It’s difficult watching parents or loved ones age. But if you’re wondering whether some behaviors aren’t related to aging but to specific conditions like Alzheimer’s or dementia, it can be even harder. Unfortunately, ignoring the situation won’t help. As uncomfortable as it may seem, a frank conversation is best for everyone. The sooner you understand the reality of your loved one’s condition, the sooner you and your loved one can make plans for the future. At Syncare Memory suites in Minnesota, we understand the challenge of this scenario. Here are our five tips for discussing dementia symptoms with a loved one.
It’s important to have this conversation soon after your suspicions arise. It may feel rushed, but reacting quickly gives your loved one the greatest chance of having a voice in what’s to come.
Take some time to plan how you’ll begin the conversation, and consider practicing what you’d like to say. It can be helpful to ask whether they’ve noticed specific changes in their own behavior, whether they’ve given any thought to long-term care planning, or whether they’d be open to hearing your thoughts about changes you’ve noticed.
Consider Who Should Be Involved
This conversation may be more effective if someone else is involved. If your loved one has a particularly close family member or friend, consider the value of their presence. Your loved one may feel more open to the conversation if they understand your concerns are shared with someone they trust.
Be Realistic about the Challenges of the Conversation
Discussing the possibility of Alzheimer’s or dementia isn’t an easy conversation, and you should recognize that your loved one may be defensive or even angry. If your loved one isn’t amenable to the discussion, follow their lead and plan to resume the conversation at another time. If your loved one refuses to discuss your concerns, consider asking a medical professional to step in.
This can be a highly charged conversation, and it’s normal for your loved one to feel frightened or overwhelmed. Let them know you’re here to offer support now and into the future. This kind of reassurance can go a long way.
A formal diagnosis gives you a direction, and involving your loved one at the earliest possible stage means giving them the opportunity to be involved in important decisions. It’s not easy, but it really is the best approach for everyone. For more information about seeking a diagnosis or specialized memory care for your loved one, contact Syncare Memory Suites today.