Watching a parent age and deteriorate over time is never easy. Why do people have to die? You’ve spent the majority of your life utterly connected and indebted to this human being just to watch them wither away, turn into something further from their actual selves you’ve ever seen, and by the time they reach the stage where the person they were isn’t even there anymore, you find yourself wishing for mercy and that the good Lord would just take them home already.
The circumstance above might be more accurately used to describe people who have had the misfortune of coming down with some sort of illness that transforms them into a shell of who they were. It’s a horrible reality that far too many people are faced with.
It’s not easy to just sit by and watch a loved one disappear. You find yourself wishing there was more you could do to help the situation, but the stress on you and the family is just too much to take most of the time.
Here are ways you can help your elderly parent suffering with an illness like alzheimer's or dementia enjoy the time they have left:
Even though it doesn’t seem like the person you’ve known all your life is still in their body, the reality of the matter is that they still are. Their inner being is still inside, but they’re trapped in a body that doesn’t function. It doesn’t mean they don’t sense your presence or enjoy the fact that you’re still around to be with them.
To help your loved one enjoy the time they have left, simply be there for them when you can. Hold their hand, give them hugs, talk to them about life. They may tell you the same story over and over, or they may not talk or even know that you’re their child or grandchild, but the soul and spirit inside the shell knows. If you humor them by sticking around, listening, and just being, they’ll die happier.
Meet Their Needs
In old age, along with the deterioration of the mind that comes with conditions like dementia or alzheimer's, there is also sever deterioration of the body. People forget how to function. They forget how to breathe. They can’t hold their bodily functions. It’s all a lot for a loved one to handle.
If you’re not in a place where you can meet the needs of your loved one, find somebody who can. A person who is taken care of and attended to in this time of their life has a better chance of moving on happy. If you take this route, know that they’re receiving the best care out there. Just don’t forget to visit.