How Can I Help an Aging Loved One with Dementia Grow Old with Dignity?

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No one wants to see their parents lose dignity as they age, but dementia can make it difficult for seniors to take care of themselves. There may come a point where adult children have to step in and help their parents with everyday tasks such as eating, bathing, and going to the bathroom. However, this doesn’t mean families have to resign themselves to undignified lives for their senior loved ones. Here are a few strategies you can use to help a parent with dementia retain his or her dignity.

Make Plans as Soon as Possible

As soon as your family hears about the dementia diagnosis, it’s important to sit down with your parent and ask about his or her wishes for the future. This conversation ensures your parent’s desires are met after he or she can no longer advocate for him or herself. You should talk about how your parent would want to proceed in various medical and financial scenarios, and it may be helpful to get an attorney who can draw up documents such as power of attorney papers.

Spend Time Appreciating Your Parent

For many seniors, one of the most challenging parts of aging with dementia is worrying they may become burdens to their family members. Make sure you remember to spend quality time with your parent and interact with him or her as a family member instead of as a caregiver. Repeatedly let your parent know how much you love and respect him or her to boost his or her emotional wellbeing and provide a sense of dignity. 

Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Cedar Falls seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.

Find Meaningful Pastimes

An important part of aging with dignity is feeling like there’s a purpose in life. Seniors with dementia may enjoy things like creating family scrapbooks, volunteering to play with pets at a shelter, or knitting sweaters for a charity. Helping your parent find a way to do something worthwhile can go a long way toward promoting dignity.

Provide Choices

Even if your parent seems unreasonable or illogical due to the dementia, take the time to offer choices, and try to respect his or her selections. Respecting your loved one’s wishes whenever possible might lead to some silly situations, but as long as your loved one isn’t hurting him or herself or others, providing freedom of choice may help him or her feel independent and dignified. 

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be challenging, but compassionate help is available. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care Cedar Falls, IA, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Use Assistive Devices to Maintain Independence

An important part of dignified aging is retaining a sense of independence and self-sufficiency. Instead of trying to do everything for your loved one, provide the necessary tools to do things without assistance. Items such as a pill dispenser with an alarm, grab bars by the toilet, or a dementia-friendly phone can make daily life a lot easier. 

Highly trained caregivers with experience in caring for seniors with dementia can be a fantastic resource for family members. Families looking for top-rated Cedar Falls senior care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at 319-260-2222.