As your parent ages, he or she might begin to experience issues with memory. Although this might seem like a small issue at first, it can quickly grow to a bigger problem. If you suspect that your parent is suffering from cognitive impairment, here is what you need to know.
What Are the Signs?
Unless you are visiting your parent daily, recognizing whether or not he or she is suffering from cognitive impairment can be challenging. It is possible for your parent to have good and bad days when it comes to memory. As a result, it can take some work to find out if there is an issue.
Cognitive impairment can cause your parent to exhibit various signs, including difficulty in engaging in a conversation. For instance, your parent might shy away from using details, such as names and dates, while discussing a topic. Other signs can include:
If your parent exhibits any of these signs, talk to him or her about being screened. A screening can reveal whether or not there is cause for concern or if your parent's memory issues are normal for his or her age.
What If Your Parent Needs Help?
In the event that your parent's memory issues continue, you need to explore ways of keeping him or her safe. Cognitive impairment can be potentially dangerous. For instance, your parent could forget to unplug an iron and start a fire.
One option you have available is to talk to your parent about moving into an assisted living facility. In the facility, your parent still retains his or her independence while receiving the assistance needed to remain safe. For instance, if your parent has trouble remembering to take his or her high blood pressure medication, staff can ensure that it is taken daily and under the proper conditions.
In an assisted living facility, there are a host of other services that are available, including housekeeping, meal preparation, and planned activities. The staff can also ensure that your parent is getting the exercise that he or she needs. Keeping active can help improve your parent's cognitive functioning and overall health.
After your parent is screened, consult with the director of an assisted living facility to learn what other services can be provided to your parent.
Sometimes things don't work out as we have planned them to. Instead of being able to take care of your aging parent in your home for several years, it may prove to be more difficult than you first thought. I brought my mother to live with my family hoping to enjoy her final years with her, but it didn't work out well for any of us. I wasn't able to care for her the way that she deserved to be cared for. Our blog will provide you with information about making the decision to move your loved one into a nursing home.