Contrary to popular opinion, confusion in an elderly adult is not a natural part of healthy aging. Confusion can be caused by many factors, ranging from medication mismanagement to mild strokes to underlying health conditions, which could be as serious as Alzheimer's Disease progression or dementia.
When it becomes a recurring problem, confusion can be subtle, so it's important to know what to watch out for and when to ask for help. It isn't always easy to know when to step in, especially if you have an aging parent who insists that he/she is fine. Part of this difficulty is that your parent may not realize that he/she is confused.
If your parent is showing signs of confusion, you should start trying to find help right away. We want you to learn about the more subtle signs of confusion you may not recognize right away.
The Subtle Signs Of Confusion
Small lapses in memory happen to all of us now and again. However, if your parent increasingly can't remember important things that he/she once remembered, it's likely a sign of dementia, rather than a short-term issue. The problem with confusion related to Alzheimer's or dementia is that it comes and goes. Early signs of it waver, sometimes quite dramatically.
This wavering is one reason why you need to know your parent well and be alert to subtle signs. In some cases, people suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia fabricate something that they think is real. This form of confusion could be related to transient ischemic attacks, or TIAs, a form of brain stroke.
You might notice that he/she acts like he/she is in a dreamlike state. If he/she currently drives, and you notice that he/she is increasingly confused, it's time for you to find alternate methods of transportation for him/her.
If your parent is exhibiting these behaviors, that doesn’t mean that he/she should be placed in a care facility. The worst side of health care has always been taking those with cognitive issues and alienating them in unfamiliar environments.
Helping Those With Confusion Feel More At Home
We know from experience here at Serenity Home Care that those experiencing confusion from cognitive disease feel more comfortable being at home. While a treatment facility sometimes seems like a convenient option to relieve the stress for all involved, it only causes the aging parent more anxiety when he/she is transferred to an unfamiliar location, and doesn't know what's happened to him/her favorite possessions.
Fortunately, in-home care is a popular and affordable option in caring for the aging population. Here at Serenity Home care, we allow your aging parent to get the care they need in the comfort of their own home. We want your parent to stay independent, but also to have the security of having someone there to help guide them through life’s everyday tasks, and offer support when he/she experiences a period of confusion.
When we work in your parent’s home, we secure as much of their independence as possible. This includes socialization services, constant companionship, and community outings while providing watchful oversight and supervision. Daily re-engagement with daily life can even help improve your parent's brain function.