A Growing Problem
It is estimated that in 2023, 50 million people around the world will be living with dementia. This number is expected to rise to more than 131 million by 2050. This means that many more people will be faced with the difficult task of caring for a parent who is suffering from dementia. In this article, we’ll discuss what to do when faced with a parent suffering from dementia in 2023.
Getting a Proper Diagnosis
The first step in managing a parent suffering from dementia is to get a proper diagnosis. This involves visiting a doctor and having a series of tests done to determine the type of dementia. Once the type of dementia is known, a treatment plan can be developed that is tailored to the individual.
Creating a Support System
It is important to create a strong support system for both the parent and the caregiver. This can include family members, friends, and even professional services. It is important to have a plan in place to ensure that the caregiver is not overwhelmed with the responsibility of caring for the parent. Having a plan in place also ensures that the parent is getting the best care possible.
Making the Home Safe and Accessible
It is important to make sure that the home is safe and accessible for the parent. This means removing any potential hazards such as loose rugs or stairs, making sure that all doors and windows are securely locked, and installing handrails in the bathroom. It is also important to make sure that the parent is able to safely navigate the home. This may include adapting the home to make it easier for the parent to move around.
Encouraging Physical Activity
Physical activity is important for people with dementia as it helps to improve their overall physical and mental health. It is important to encourage the parent to engage in physical activities that are safe for them such as swimming or walking. It is also important to make sure that the physical activities are enjoyable for the parent so that they will continue to engage in them.
Providing Mental Stimulation
Mental stimulation is important for people with dementia as it helps to slow down the progression of the disease. It is important to provide activities such as reading, puzzles, or listening to music that the parent can engage in to help keep their mind active. It is also important to make sure that the activities are enjoyable for the parent so that they will continue to engage in them.
Adapting to Changes
It is important to be prepared for the changes that will occur as the dementia progresses. This may include changes in behavior, communication, and memory. It is important to be patient and understanding of the parent and to be willing to make necessary changes to ensure that the parent is comfortable and safe.
Seeking Professional Help
It is important to seek professional help if the caregiver is feeling overwhelmed or if the parent’s condition is worsening. Professional help can include a doctor, a specialist, or a support group. There are also many resources available online and in person to help caregivers better understand and cope with the changes that come with dementia in a parent.
Finding Respite Care
It is important to find respite care for the caregiver. This means finding someone to care for the parent for a few hours or days so that the caregiver can take a break. This can be a family member, friend, or professional service. It is important to make sure that the respite care is trustworthy and reliable.
Caring for a parent suffering from dementia in 2023 can be a difficult task. It is important to get a proper diagnosis, create a strong support system, make the home safe and accessible, encourage physical activity, provide mental stimulation, adapt to changes, seek professional help, and find respite care. By following these steps, the caregiver can help to ensure that the parent is getting the best care possible.