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Talk and Care for a Parent with Dementia

Talk and Care for a Parent with Dementia

Dementia can be hard to treat because dementia care has to cater to different needs – of both the patient and the caregiver. When a parent is diagnosed with dementia, the children may experience a myriad of confusion, sorrow and a sense of loss. However, it becomes increasingly important to learn to communicate and care for the parent diagnosed with dementia. Read on to find out tips on how to care for a parent showing signs of dementia. At Cadabams, we ensure that the various aspects of dementia are addressed and acknowledged. Our 3 decades of experience coupled with an expert multispeciality team ensures that we build individualised plans that focus on holistic treatment plans. We are the only psychiatric institution in India to be recognised and supported by CNTW and NHS.

For any support or queries, reach out to us on our 24X7 dementia helpline @ +91 97414 76476, or mail us at info@cadabams.org.

Dementia constitutes a group of symptoms showing an overall cognitive decline characterized by issues and impairment of memory, language, judgment, behavior. It is of a chronic or progressive nature.

Here’s how you can take care and talk to your parent showing signs of dementia:

  • Speak warmly and calmly-

Avoid using the “baby talk” way when you are speaking to a parent with dementia. Instead concentrate on making your speech calm, clear, and soothing. Focus on giving safety through your voice. If you see that your speech is tense or you’re raising your tone, take a pause and come back when you’re able to speak comfortably and with reassurance.

  • Limit distractions-

If you want to interact with a parent with dementia, create a safe environment that seems comforting and not frightening. Turn off any background sounds such as television or radio. Move them to a room that has limited noise. Minimally distracting surroundings can help your parents focus their attention and strength on the conversation.

  • Speak simply-

Use precise, simple sentences if your parent with dementia is struggling to understand you. Slow your speech. If your loved one does not get it, then find an easy and honest way to communicate.

  • Be patient. Remember, it’s the disease talking-

When talking to a parent with dementia, tolerance is the key. Dementia can make understanding a slower process. That means that it will often take time to truly know what you are saying. This can lead to a delay before they can find the words to respond.

  • Ask the least questions- 

Ask questions, one at a time, so that they are not overwhelmed. Pause and wait for a response every time you ask a question. Give easy choices when possible.

  • Tune into their emotions-

When engaging in a conversation with your parent with dementia, think about what they may be feeling. They may be speaking or acting disturbingly, or may appear confused. If you notice your parents are anxious or confused, adjust how you talk and what needs to be said.

Handling Caregiver Stress

Dementia caregivers usually report that they experience high-stress levels. This is because it can get overwhelming to take care of a parent showing signs of dementia. However, you need to take control of stressful emotions before they get overwhelming and harm you or your parents. Some signs of caregiver stress are:

  • Denial- Denial occurs when the caregiver refuses to accept the diagnosis or is unable to come to terms to the severity of the illness. This can affect the diagnosed patient.
  • Anger- Getting frustrated at the patient, especially if they are unable to perform normal tasks like getting ready. Anger can be the caregivers’ way of unhealthily coping with the sadness or frustration they experience.
  • Social withdrawal- This occurs when you don’t feel pleasure in activities that used to make you feel good. You will also not want to hang out with your friends in any social gathering.
  • Having trouble concentrating- will make it difficult to care for your parents diagnosed with dementia. It will eventually take a toll on your physical and mental health.

Tips to manage caregiver stress:

  • Be aware of the community resources available to you- this includes knowing about rehabilitation and care facilities, reaching out to them, hiring nurses and meal delivery services, and so on.
  • Find support and get help from groups that provide reassurance and comfort.
  • Use relaxation techniques like meditation, muscle relaxation, and visualization.
  • Ensure that you slot some time for yourself. Taking a break and engaging in activities that you enjoy will help you provide proper care to your parents.
  • Seek professional help whenever necessary. Caregiver training and therapy are extremely necessary when dealing with caregiver stress. 

Parent with Dementia: Giving Them Continued Support

The key to communicating with a parent with dementia is to get into their reality. The disease has changed their abilities. Use techniques to continue communication at their level, given the change in condition.

It also requires patience. It may seem difficult but not impossible. By altering your approach and practicing new strategies, you can have continued communication and a better quality of life with the people you care about as they face this debilitating disease.


Dementia FAQ: All your queries answered

Can we inherit dementia from our parents?

If you have seen your parent showing signs of dementia, you may wonder if you will show them in the future. While there is a genetic link, it is not necessary that a child of someone with dementia develops dementia themselves. The chances of inheriting dementia from parents is small.

How can you care for parent dementia at home?

  • Never be afraid to ask for help and accept support
  • Empathize because caregiving starts with compassion and empathy
  • Be realistic as a caregiver
  • Plan for the future

With medical and psychological support from professionals and regular testing, home care can be an effective treatment plan. Family support is essential in dementia care. They provide hands-on care, and due to the comfort level with the patient, they can elicit more empathy, trust and response from patients. Cadabams offer house visits and 24/7 support that help with home care.

Do dementia patients need round-the-clock care?

Having someone around 24X7 will enhance your mood and decrease your agitation. It will meet their personal and medical needs, night or day. This is crucial because night time can be filled with anxiety for a caregiver if the patient is left unsupervised.

Why Cadabams?

We have over two decades of experience in handling the rehabilitation and unique needs of elderly dementia patients. Our services are recognized by the expertise of our healthcare professionals, the calibre of our caregivers, and the responsiveness of our staff. Our cognitive therapeutics focus on fun ways to keep the minds of your loved ones sharp and active.

We don’t just offer caregivers for seniors. We also work with families to deliver world-class personalized care plans to ensure that we bring energy, independence, and joy to their lives. Our care team also takes care that you have clear lines of communication with healthcare professionals.

Do you have a parent with dementia? What advice would you give to others for talking to a parent with dementia? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Let’s start a conversation and help in preventing the disease. If you need any assistance or more information about long term care for dementia, we are available and happy to assist. Call us on our 24/7 helpline number- +91 97414 76476 .