August 14, 2018 at 4:35 am · Senior Living Georgia · Comments Off on How to Talk to a Parent With Dementia About Their Disorder
You see no other way around it. The signs of dementia have become too difficult to ignore, and you’ve decided that it’s time to have “the talk” with your loved one.
Many people don’t know how to talk to a parent with dementia about their disorder, so they do everything to avoid it. In fact, nearly two in five Americans wouldn’t say anything to a family member until their symptoms progressed.
But the longer you wait, the more difficult the conversation will be. Not to mention, your gut feeling could be wrong.
The only way to find out the truth is to get a diagnosis from a professional.
Do you feel nervous about broaching the topic of dementia with your loved one? Read on to learn everything you need to know about bringing this issue up to your parent.
The Best Practices for Communicating with Your Loved One
A wandering mind and scattered thoughts are common in people suffering from cognitive decline. This makes it a challenge to communicate with them.
For a smoother conversation with a parent who has dementia, make good use of the following tips.
Prepare for the Right Moment
Practice what you want to say ahead of time, particularly how you’ll introduce the conversation. Feel free to write notes if necessary.
Also, choose the right time to go through with it. If you’re spending the day with your parent and you see an opening to bring up the topic, don’t be afraid to do so. Use your gut instinct to determine if the vibe is right.
Look for a Quiet Place
Before you do anything else, find a spot where there are little to no distractions. This way, your parent can devote all their attention to staying engaged in the conversation between you two.
Be Warm and Loving
While talking to your parent, try to smile whenever possible. Use a calm, relaxed tone of voice while also maintaining eye contact, and hold their hand to comfort them as well.
Inform your parent that you’re willing to go to the doctor with them and provide support.
Avoid Getting Impatient
The biggest key to talking to a parent with dementia is patience. It’s not hard to become frustrated, but you need to fight the urge to show it. Never react angrily, and allow plenty of time for your loved one to think everything through.
Slow down and Stick to the Point
Be sure to focus on one topic at a time, and don’t change topics too quickly. Make the conversation easy for them to follow while keeping it concise.
Stay Persistent in Your Efforts
It’s not uncommon for parents to try to avoid the topic of dementia at all costs. Your first attempt may be unsuccessful, but you shouldn’t stop there. If they act overly defensive, wait a few days and give it another try.
Keep in mind that someone else in your family circle may be better suited than you to have this chat. If you have any siblings, close relatives, or friends who are up to the task, encourage them to speak to your parent too.
Final Thoughts on How to Talk to a Parent with Dementia
Now that you have an understanding of how to talk to a parent with dementia, it’s time to think about what steps you’ll take after the diagnosis.
You need to put together a comprehensive plan for the future. One of the biggest benefits of getting a diagnosis early is that your parent can provide input on what they would prefer.
Is a personal care home the best option for your loved one? Schedule a tour with us and visit out our community to find out if it’s a good fit for your parent’s needs.