Have you ever noticed that your parent’s memory is declining? Or perhaps your partners statements aren’t quite as coherent as they used to be?
Well, you’re in a tough position if you think that you’re loved one has dementia. The very thought of them forgetting who you are or even themselves is indeed a very disappointing thing. To make things worse, you are compelled to tell them about their situation before they lose their bearings.
It’s a sensitive subject to deal with, which is why it needs careful thought before diving into the issue.
● Know the signs and symptoms
Diagnosing the disease early will help patients prepare themselves for the future. This can also help slow down the progression of the disease as they’re able to tap onto interventions early on. Some of the common symptoms of dementia are memory loss, difficulty in performing daily tasks, vagueness in conversations, and speaking in different languages. It will help a lot if you seek professional help as soon as you notice any of these symptoms.
● Talk it out with family members
You don’t have to be alone in this because doing so will only put unnecessary and excessive burden on your shoulders. Talk about the issue with your other family members and friends and ask them if they also have seen any changes. Do this in a confidential manner, though.
It’s not about spreading rumor or gossip. Instead, it’s all about collaborating with others to know the best thing to do with your loved one who you think has dementia.
● Put yourself in their shoes
Be sensitive as possible when it comes to approaching your loved one about their possible health issue. This isn’t an easy conversation to have which is why you need to put yourself in their shoes.
Imagine if it was you who was going to be approached to concerning your eventual loss of memory. What would you feel? How would you react?
Choose a time when neither of you is stressed or tired, and do it in a silent place with zero distractions.
● Seek professional help
Seeking professional help is probably the best thing you can do if you suspect someone of having dementia. However, this is easier said than done. You need to encourage your loved one that they need medical attention as soon as possible because of the changes you see with their behavior.
Doctors know what to do with dementia patients because it’s their job to take care of medical conditions. Don’t push yourself too hard to implementing self-medications. Go to the doctor as early as possible and follow what they have to say. It might be letting your loved one undergo therapy or perhaps take some prescription drugs.
Take note — doctors know best.
It’s normal to feel sad and anxious especially if you suspect your loved one of having dementia. However, confronting the issue is the best way to alleviate its negative effects. Reassure them that what you’re doing is for their best interest. It’s all about supporting them no matter what.
Jane Byrne is a Project Coordinator at FirstCare Nursing Homes. Jane regularly blogs about both the personal and practical challenges of caring and is always actively working on producing informative content.