Do you have a loved one recently diagnosed with dementia? Are you the primary caregiver? A diagnosis of dementia is difficult and scary for both you and your loved one to accept. We would like to discuss with you four tips for helping your loved one cope with his or her memory loss.
1. Strive to be respectful, responsive and understanding of your loved one. Try to never correct your loved one if they forget something that you or someone else said. You want your loved one to not feel judged or embarrassed and then shut down. Take steps to be encouraging and supportive. Do not be frustrated when you watch your loved one suffer from dementia, instead be sure to try to make your loved one feel and know he or she is safe. Remember, your loved one cannot help this condition and it is important that he or she knows you are there for him or her.
2. Research and strive to use strategies to help minimize the impact of dementia on your loved one. From the start you can help your loved one establish routines so that tasks can become a habit and less easy to forget. Encourage your loved one to write down important events and information in a notebook that can be carried around so that he or she has key information should a memory lapse occur. Always be flexible and patient. People with dementia are often no longer grounded in reality, and reminding them of reality may not be helpful or compassionate.
3. As the primary caregiver you should reach out to family, friends and others for help in caring for your loved one. The primary caregiver will have the responsibility of making appointments, preparing meals, managing medicines, assisting in bathing and a myriad of other things for your loved one. You are very important to your loved one, so you must remember to also take care of yourself. Reach out to family and friends for help. Be sure to schedule one or two outings a week for yourself.
4. Most importantly, we highly recommend enlisting the help of a California estate planning attorney for your loved one. Even though you are busy with responsibilities it can be important to enlist the help of a California estate planning attorney. She can discuss elder care concerns and estate planning issues with your loved one while he or she is still able to do so. If an estate plan is not put in place and your loved one’s suffering from memory loss becomes so impaired that he or she is unable to make sound decisions, estate planning and long-term care may be much more difficult to establish.
We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. Our office is here for you and your loved ones. Please call us to schedule a meeting time.