5 Great Ways to Spend Time with Parents with Dementia or Alzheimers

Visit daily, even if just for a short time. 
It’s natural to feel lost, overwhelmed and even a sense of despair when your loved one is first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. The signs may have been there but a diagnosis confirms it and makes it final. It is the start of a very difficult and long journey. Alongside your current responsibilities which may involve working and raising children, you will now need to find the time to support your parents.

Many people become the main carer for their parents and there are a myriad of decisions which need to be made to ensure your parent receives the best care possible. The following guidelines will ensure you are able to spend time with your parents while you can.

Daily visits & activities

It is essential to spend time with your parents every day. Even a simple phone call will make them happy. Your parents didn’t leave you when you were young so don’t leave them when they need your company, companionship, comfort and caring attitude.

Unfortunately both Alzheimers and dementia are degenerative and your parent will slowly start to forget a wide range of things. The frustration they will feel will make it more likely that develop irrational behavior patterns and memory loss. 

The R.O.S. Legacy System
There is a new activity therapy specifically designed for those with Alheimers, dementia or Parkinsons. It is a modular gaming and activity system that gives the user multiple options for entertainment. Activity boards are easily switched in and out, and can be used in a chair, at a table, or in bed. Learn more.

The simplistic design of the R.O.S. Legacy System allows users with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, stroke, ALS, and a host of other issues, to enjoy themselves again with activities that actually interest them.

At this point you may need to consider professional care to assist you as most people will be unable to be a full time carer themselves. Whichever option you choose you need to see your loved one every day, ideally for a minimum of half an hour. This time should be just for bonding and enjoying each other’s company.

A stick to the wall photo memory sheet from WeMontage
is great for those with Alzheimers or Dementia.
Old family photos resonate 

These are an excellent aid to calming and keeping a smile on the face of your aging parent. Allowing them to visualize their life, even if they can’t remember the details will keep them happy. It can be useful to put names and dates under each picture. Leave the photo album with your parent, and thus they’ll look at it each time they feel disconnected to the world. Consider making a book online with a service like Shutterfly or a large custom picture montage that you can easily stick to a wall in their room without any adhesive. 

Watch this video: WeMontage Brightens Up Assisted Living With Removable Photo Wallpaper

Family meetings

You should arrange a regular monthly meeting for all the family. It can be at your parent’s home or somewhere neutral. By having a planned commitment in a diary everyone will make the effort to see their parents. If these meetings are not arranged it is very easy for time to pass and no visit to happen. You should never underestimate the importance of these meetings to your parents; even with limited memory the experience will be a positive one.

Develop routines

In order to ensure you always have the time to see your parents it is essential to set up routines. You need a routine to ensure you have a dedicated timeslot to visit your parents. This information can even be recorded at your parent’s house so that they will know when to expect you. This will help them get through each day and will ensure that when you visit your time is spent together and not completing chores.

Ask for assistance

It is essential to talk about the various options in the early stages of the disease. This will allow your parents to have an input into their future and for you to feel comfortable that you are doing the right thing. It is possible to have assistance in their home or for them to move into an assisted living arrangement. You should never attempt to undertake all the caring by yourself, the professional carer’s are there to help your parents and give you a much needed break.

Your time with your parents should be as enjoyable as possible. The key to this is communication. As the disease progresses you will need to be patient and communicate in simple words, speaking a little slower will help. You should try to avoid repeating a phrase more than twice, if they do not understand then try saying it a different way. Most importantly you should never speak to your parent patronizingly. The disease is not their fault and they are as frustrated as you are.

Utilizing any help available will ensure you have quality time and retain happy memories of the final stages of their life. It won’t be easy to understand a loved one fighting dementia, but as long as you are patient nice things can happen. You parent will start remembering things, and even if he will never be like before, at least you can enjoy those happy moments, as least for a couple of minutes. It is an opportunity you can’t afford to waste.

By Edward Francis and Foresthc.com

Further Reading: 

Money-Saving Tips for Caregivers of Alzheimer's Patients
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Anonymous said...

I really like the WeMontage wall picture.

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