Continuing to make their own decisions is very important for your aging parent even as they get older. Losing their sense of independence can be detrimental to their mental and emotional health, and can actually have a negative effect on their cognitive functioning and memory. For a senior who is already living with memory loss, this is particularly important. Making these decisions, however, can be difficult and even frustrating. Helping your parent make them effectively can streamline their daily life, boost their mental and emotional health, and even support better cognitive functioning and memory.
Use these tips to help your senior with memory loss make decisions in their daily life:
- Present decisions when they are in a good mood and secure, rather than when they are hungry, tired, frustrated, or anxious.
- Avoid open-ended decisions, and instead present options so your parent is able to select the one that is most appealing to them rather than having to come up with the decision themselves.
- Give your senior plenty of time to make their decision. They may take longer to process the question and the options than it would for you, and rushing them will frustrate and upset them. Give them the options and give them the time to think them through and make the decision without trying to push them.
- Have them make decisions even if you know what they are going to say. For example, if your parent eats the same thing for breakfast every day, still give them the option to choose between that and something else. Even if they always choose the same thing, they will have the sense of control of making the decision.
If your aging parent has begun to experience memory loss, now is the time to make meaningful adjustments to your care routine. These adjustments should be aimed at preserving their independence as much as possible, while also promoting health, safety, and well-being as they age in place. The customized services of an elderly home care services provider are specifically designed to help your parent cope with their health challenges, modify daily tasks to work with limitations, and fulfill needs in the ways that are right for your parent. While they are dealing with memory loss, this care provider can help them to maintain a daily schedule, stay compliant with medications and other reminders, and stay engaged in the world around them for better quality of life throughout their later years. As their family caregiver, this can give you confidence knowing your parent is in good hands both when you are with them, and when you are not.