A parent’s dementia diagnosis can be nothing short of devastating. Devastating for them as the individual, and for their family. While they may have had only mild symptoms and signs at the first, this can change. Dementia is a progressive disease that has no cure. There are no rules on how slow or fast it may progress, and each individual will vary. So, what can you do if you see the disease progressing? What are the steps you can take that will help them? Let’s take a closer look.
Understand the Stages of Progression for Dementia
A good place to start is by understanding what the progression can look like, keeping in mind each person is different. Generally speaking, there are three stages of dementia which are early stage, middle stage and late stage. As a person progresses through the stages you may notice changes in their memory, problem-solving, thanking, behavior, language, perception and/or emotions. In late stage, they are severely affected by the symptoms.
Sometimes the progression can be hard to recognize as it doesn’t necessarily happen quickly. It can be a slow progression, so you don’t even notice it. If you’re concerned about which stage your parent is in and the progression, it’s best to speak to their doctor.
Take Steps to Keep Them Healthy
While there is no cure for dementia, there are steps people can take that can help to keep them healthy and even prevent problems from occurring and getting worse. These steps should include regular doctor visits, taking any prescribed medications for other health conditions, exercising regularly, a healthy well-balanced diet and getting enough sleep.
Get Help for Them at Home
If they still live on their own, then it may be necessary to get them some help. The help needed will depend on their health. Things such as a housecleaner, a nurse and grocery or meal delivery can all be extremely helpful and allow them to keep their independence. For those in early-stage dementia, a little extra help at home may be all that’s needed.
Dropping by for regular visits, taking them to do errands and go for appointments and staying connected will also give you a window into their health so that nothing goes by unnoticed.
A Care Facility May Be Necessary
As their dementia progresses it may reach a point where it’s no longer safe or healthy for them to live alone. Caring for a parent with dementia in your own home is a huge commitment and may not be something you can handle. This is why a care facility may be necessary. Dementia care facilities St. Louis can provide the assisted living services that your parent needs. Think of it as a place where they will receive the best care outside of a hospital. It can give families peace of mind, and help the parent to feel more secure and happy.
There’s no getting around it; a dementia diagnosis is very difficult, not just for the person but for everyone close to them. These tips can help you to navigate as the illness progresses.