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10 Tips for Caring for a Spouse or Parent who has Become a Child.
It has been over three years since my grandma passed away from dementia/ Alzheimer’s on Thanksgiving Day, 2014. She was a sweet lady who almost overnight went from being independent to dependent upon my grandpa and my parents. Unfortunately, this is not an unusual situation in America today. Many of us know loved ones who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s. Intelligent Investing’s first core value is Compassion, and we believe we must have compassion on our loved ones. It is our duty and privilege to help those in need--especially family. Click To Tweet
My grandpa took care of her until he no longer was able. His health then declined after her passing, and my parents became his caretaker for the remainder of his life. He was promoted to heaven to join my grandma in March of this year. I observed the emotional toll and stress on my parents as they sometimes didn’t know what to do or who to turn to for help during their final years. I know this is a common theme for many families across America.
As of 2009, the value of the services family caregivers provide for “free,” when caring for older adults, is estimated to be $375 billion a year. That is almost twice as much as is actually spent on homecare and nursing home services combined ($158 billion). More than 65 million people, 29% of the U.S. population, provide care for a chronically ill, disabled, or aged family member or friend during any given year and spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care for their loved one.
After reading several books and observing my parents in their reversing roles, I wanted to provide some helpful tips for anyone caring for a spouse or parent who has become a child.
10 Tips for Caring for a Spouse or Parent who has Become a Child
- Don’t argue, but rather change the subject.
- Don’t try to shame or lecture your parent into doing what is best for them. Distract, divert attention, and do what has to be done.
- Avoid the word remember. Instead reminisce with your loved one, remind and reassure.
- Physical touch is important.
- Monitor medications!
- Get rid of clutter. Simplify even family photos.
- Make spiritual input a priority. Worship together, read Scripture, sing. Even if you can’t carry a tune, the words of those songs can still lift a heart.
- Take care of yourself. You can only do so much. There is no shame in asking for help.
- Pray–for strength and patience, but also prayers of thankfulness for giving you the opportunity to bless them.
- Celebrate everything you can.
If there is anything we can do to help your family, please let us know.
To learn more, I recommend picking up the book, “When Your Parent Becomes Your Child” by Ken Abraham.