When a parent is forgetful, it can be one of the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease. It can be a condition called mild cognitive impairment that can progress to dementia or never progress. Either way, it can be alarming to have your parent forgetting important things.
If you haven’t had your parent assessed for this form of dementia, you should. The earlier your family knows, the more time you have to get your mom or dad on medications that slow the symptoms.
Whether it is a mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s that’s causing the forgetfulness, you need to learn how to talk to your parent. One thing you cannot do is argue or shame. You need to learn how to rephrase.
Why Is Rephrasing So Important?
When an aging parent starts forgetting things that happened, it’s stressful and alarming. When you make a comment like “I already told you that” or “You said that yesterday,” your parent doesn’t remember it. Denial, fear, and frustration will all come out. By saying something happened, you’re rubbing their nose in their forgetfulness and it hurts.
How Do You Rephrase?
-Before you speak or respond to your parent, always stop and think it through. Your mom is telling you she needs to go grocery shopping, but you’ve just returned with her. Instead of telling her you just went shopping, start opening the cupboards, refrigerator, and freezer to inventory what she needs. Once she’s seen she has the things she thought she was out of, she’ll likely drop it.
-Your dad is nagging you to do the laundry for him. You’ve already done it, and his nagging is getting to you. Instead of snapping that it’s done, say you’ll go do it. It’s sometimes better to just agree and keep him from becoming agitated.
-A common situation family caregivers experience is the repetitive work call. You’re working and your mom calls you to tell you something. This is the third time of the day that she’s called. Before you react, you need to figure out if she’s calling frequently because she’s lonely. That’s quite likely the case.
-If she is lonely, you can resolve that issue with companionship services from an elderly care agency. With a caregiver stopping by each day, she’ll be busy and less likely to call you throughout the day.
Another problem family caregivers have is that they take on too much. Elderly care is one way to ensure you take breaks. If you have time to de-stress and relax, you’re less likely to be impatient and snappy with a forgetful parent. Call an elderly care agency to make arrangements to have caregivers help care for your parent.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care in Bel Air, CA, talk to the caring staff at Partners in Care today. Serving El Dorado, Nevada, Yuba, Sutter, Sacramento, Placer, Butte, Glenn, Yolo, & Colusa Counties! Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! (530) 268-7423
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