This is a difficult area to manage as there are many competing
relationships to deal with. Your devotion and support for the
individual with dementia, and a striving for understanding of this
person's changing needs, are primary interests. In addition, there is
much care and concern for children still living in the home who may
find this whole experience (i.e., watching a parent slip into
dementia) confusing and frightening. At times these interests are at
direct odds, especially if scary symptoms such as agitation and
confusion become apparent.
What you can do:
- Safety is always a priority, and must trump all other decisions.
Watch for signs of escalating anger/agitation directed at the
children. If you feel that the symptoms of agitation are becoming
worse, seek out a medical professional such as your primary care
physician or social worker.
- In addition to the household calendar, post a schedule for the
day with important items highlighted.
sample daily schedule.
- Be especially mindful of the amount of driving the individual
with dementia is doing, and if you are concerned about the safety of
your family and others, consider a special driver evaluation.
Here is a link to one such program in Maine. To find a program
in your area look to independent living organizations, facilities
that provide rehabilitation services, or check with your primary or
specialty health care provider (family care physician or
- Be careful of the care giving demands placed on the individual
with dementia, again for safety reasons. While a parent with
dementia can appear to be functioning fine, too much responsibility
and stress can exacerbate (increase) the dementia symptoms.
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