This blog is part of a year-long series aimed at addressing some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from family and adult children on the topics most concerning them regarding their aging parents or loved one. In 2012 Hebrew SeniorLife published the eBook "You & Your Aging Parent: A Family Approach to Lifelong Health, Wellness & Care," a compilation of answers from HSL geriatric experts in response to the many of the most frequently asked questions. We're reposting some of the most popular Q&A posts from our original eBook which was downloaded over 2,000 times. We're also adding new Q&As throughout the series that address topics not originally included in our eBook. Sign up to receive the blog series and download our original eBook at www.hslindependentliving.org.
How do I work through my parent’s decreasing independence as a result of dementia?
1. Do not do this alone. Seek assistance from family members, friends and religious organizations. If the burden of care is too difficult, there are services and agencies that can offer professional assistance. You can find out more through your loved one’s primary care clinician, geriatric case manager or social worker. The book “The 36 Hour Day” is also a very helpful guide to caring for a loved one with memory loss.
2. Watch out for safety issues such as managing medication, cooking and driving. Having a primary clinician who can work with you and your loved one is very helpful.
3. Take care of yourself. There is significant caregiver burnout when taking care of a loved one with dementia so it is especially important that you are mindful of your own mental and physical health.
4. Know the stages of the condition so you can anticipate what to expect and make plans for the future.
5. It is helpful, if possible, to have a conversation with your loved one early on before the symptoms progress or even before they are visible so you know their wishes.
To download your copy of our “You and Your Aging Parent” ebook, visit our website, www.agingredefined.org