Table of Contents:
- What Is Dementia, and What Are Its Stages?
- How to Care for a Parent with Dementia
- Challenges of Caring for a Dementia Parent at Home
- Alternatives to Dementia Nursing Homes In New York
- How to Care for a Parent with Dementia Far Away
There is no doubt that seeing a parent or another close person suffering from dementia is extremely distressing. Dementia patients have memory problems and experience behavioral changes, which can seriously affect the quality of communication between you and your loved one. As dementia progresses, understanding how to provide the best quality care and create a safe environment for a person with this condition is crucial.
At Galaxy Home Care, our intention is to provide you with the most personalized caregiving services so that you and a person with this condition can feel comfortable and secure. We understand that caring for a dementia parent at home can be difficult, both physically and emotionally. Our caregiving team has years of experience taking care of disabled and elderly people diagnosed with various conditions, including Alzheimer’s. For this reason, we can help you select the most appropriate approach to at-home care.
If your loved one has received the diagnosis of dementia, we can always help you with our Alzheimer’s and dementia home care services in Nassau County and on the entire territory of NYC.
What Is Dementia, and What Are Its Stages?
Dementia is an umbrella term for a set of neurological and mental symptoms that result from brain damage. We often think of brain damage as the result of an injury — and injuries can cause or contribute to dementia — but brain damage can also result from diseases like Alzheimer’s, which is the most common type of dementia.
The most common initial symptom of dementia is short-term memory loss. Difficulty with language, disorientation, mood swings, and loss of bodily functions and motivation are common symptoms as dementia progresses. Neurodegenerative diseases worsen over time.
If you have a parent diagnosed with this condition, it is only natural that you wonder — how to care for a parent with dementia. The stage of this disease plays a crucial role in determining the right approach. There are three main stages associated with this condition.
It is common for the early signs of dementia to go unnoticed, especially in older people. This stage of symptoms is characterized by insignificant short-term memory loss. A person may keep misplacing items and forgetting where they are. Or, they may have problems remembering the names of new people they meet.
At this stage, the person can live alone safely and socialize as usual. The person requires regular health check-ups and some help remembering certain information. It is important to be aware of how the symptoms are progressing, as this stage lasts 2-4 years on average.
How to care for a parent at home with mid-stage dementia? As the condition progresses from the early stage, the situation becomes more difficult. The symptoms experienced at the early stage become more noticeable, and a person with dementia starts exhibiting personality, cognitive, and behavioral changes.
You may notice that your loved one frequently forgets things, has sudden mood changes, and experiences confusion in the familiar environment. They may feel restless and have problems sleeping. During the mid-stage of dementia, your relative needs ongoing care, which is why a number of adult children turn to at-home caregivers for help.
Usually, the mid-stage is the longest one and lasts anywhere from two to ten years.
The topic of how to care for an elderly parent with dementia at the late stage is a complex one. This stage of the condition requires constant 24-hour care, as it is characterized by physical and cognitive decline. At this stage, a person with dementia may not recognize family members and has problems with daily activities, such as eating, bathing, getting out of bed, and more.
Because of the severity of the condition at this stage, most relatives need professional help, such as the one we can offer at Galaxy Home Care.
How to Care for a Parent with Dementia
There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease, your only option (at least for now) is to treat the symptoms. Dementia has numerous causes and manifests in different ways. Some people live for years, even a decade, after being diagnosed with dementia. With the right care and management, the first years after a diagnosis can be fairly similar to how life was before. Dementia care is a much-needed tool in helping families deal with dementia.
If you wonder how to care for a parent with dementia at home, there are a number of things that you can do. Here are some recommendations that can help you based on our Galaxy Home Care expertise.
Use communicative strategies
Implementing communicative strategies is highly important when talking to a person with dementia. You should dedicate some time to allow the person to express their thoughts. For this, you should use active listening techniques and ask only one clear question at a time to avoid any confusion. It is crucial not to interrupt the person, but guide them if they are struggling to find the right words.
Provide your support
It is vital to be empathetic and provide support when the person is struggling with some tasks or has problems voicing their thoughts. Physical touch can also be extremely comforting. You should avoid arguing even if the response they provide is not clear or incorrect, as this will only agitate or upset the person. If a dementia patient experiences hallucinations, it is important not to contradict them, but rather redirect their attention.
