Can You Make the Home Safer for Your Older Parent?

    Yes, you can, and these tips could help you achieve that goal:

    • Remove tripping hazards like throw rugs and electrical cords
    • Make sure that every room, the hallways, stairs, and outdoor areas have bright lighting

    How Can You Keep from Burning Out When Caring for Your Parent with Dementia?

    Unless you have piles of money to hire round-the-clock in-home staff, serving as a caregiver for your loved one will be a massive undertaking. These suggestions could lighten your load a little:

    • Call in the reinforcements. Unless there are no friends or relatives within a reasonable distance, try to work up a schedule to share the workload. Even if someone can only pitch in and take one shift a week or less, getting several people on board can make a huge difference in your energy levels. Also, check with local agencies to see what government services and day programs are available
    • Block off time for you to be off duty. It might only be 15 minutes a day or a couple blocks of time a week, but no one can be on duty 24/7 without eventually collapsing from exhaustion

    Above all, try to be patient and kind. Try to treat your parent the way you hope your child would treat you if you develop dementia. A California estate planning attorney can be a compassionate resource to help you and your parent navigate these challenging situations. Get in touch with our office for a free consultation.


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