Choosing Assisted Living For A Parent With Dementia

Numerous people have been fortunate to have loving parents who cared for their wellbeing, whilst growing up.  What happens when this role is reversed and the parent needs looking after?  Over 15 million people in the U.S care for their elderly parents each year, with half of that number having a parent who experiences some form of dementia.  What signs are an indication that it is time to seriously consider placing a parent in an assisted living environment?

 

  • The healthcare becomes too much for the caregiver to manage.
  • Home safety has become an issue with hazardous scenarios like: falling, leaving a stove on, and wandering away from the home and getting lost.
  • Planning the move ahead of time would be an ideal situation but for many this is not a reality.  If there is an opportunity to speak with a parent about the potential move to an assisted living home, this would help with the transition.  If the parent suffers from dementia, breaking the news about the move may be emotionally challenging as the parent may not fully understand.

Choosing Assisted Living For A Parent With Dementia

Consider the following steps in helping tell the news:

 

  1. If the parent is in the early stages of dementia and still comprehends, discuss after you have conducted all the assisted living research and be honest.
  2. The parent may listen more if the news comes from a professional like a doctor, nurse, or social worker.

 

HOW WILL THEY FEEL

For most of their lives, parents have been independent, so being told they are moving to an assisted living home may cause the following:

  • Feelings of abandonment
  • Upset
  • Fear
  • Lack of control

 

In order to calm their fears, research several care facilities.  Asking or researching the following questions, will ease stress and undeserved guilt to the caregiver:

 

  • Does the home have a special dementia unit?
  • Is it fully staffed seven days a week?
  • Are there medical personal on hand, and if so, how often are they there?
  • Are they Medicare certified and are all staff licensed?
  • Has the home had any lawsuits filed against it (google search)?
  • How large will their personal living space be is there a green area outside?
  • Are personal belongings and or furniture allowed for a home-like feel?
  • Is there an open door policy?
  • Are there planned activities and outings?
  • Will there be a set daily routine and what does it consist of?
  • What safety precautions are in place for dementia sufferers?
  • Is the location close enough for family and friends to visit?
  • Speak with an onsite financial advisor to discuss payment options.

 

ADJUSTMENT

It will take the parent time to adjust to their new environment, and during this period, the caregiver should consider the following steps:

  • Visit occasionally and for short amounts of time until the parent is settled in their new home.
  • Build a relationship with the staff.
  • Parents with dementia will often ask to go home, which can be very upsetting for both parties. Do not try to reason and explain the situation as this can cause agitation and upset for the parent. Try to reassure, comfort and if need be agree and distract.
  • Not only will the parent have to adjust, so will the care giver.

 

The decision to move a parent to an assisted living home is one of the hardest choices a person will make.  Do not feel guilty, instead be positive that an assisted living home may open more opportunities for them to socialize, be kept safe and provide medical assistance if required.  Read further on this subject and more at:  http://getthrive.com/

 

RESOURCES

 

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/going-hospital-tips-dementia-caregivershttps://www.alz.org/care/

http://naswil.org/news/chapter-news/featured/alzheimers-disease-related-dementias-social-works-role-in-helping-individuals-and-families/

https://www.dementiacarecentral.com/financial-assistance/

 

How To Have A Positive Parent-Child Relationship (Even When You Feel It’s the Biggest Challenge)

Parenting. Is there a right or wrong way to do it?  Billions throughout the world are parents. Regardless,  all parents have different mindsets on how to do their job. The parent-child relationship is a delicate, yet powerfully significant entity in life.

Clearly, making it a positive force is a challenge. Nonetheless, it’s something that is definitely attainable.

Notably, there are many social and psychological reports. They include explaining the impact of family demographics. Next, these include cultural and economic influences.  Additionally, there are plenty of written guidelines, all which aim to help to produce the “model child.”

Get Your Parent-Child Relationship Philosophy Straight

Realistically, there will be dramas.  And yes, children will answer back. Kids will also be non-compliant. So, how do parents stay grounded and consistent when faced with tough challenges? 

Ask yourself this question:  What makes the closest to an ideal parent?

All the while, parenting is accomplished in many different ways, yet, the answers are roughly the same:

  • Unconditional love
  • A positive role model
  • Advisor
  • Teaching children to be independent

Where Things Can Go Awry

In today’s society, a majority of parents forget the foundations. Ironically, many adults veer off this well-laid path by complicating the way they parent. Unfortunately, things like this may happen:

  • Reduced supervision in the home environment
  • Helicopter parents who hover over the child and rescue them from negative situations
  • Drill sergeant parents who shout instructions and control

Even With the Best Intentions…

Most parents come from the good place of love. Oftentimes, however, their personal traits and insecurities dictate how these influence their child’s behavior.  So then, how does one ensure a positive parent-child relationship while not letting personal issues affect on the optimism of the relationship?

