When to Take the Driver’s Seat with Dementia Caregiving

When to Take the Driver’s Seat with Dementia Caregiving
Caring for someone with dementia as they lose independence is challenging, especially when the loved one is your parent. Parents are accustomed to guiding their children throughout their lives. When the roles are reversed, it is often difficult for both the patient and the caregiver. Knowing when to assist and when to lead can be complicated, and getting it wrong can serve as a trigger for a person living with dementia. It is important to pick your battles carefully in order to live peacefully.    People suffering from dementia can become aggressive and irritable fairly quickly. It is difficult to respect a person’s boundaries as they fight to hold on to their independence while also struggling through life. Mom often insists that she doesn’t need any assistance when I can see that, clearly, she does.  For instance, Mom prefers to move around by herself without her walker (as I lurk behind her clutching my pearls), and occasionally, she will try to have a seat before she reaches her chair. These are the moments when I must pounce and guide her to her final destination, often to her dismay along with a curt “I said I didn’t
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