What You Need to Know About Caring for Aging Parents With Mental Illness

Around 50 million people worldwide have dementia.

Elderly people with dementia or other mental conditions can be difficult to deal with without professional help. If one of your parents has developed dementia, it can leave you in an unenviable position.

However, there are certain steps that are available to you if you do end up having to deal with this.

Read on to learn more about caring for aging parents with mental illness.

Caring for Aging Parents With Mental Illness

Dealing with aging parents can be a challenging task, especially when a condition like dementia is in the picture. 

You don’t want to leave them short of proper care or affection. However, you can’t put your life on hold to offer them care around the clock. Even if you do, unless you’re a medical professional you won’t be equipped to care for them if some sort of disaster strikes.

The following are some of the steps you should take in this situation. Different steps may apply to you depending on exactly how difficult your parent is. 

Regular Medical Appointments

Medical attention is hugely important for anyone whose mental faculties are beginning to fail. You’ll need to determine how quickly their cognitive ability is declining and what their healthcare needs will be moving forward.

Many people with dementia can retain a good quality of life in the early stages of their condition. To achieve this, it is imperative that they are monitored closely so that their needs can be addressed.


There are a few medications that a person with a degenerative mental condition should consider going on. The two main ones are cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine (brand name Namenda).

It is important to note that neither of these interventions can reverse or cure dementia. However, they may provide relief from some symptoms, such as a reduction in anxiety and an improved ability to focus.

Care Facility

No one wants to have to send one of their parents to a care home. Unfortunately, in more advanced cases there may not be any other option.

Someone with severe dementia will be unable to do even the simplest things for themselves. Dressing, feeding, and bathing all require close assistance from someone else.

In reality, therefore, unless you are willing to take on the responsibility of being a full-time carer, you will need to send a parent with advanced dementia to a care facility.

With careful management of symptoms in the earlier phases of dementia, however, you will be able to delay this for longer. This will give you the opportunity to spend more quality time with your parent while they can still enjoy it.

Giving Your Parents the Care They Deserve

Caring for aging parents with mental illness is an incredibly challenging task. In order to face up to it properly, you’ll need to be armed with the right knowledge.

The advice here should be of help to anyone who finds themselves in this situation.

If you found that this article answered your questions, look elsewhere on our site for more useful information on a range of different topics.

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