There are many things we look forward to about growing up and becoming an independent person. We get to have a successful career and create a little family of our own. In all of these things, we expect our parents to be there to cheer you on and watch the grandkids grow up.
One thing few people consider when growing up is whether our parents will be able to care for themselves. If your parent has started showing signs of dementia, you’re probably trying to determine what your next steps should be. Read on to learn how to cope when you have a parent with dementia.
1. Don’t Take on Too Much
Our parents did so much for us when we were growing up, it’s only natural for you to feel a duty to them in their time of need. It’s important for you to set hard limits on the amount of work that you can do for your parents in order to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
For example, if you have a large family, it might not be the best idea for your parent to move into your home. If you do decide that your parent should move in, then you should consider getting a caregiver to come out and help with daily necessities.
2. Consider Specialized Care
Another great way to help your parent and have peace of mind that they’re in good hands is to consider moving them into a facility that has people who are specifically trained to care for dementia patients. Memory care facilities do just that.
This will allow trained professionals to handle your parent’s daily needs and give you the opportunity to continue to nurture your relationship with your parent. You’ll be able to visit on your own terms and give you the space you need at home.
3. Don’t Forget to Care for Yourself
As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. In order to care for your parent, it’s important to first care for yourself. Failing to care for yourself will increase your stress levels and reduce your ability to care for your parent.
Set some time aside each day in order to engage in self-care. Use this time to exercise, watch TV, or just decompress from the stresses of daily life. Get plenty of sleep and eat a healthy diet (with occasional indulgences, of course).
Most of all, never feel guilty for taking the time you need.
Having a Parent with Dementia Is Never Easy, but It Will Be Okay
No one expects to grow up and have to care for a parent with dementia. One of the most important things you can do for your parent and yourself is to know your limits, both personal and physical. This will help ease the stress of caring for them and help you make peace with your reality.
Looking for more ways to care for yourself physically and financially? Check out the rest of our blog for everything you need!