Dementia is a degenerative disease that limits an individual’s ability to solve problems, think critically or use language effectively. As the condition progresses, the loss of cognitive function increases to the extent that an individual is generally incapable of maintaining self-care.
When making plans for their care or discussing the future, you may wonder where to set the limits on their involvement and decision-making.
Establish the level of decline
Before you decide to exclude your loved one from any decision-making, assess the cognitive abilities that are still present. Since dementia is a progressive disease, it is essential to make big decisions concerning their care early on. This would include creating a will, determining what happens to their property, making arrangements for living in a facility or deciding on any healthcare directives. When done early on, you can often make these decisions in conjunction with the input of your loved one.
Provide options for decision-making
People with symptoms of dementia have the ability to make some decisions, even as the condition worsens. Provide options or choices when you include the individual in a discussion to offer a sense of independence and involvement without compromising their care.
Lend support during decision-making
Be supportive as your loved one makes a decision, even if you disagree with them. Always check that the individual understands the decision and what they are doing.
Supporting your loved one through dementia will help them navigate the changes it brings. Remember to provide as much independence as possible without jeopardizing their health and safety.