Once upon a time, your 80-year-old mother was zestful - working in the garden, seeing her friends, even going out to the movies with a new boyfriend. But now, senile dementia has begun to take her away from you and your family.
This is probably one of the most stressful challenges of your life. Perhaps you were looking forward to your retirement; perhaps you've embarked on a new career. But now, all that has changed. You are now a caregiver.
Don't buy cheap antabuse this on by yourself. The entire family can and should take part. If you are the primary caregiver, they should give you support emotionally and physically.
Everyone is affected by this change. The family member is no longer the same; the roles have shifted.
Here are tips for involving the entire family.
- Involve your parent in decision making.
- Take a look at your feelings honestly and directly. Talk with your family and your parent about how everyone feels.
- Have regular family meetings to discuss your parent's condition and how family members can pitch in. Discuss long- and short-term plans. Also use this time to talk about finances, housing and legal issues.
- Express appreciation to family members who help, which will make them feel valued and involved.
- Avoid arguing when talking about your parent and stick with the facts.
- Be honest with your children and answer their questions.
- Allow children to be a part of caregiving. Let them and their grandparent read a book or prepare a healthy snack together.
- List what tasks you need to be done and ask family members to sign up for them - either to do regularly or as needed. Family members can rotate these tasks, which might involve picking up groceries or cutting the grass.
- Develop back-up plans, like getting your parent to the doctor or having a family member step in every so often to give you a much-needed break. Have family members take turns doing this.
- Ask family members to provide meals whenever they can.
- Involve family members who live far away by having them pay bills, talk with doctors, do research or even just call regularly.