Supporting Your Loved One Through Cognitive Decline

An estimated 5.8 million Americans who are over the age of 65 are living with some form of dementia or memory loss, and that number is expected to increase. It can be hard to see your loved one’s cognitive abilities decline, and it can also make caregiving more taxing. How can you support your loved one without burning yourself out?

Work with the Right Care Team

No family is an island and working with an experienced care team will make sure that your loved one has a high quality of life and is able to delay further decline as much as possible. Senior Care Lifestyles can help you find compassionate professionals that will help with all aspects of your loved one’s care. Additionally, the senior’s doctor should review their current medications to determine if adding a Alzheimer’s medication might be appropriate. When every part of the care team is coordinated and working together, it’s easy to reap the benefits. 

Managing Challenging Behaviors

Those with cognitive impairments often engage in behaviors that can be frustrating and upsetting for caregivers and family members. Sometimes this looks like fixation on an activity and repeating it multiple times. In other cases, it could look like aggression or paranoia. Some adults with dementia experience these issues early in the progression, while others will slowly develop them over time. 

It’s important to remember that there will naturally be ups and downs and maintaining patience and a sense of humor can help. You can also practice techniques to manage these behaviors, like keeping your questions simple and only asking one at a time. Breaking complex tasks down into components can also help. For example, instead of saying, “Please sit down and have a snack,” you could say, “Please sit down. Here’s a snack for you to eat.” Chaining multiple tasks together can lead to more confusion. 

Determine Your Loved One’s Needs and Reassess Over Time

Because cognitive decline can be gradual, it’s important to determine their current baseline needs and be prepared to reassess them annually (or more often). Some of the types of care that you should consider assessing your loved one for include:

  • Personal care, like eating, getting dressed, going to the bathroom, and grooming
  • Household care, like cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, and cooking
  • Health care, like medication management or physical therapy
  • Emotional care, like conversation or companionship
  • Supervision, like care in the home to prevent wandering or accidents

We can help find you the right solution for your situation. 

Prepare for the Future with Senior Care Lifestyles

Senior Care Lifestyles specializes in connecting seniors with the right in-home care, assisted living, or senior living community to meet their needs. We have helped hundreds of clients and treat each senior as a valued member of our own family deserving our personalized attention, compassion and respect.

For help, or questions please call us at 410-977-3718 or send a message through our website

Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Owner, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA®) & Assisted Living Placement Specialist - Senior Care Lifestyles, LLC provides compassion, guidance and recommendations to families faced with transitioning a loved one into Assisted Living, Dementia/Alzheimer’s Care, Skilled Nursing, Temporary Respite Care or a Continuous Care Retirement Community. Senior Care Lifestyles was founded in 2014 by Deborah Bakalich, a Certified Senior Advisor and graduate from both Towson University and Stevenson. Senior Care Lifestyles is uniquely positioned as a local (not National) Maryland based placement firm familiar with Maryland senior care facilities and in-state financial assistance programs for senior residents. They meet personally with each family to understand the seniors care needs including medical, personal lifestyle preferences, budget, religion and desired geographic location. They pride themselves in locally guiding and educating families through the entire maze of senior living options available and will schedule tours on behalf of the family and accompany the family on visits of communities. They are passionate and committed to finding the perfect match to call home and stays with the family throughout the entire process, every step of the way, until a decision is made, and the senior is safely moved into their new home. Senior Care Lifestyles can also provide the family with trustworthy, vetted, and reputable experts to assist with the transition for organizing, packing, moving, sale of real estate, estate planning, legal services, and determining eligibility for State, Federal and Veterans Benefits to assist with care costs. Deborah is a proud member of the Maryland Senior Resource Network (MSRN) where she has served as Vice President on the Board of Directors. She is a member of the Alzheimer’s Organization, Society of Certified Senior Advisors, Mid-Atlantic Network Group and a member of the Business Opportunity Network (BON).

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