How to Broach the Topic of Dementia Care with a Loved One.

It’s hard to decide how to convince anyone with dementia they need support as the progression of dementia symptoms is so often very gradual. Many of those with dementia in its early stages are aware that their memory is beginning to decline developing into episodes of confusion while simple chores begin to be problematic from day to day. In the event families do have to broach the subject of care in discussion with a loved one, they often have to step carefully. Coming to terms with Dementia might exacerbate some of the symptoms. If a conflict of opinion does occur about possible care provision, the topic can be deeply distressing for everybody concerned.

The following approaches could be helpful in situations where a family member is refusing care and support when they need it the most:  

1. Be as understanding as much as possible

Always remember to be compassionate as they may be encountering a variety of extreme emotions. With empathy you will be able to provide reassurance if they are frightened of change

2. Focus on open ended questioning

Develop an exchange of views through negotiation plus gauge questions which will explore rather than cut them out of decision making.

3. Patience

Allow them time to think things over from discussion and be prepared to explain where needed. Allow them their dignity by allowing the process of finding care take as long as is comfortable for them. For instance, take them to appointments so they can meet the carer in advance.

4. Offer choices that make sense

Do appropriate research about viable options so that the consequences of direction of travel is comprehensible to them. Be on hand to answer any questions they may have.