When Your Loved Ones Begin To Lose Their Memories
As our parents age, we are sometimes confronted by the loss of our parent’s memories. This can be difficult to process and many times requires the adult child to take a more caregiving role in their parent’s life.
Here at Ashford Assisted Living and Memory Care, we have helped many families with this transition and have advice for those who need help coping with their parent’s memory loss.
Physically Coping With Parent’s Memory Impairment
Whether you chose to take care of your parent personally or help them transition to an assisted living center, there is a certain amount of physical coping you go through as you deal with seeing your parent lose their memories.
- Be honest – Denying and hiding the memory loss from your parent can feel like you are kind, but instead you are delaying the realization and possibly endangering your parent. If your parent is no longer capable of handling certain tasks, it is up to you to tell them and intervene.
- Take control – If your parent is becoming unable to care for themselves on a day-to-day basis, such as forgetting vital medications, it is time for you to take over their care. From being there yourself, hiring a caregiver or moving them to assisted living, you need to be the person to safely help them cope with their loss.
Emotional Aspects Of Coping With Memory Loss
The emotional aspect of parental memory loss is arguably the hardest to deal with. While there is action you can take with the physical side effects of memory loss, emotions are more difficult to control. We recommend:
- Talk to someone – Reaching out emotionally is key to processing and accepting your parent’s memory loss. As you allow yourself to talk about your feelings of bereavement, you will feel less isolated by a problem you cannot fix.
- Find the good – Even as your parent loses memories, there are still things they can do and remember. As your parent is likely frightened by their diminishing capabilities, if you acknowledge the things they can still do, you can strengthen them and yourself.
- Defuse anger – Many people respond to their increasing memory loss with anger. Don’t lash back with anger and argue, this will only exacerbate the problem. You can defuse the anger by being understanding of their feelings and staying calm.
- Allow your grief – You are allowed to grieve, and no one can tell you how long you can grieve. Everyone experiences loss differently, so allow yourself to deal with your grief for as long as it takes you to feel more whole.
Dealing with a parent’s memory loss is hard on both parents and children, but it is possible to cope with the effects and find peace.