One of the most frightening aspects of dementia is the isolating effect it can have. But there are support and community groups there to help alleviate these feelings. And you can customise the care to suit both you, your family, and your parent.
By creating a positive space for people dealing with Alzheimer’s, you can start to combat the impact it has on your daily lives. It’s also important to increase your knowledge of the syndrome, to develop better coping methods. If you’re caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s, here are some of the best resources available to you and your loved one.
Looking for care
Getting the right support for those with Alzheimer’s will help alleviate the pressure on you, and it will give your parents the care they need. It may be that you’re thinking of respite care or care homes.
Before you start the process of looking for care, do your homework. Every option has its own benefits and potential drawbacks depending on your preferences, lifestyle, and commitments. The same goes for your parents. They may prefer a certain solution over another. Talking through the options with your relatives, including the parent themselves is an important part of the process.
It’s worth remembering that often, Alzheimer’s comes hand-in-hand with complaints like:
- Low self-esteem
- Low confidence
- Feeling a loss of independence
- Confusion over social roles and relationships
- Inability to carry out everyday tasks
- Loss of everyday skills
All this can easily lead to anger and frustration on your parent’s part. Not including them in your ideas for support and care can only add to those feelings. So, take time to speak to everyone impacted by your parent’s dementia, whether that’s other family members or your parents themselves.
Other ways to support aging parents
The good news is that there is help out there for both you and your parents. Social care and support can range from paid carers for help at home, to household gadgets, personal alarms and security systems. Innovations and simple adaptions to daily life can make all the difference are some cases. Or, you can look into care homes.
You can also look into local groups. By searching the alzheimers.org directory, you can see if there are any support groups that welcome both Alzheimer’s sufferers, and their carers. Often, it’s a good way to meet others and build a support network for both you and your parent.
It’s a great idea to visit the GP as a starting point. It’s advised that people with dementia should have a review with their GP at least once a year, even if they’re in good health otherwise. They may also be able to help advise on options for ongoing support and care.
You may also want to research different types of care homes, ways to support your loved one if they need to go into hospital, adaptations for their home, and tips for looking after yourself as a carer. After all, looking after someone with dementia can be an emotional experience.
Creating happy memories
Focusing your energy on creating special memories can be beneficial for both you and your relatives when dealing with Alzheimer’s. Some ideas include making a memory book or box to help your parents remember their life story. Or encouraging them to take part in games and activities that rekindle happy feelings, whether that’s flying a kite or playing bowls. Music can be another powerful way to boost positivity.
Remember, some options may feel more suitable, depending on the circumstances. But help and support are out there. And there are ways to alleviate the strain for everyone.