Questions To Ask When Your Parent Is Diagnosed With Dementia

A diagnosis of dementia is difficult to accept, but it is a diagnosis that requires careful planning. If your parent has been diagnosed with dementia, you are going to want to start planning for his or her care immediately. The earlier care is arranged, the easier it will be for your loved one – and you – to transition more smoothly as the illness progresses.

Here are some questions to consider when planning for your ailing parent's dementia care.

How will he or she be cared for?

Though you may be under the assumption that you will be able to provide the care that your parent will need, as the illness progresses, it will become exceedingly more difficult for you to meet his or her needs. Providing dementia care is a very large commitment and it can become all-encompassing.

Care for your parent now, while he or she is still lucid; however, make preparations for when he or she will require around-the-clock supervision and assistance. Whether it's making arrangements with an assisted living facility that specializes in dementia care, or arranging for in-home nursing care from a provider who specializes in caring for dementia patients, having plans now for what will happen down the road is in your parent's best interest.

Who will become the advocate and decision maker?

Someone will need to become your parent's advocate and decision maker as he or she progresses down the path of dementia. The person who will fulfill this role needs to have your parent's best interests at heart, yet also needs to be level-headed enough to know when important, albeit sometimes unnerving, decisions need to be made. If you have siblings, discuss this together and consider meeting with an elder law attorney for advice and assistance.

How will you handle the progression of the illness?

It is very important to understand that your parent will eventually have difficulty making decisions, communicating, eating and making sense of reality. As the illness progresses, you may find yourself getting frustrated, sad and helpless. It is difficult to watch someone who has cared for you your entire life suddenly acting like a child; so to speak. The aforementioned emotions are normal and natural. Understanding how to deal with these emotions before your parent's illness progresses to this point is important for you and for your parent. Arranging to receive guidance and support for yourself with a counselor is advisable as a counselor can help you cope with these changes and emotions.

If your parent is diagnosed with dementia, planning is the best thing that you can do for him or her – and yourself. Talk to a care provider like Professional Nurses Registry for more information.