In the early stages of dementia, patients are aware that something is changing within their brains. They notice that they have memory loss and are confused by things which they once dealt with easily. They realize they can no longer handle their small day to day activities. For someone in the beginning stages of dementia this is frightening, difficult to deal with and hard to accept. There comes a stage when dementia care is needed and if this is a parent or loved one, they may refuse to commit to having a care provider.
There are some ways to help a parent at this stage.
- Try thinking like your parent. Put yourself in their place. What would it feel like to know that day by day you were losing your mental abilities? You wouldn’t want to lose your independence and would probably also fight against the suggestion. If your loved one needs to move to a care facility, bring them there to see it if possible. If not, ask the facility if you may take pictures and bring them home. It may ease your parent’s mind if they can find similarities between where they are moving and where they presently live.
- Always give your parents choices. No one likes to be told that there is only one way to live. They should be part of the decision process. If they are going to remain in their own homes, ask them what they would like most in a caregiver. What days of the week would they like them there? Do they feel better having a caregiver overnight as well? Once your parent has some choices and can give input on their preferences, it may ease their mind over accepting dementia care.
Always take it slow and explain everything thoroughly so your loved one knows exactly how their life will be changing. Make the changes as gradual as you can so they feel comfortable. To read the full article on how to help a parent accept dementia care, click here.