Dementia is a medical condition that involves cognitive dysfunction. A large number of behavioral and mental changes may occur as a result of this medical condition. In case your parents are suffering from this disease, it becomes a matter of concern for you as a child. If you choose to be a caregiver for your parents, you will have to note the many essential things starting from understanding the disease. Alzheimer’s disease is one type of dementia that is characterized by pronounced stages. It is a progressive condition, which means the symptoms increase severely with time.
Many studies have revealed that people suffering from this disease live for about four to eight years after confirming the condition. However, there are cases where people may live for more than two decades, also. You will have to be aware of the different dementia stages to cater to your parents with all that they need.
Studies have revealed three primary stages of Alzheimer’s disease: the early stage, middle stage, and the later stage. The first stage can involve forgetting recent events, difficulty with numbers, losing the ability to organize and plan events, etc. The moderate or the middle stage includes increased memory loss, confusion; test to get dressed up, trouble paying bills, the problem in following instructions, and the like. The severe or the last stage of Alzheimer’s includes problems to eat or swallow, trouble to sit or walk without assistance, individual personality changes, etc.
A step by step guide to taking care of parents who have dementia
• Making the home environment safer: as the disease starts to progress from the mild to the moderate stage, you, as a caregiver, have to transform the house environment to make it less risky for the patient. You will have to make changes in the home decor to reduce the risk of falling. To ensure your parents’ safety and security, you will have to ensure that they get limited access to the kitchen.
The kitchen is a storehouse of dangerous equipment ranging from knives, pillars, stoves, microwaves, and the like. You will have to make regular checks for fire extinguishers, use carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors at your home. In the bathrooms also you will have to make use of grab bars. Even the use of safety stickers can help to make the surface much safer. In addition to this, proper lighting of the bathroom, doorways, and staircase is essential. Lastly, you must always keep away the rugs and, at the same time, install latches for safety measures.
• The role of research: providing care for patients with dementia, especially parents or an elder relative may not come naturally. It is not even intuitive. It requires a good deal of research into every dimension of the disease. You will have to learn about the person’s proper treatment and consult a doctor for the same. Try to gather information about the medication, treatment method, the things to avoid, etc. You must stay vigilant to face the outcomes of dementia. According to memory care in Anchorage, there are different types of mental symptoms associated with dementia, leading to personality changes. As a caregiver, it is your responsibility to understand the reality of the disease.
• Finding resources: at the moderate and severe level of dementia, a caregiver may feel stressed. You will have to learn how to cope up with different types of situations. Along with the patient‘s care, you will have to be conscious of your well being as well. You can take regular breaks to avoid any caregiver burnout. Also, you may take the help of friends and family members to take care of your parent. Never try to handle everything on your plate and do not hesitate to ask for help. The memory care in Alaska provides different types of guidelines regarding how you should maintain a balance between your parent’s well-being and yourself.
In light of the above-given points, you must know that dealing with dementia and playing a caregiver’s role is a daunting task. Take the help of your family and friends to distribute the responsibility with them. You may use online and offline platforms to gather reliable information owing to the disease. Your activities should have more strategic planning and proper execution to achieve realistic targets. In addition to this, regular family meetings are a productive way to deal with the issue.
You can also fix appointments with therapists and doctors to help cope up with the situation. It will become challenging for you to handle this situation alone; thus, you seek professional help. A skilled professional has the proper training and knowledge to deal with patients who have dementia. You can also collect knowledge from various sources, but you can not have the appropriate training that a professional can provide.