Here are a couple of suggestions to boost the parent-child relationship:

  • Let the child fail. As frightening as this statement sounds, through failure, the child will learn. For example, guide and advise, but do not control.  Sometimes, children need to be able to make their own decisions. This is a skill imperative to their future.  In addition, this will help your relationship and fortify independence.

  • An example of this is homework. Helping (or doing)  the questions, or constantly reminding them to complete the task, may not be helpful. Finally, it may result in them not suffering a natural consequence. Overall, nothing here will be learned by the child. Not academics. Not consequences.

 

  • Quality time. Switch off the phones, TV, computers, and sit down to talk.  Dinner time is perfect. Obviously it’s not always possible because of activities and jobs.  Most importantly, then, carve out at least 15 minutes a day to have worthy conversation.  It doesn’t have to be about the meaning of life.  But, it could be as simple as asking how the day went. Or, it could even be sharing a joke.  All of these conversations open up lines of communication.  Children need reassurance that parents are always there to talk to. No matter how hectic life can get.

Have Rules and Set Boundaries

Starting from infancy, the parents set the rules. “Don’t touch that, it’s too hot.” “Don’t hit your brother!” “Don’t draw on the walls,” etc.  The list is endless. However, actions following broken rules have a huge validity on the parent-child relationship.

What set of consequences are in place? And, are they adhered to?  If there is threat of action due to a broken rule, correction must follow.  If not, children feel they can break rules again. Unfortunately, this can also lead to insecurities due to lack of boundaries.

Structure as a Necessity

Noteworthy, humans need structure and rules to flourish and feel secure. Numerous studies have shown this to be true. Structure can make interactions with children concrete.  Success in rule-making for the parent-child relationship follows these simple steps:

  • Set simple rules everyone understands.
  • Be consistent and don’t back down.
  • Don’t feel guilty. Most importantly, these rules are in place to ensure children’s safety.
  • Teach respect, and in turn, empathy.

Society as a Factor

Modern day society can be considered complex. For one, it may have us clambering to the top of a competitive pile. Also, it can be considered egocentric. “Shoot your neighbor, get out of my way, I’m first.”

In order to raise children as non-narcissistic little monsters, efforts may be better focused on education and character.

A Harvard study of 10,000 middle- and high-school students found that four out-of-five kids perceived that their parents valued achievement more than caring for others. That’s pretty sad.

Whether the students’ perception were accurate or not, the information is devastating. In the best of all worlds, parents should lead by example. We need to show compassion for others through our words and actions.

With communication, empathy, logic, rules and consistency, parents have the tools to raise their kids.  The child-rearing road may be full of potholes.  But, with a strong foundation, a good relationship will form and hopefully have longevity.  To read more about parent/child relationships, please check out www.GetThrive.com

 

Sources:

https://mcc.gse.harvard.edu/parenting-resources-raising-caring-ethical-children/cultivating-empathy

http://iahip.org/inside-out/issue-24-spring-1996/winnicott-and-parentinghttps://www.loveandlogic.com/about/bios/foster-cline

 

The Epidemic: Texting and Driving

How many accidents do we hear about that happen each day due to texting and driving? The answer is too many.

Did you know that 74 percent of people glance at their cell phone at one point or another while driving? We are all guilty of that from time to time.

Remember When Talking and Driving Was a Problem?

Interestingly, not even a decade ago, talking while driving was a huge problem. We failed at trying to solve that problem. Now we text while we drive, which is becoming an even bigger problem. Paying attention to our phones rather than the human next to us is an epidemic.

Where is the Logic?

The solution seems so simple. Avoiding text and driving means avoiding problems—such as accidents and speeding tickets. Texting while driving accidents have happened and involved motorcyclists, bicyclists, and even pedestrians.

If you are focusing on your phone, you can’t possibly be focusing on the road. Even though we think we are being safe, the truth is we are not. Multitasking while driving cannot happen. It is impossible. Many adults buckle their children in their car seats and then text while driving. Where is the logic in that?

Embracing Technology

AT&T is coming out with a new app that automatically shuts down to avoid users from texting and driving. In fact, many new apps are becoming available that turn off the ability to text while driving. We need to embrace that technology in order to become a safer society on the road and avoid serious and even life-threatening accidents that happen each day.

For more information on texting and driving and the dangers associated with it, or for other health related facts and tips, subscribe to Get Thrive at www.GetThrive.com.