Dementia may be scary. Not just for the patient but also for their loved ones and family members. Having to experience and realize that one is going through the changes associated with dementia can be a challenging and painful process. It’s no wonder why some people may initially be reluctant to accept these changes and hence be less willing to accept help, be it from family members or professional sources. In this article, we cover some tips on approaching the subject, so that you can help your parent with dementia in a tactful and respectful manner.
Justify the Help
Firstly, you may need to properly justify to yourself that they may need help. Sometimes, we may perceive that people may need help when they don’t actually need help because we believe them to be fragile or weak. This may be unfair to the patient, as they probably want to hang on to as much autonomy and control as they possibly can. Hence, rather than babying your parent in everything, you may want to list out all the problems that they may be facing. You may consider the following:
- Difficulty carrying out basic chores by themselves
- Difficulty taking the correct medication in proper doses
- Memory issues that may affect daily life
- An increase in medical requirements and needs
- Fears regarding accidents at home
After listing out your reasons, focus on these problems during your discussion with your parent. You may want to consider your loved one’s abilities to deal with these problems. If they may have trouble managing things by themselves or with your family’s help, it may be time to consider professional assistance.
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Approach the Subject Tactfully
When you list out the reasons why your parents may need help, keep the conversation open. Right now, you’re not trying to get them to accept your help, you just want them to hear your concerns and you want to create a space where they can discuss their own concerns. This may not happen the first time you try, but that’s alright. Avoid strong emotions and suggest re-visiting the conversation in the future. The most important thing to do is to listen to one another and understand each other’s perspectives.
Re-Visit the Conversation
Most of the time, even if you’ve had a good first conversation, you will need to re-visit the subject again. This time, you can focus more on the kinds of help available to your parents. You’ll need to do your research and consider a variety of options ranging from in-home help to a full-time community. Again, be tactful and listen attentively to their thoughts on what you’re suggesting. Ultimately, before you make any decision you should both fully understand what that decision entails and are both agreeable to the decision. It’s okay to re-visit the subject again and again, there are no deadlines on coming to a mutually agreeable and supportive decision.
If you’re looking for a senior living community with a dedicated dementia care program that provides quality support for your parents, come find out what we have to offer at Discovery Village At Southlake. Our team is ready to answer any and all questions you may have and even offer you a guided tour of our community. Contact us here!