When a loved one is diagnosed with dementia and, especially if that person is a parent with whom you are particularly close to, it can feel as if there is no way out of how you are feeling and that there is nothing you can practically do to help.
The opposite is, in fact, true, and how you present your emotions and feelings to your mother or father will have an influence on how they feel regarding their diagnosis, and there are plent of ways to help them live for as long as possible in their own home. Keep reading to find out more.
Work on Communication
In the early stages of dementia and other memory-based illnesses, then is the best time to start to think of ways and means to best communicate with your parent, once the inevitable onset of the illness begins to take hold.
Now, every single person who is living with dementia reacts to the illness entirely differently, so it may well be the case that you maintain a close and communicative bond with your parent for many, many years.
However, there is no harm in learning some basic rules of communication on your part and tools at your disposal should you need them, such as:
- Making sure you are sitting near to them and at eye level
- Minimising distractions and keeping television and radio volume down
- Repeatedly saying their name throughout the conversation
- Speaking in shorter sentences and slightly slower
- Touching their arm or hand to keep their attention (should they be receptive to this)
As well as changes to the home, you could also look into additional treatment options, both prescribed by a medical professional to help them manage their health conditions, if they are struggling to remember their medication, such as medical cannabis UK and other more innovative options.
The effects and impacts of newer treatment options and medically prescribed drugs are, of course, dependent on a wide variety of different things and affect every individual differently, but it might be worth asking the question to your loved one’s doctor, and getting their honest opinion on the matter.
Contact a Dementia Care Coordinator
Now, even if you live with your parent, or live so close by that visiting every day and staying for a couple of hours each time is relatively simple, there is still something to be said for considering specialised dementia care further down the line, especially if they deteriorate quite quickly.
Obviously, right now the focus should be on ensuring that, for as long as your mum or dad is happy and comfortable living at home, you do everything you can to make their home lives as enjoyable and safe as possible, for as long as possible.
Dementia care coordinators are, to many, invaluable, as they offer impartial, experienced, and professional advice that caters to the changing needs of your parent and are the best people to talk to should you have any questions regarding dementia care.