WHAT TO DO WHEN A MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY IS AFFLICTED BY DEMENTIA
It is quite natural to be in a situation where a family member or elderly is suffering from dementia. If you are part of a family, it can often get overwhelming to deal with both the dementia patient and the confusing family members. In order to create an environment of harmony, follow these few precautions so your family members can not only understand the situation but also support you through the process.
Meetings with family members should be held on a regular basis.
You should share how the caregiving process affects you and your family regularly. Address family stress points and difficulties caused by the elderly person’s condition. If a therapist or case manager can help you resolve your grievances, meet with them.
Here are some more ways to have a successful meeting:
- Choose the members of the caregiving team
- Organize the meeting by creating an agenda
- Stay away from expressing opinions based solely on personal experience
- All interested parties should receive a summary following the meeting
Family members and children should be involved in the caregiving process.
Children should be told the truth about dementia. Children have a high level of intuition. If they know their grandparents, aunts, or uncles have changed and their behavior is unusual, they will know. You should let your family member know that the most important thing is to love him or her. Participate in the caregiving process by engaging them and empowering them. You can have your children help out with chores or read to the senior. Getting the situation out in the open will relieve family tensions.
Sharing these ideas with your children about communicating with a loved one might be helpful:
- Don’t worry about it. Tell children not to question the grandparent’s statements if something doesn’t seem to make sense. It’s kind of like pretend play.
- Preparation is key. Decide ahead of time what to talk about or what activity to do.
- Engage in activities. Sing songs, color together or listen to music.
Spend as much time as possible with children and spouses, so they cooperate, support, and don’t get scared.
The household can quickly become occupied with caring for someone who has dementia. Young children and their spouses may feel left behind and excluded. Plan activities that the entire family can enjoy. Bringing special activities for your loved one so he or she has a fun evening with a family member or professional caregiver is a great idea.
- Organize your family’s schedule. Togetherness is emphasized through not just appointments, but also fun activities.
- Seek out help from family. It isn’t necessary to be the only caregiver just because one is the primary caregiver. Make a tag team and invite the rest of the family to participate.
- Walk them through the situation. Highlight the stress factors that may come into view due to these issues by regularly scheduling a meeting with family so they can understand.
It is always better to often seek third-party help or dementia care services from home health care agencies, so you can also give the much-needed time to the rest of the family members as they deserve a break too. Before you set out to find help, make sure to check recommendations on the sites you are approaching. Several home health care Houston agencies are well-known for providing excellent services throughout the country and might just be right for you.