Make sure the environment is safe
Creating a safe environment at home for the dementia patient cannot be underestimated. It is important to pay attention to the entire home territory and make adjustments when needed. The goal is to make life easier for a person with dementia and ensure that they don’t injure themselves accidentally. Some of the things you can do:
- Move a person to a room where they don’t need to use stairs
- Remove any objects that they can trip on
- Provide sufficient lighting in all parts of your home
- Install railings in the bathroom.
In the case of severe dementia, the presence of a caregiver is still required, even if you make the following changes. If you don’t know where to begin, we can help you with our specialized home safety services in Brooklyn, NY.
Find ways to distract them
If you want to know how to care for a parent with dementia effectively, you should keep in mind that distraction plays an important role. It is essential to come up with a daily routine and also offer repetitive tasks that have a certain purpose. It can be anything from folding clothes to sorting miscellaneous items. Such distractions are significant and should be used in moments when a person with dementia is anxious or distressed.
Get additional help from caregivers
The majority of people can provide caregiving help to their relatives up to a certain point. In the later stages, this becomes a 24-hour process, and most people cannot put their lives and work on hold.
At Galaxy Home Care, we offer professional caregiving services to people in NYC. Our skilled caregivers can provide the necessary at-home care, which will ensure the safety of your loved one.
Request more information on how to best care for a parent with dementia
Challenges of Caring for a Dementia Parent at Home
Caring for an elderly parent with dementia is no easy task, as it is both a physically and emotionally demanding process. Such caregiving can become especially problematic if a person with dementia demonstrates difficult behaviors, which is common in the middle and late stages of this condition. There are a number of common challenges associated with caring for a dementia parent at home, and you should be aware of them.
Increased agitation of a person
One of the most widespread changes in behavior caused by dementia is increased agitation. Such a reaction is caused by the troubles a person experiences with daily tasks and communication. Dealing with an agitated person can be difficult for caregivers, as they must be constantly alert. The implementation of a daily routine, going on walks, and providing a person with enjoyable tasks can help.
Wandering and restlessness
Another challenge of caring for your aging parent with dementia is their tendency to wander. If a person with progressed dementia is not properly monitored, they can get into dangerous situations. They may wander around the city, walk into another person’s home, and more. Installing a monitoring system in the house and creating a safe environment where they can walk is important.
Those who take care of a parent with dementia at home may also notice that their relative has delusions, hallucinations, and paranoid behavior. Unless you get help from a caregiver, such behaviors can be challenging to deal with. In such situations, it is crucial to not play into a person’s hallucinations yet provide some reassuring words.
Problem with performing daily tasks
The physical decline of the late dementia stage makes it impossible for the person to take care of themselves. The situation becomes more challenging for the caregiver, as dementia patients often don’t cooperate well on such daily tasks. They may refuse to bathe or not accept food, which obviously becomes a difficult process if you don’t know how to deal with such behavior.
Alternatives to Dementia Nursing Homes In New York
It’s important to note that nursing homes are only one type of senior living community. A senior living community could be a nursing home, an assisted living community, an independent living facility, or a home specifically designed to help those with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. While assisted living communities are intended to balance the care they provide with their residents’ autonomy, nursing homes aim to help seniors with high-level needs.
Many nursing home residents cannot be expected to make informed decisions regarding their care, nor are they able to manage their lives on their own. While many seniors are able to do these things early on after their diagnosis, their dementia will eventually render them unable to exercise much autonomy. That is why nursing homes are often good places to live for Long Islanders with dementia. However, dementia nursing homes are not the only option in Nassau, New York. Alzheimer’s in-home care in Nassau County can be customized to help clients with this disease or any other form of dementia.
How to Care for a Parent with Dementia Far Away
How do you care for a parent with dementia far away? This is a relevant topic for many adults whose senior parents are having trouble with this condition. The best solution in this situation is to get help from professional caregivers. Our Galaxy Home Care was created years ago to help people with debilitating diseases. We have already helped numerous people in the US with our at-home caregiving services, so we are always ready to provide personalized assistance.
Another question is how to afford care for a parent with dementia at home. A lot of people wonder if getting help is too expensive, but the truth is that it can be reasonably priced. At Galaxy Home Care, we provide the most affordable cost for caring, so the majority of people can get the much-needed help for their relatives with dementia.
Galaxy Home Care of Nassau is proud to offer dementia care services on Long Island. To learn more about dementia care or dementia nursing homes in Nassau, NY, please contact us via our website or call 516-708-0900. If you are located in Brooklyn, NY, you can call us at 718-247-8300.