Often when a loved one develops dementia, and becomes in need of assisted living in Red Deer, the focus is on the impact on the loved one. However, the impacts of dementia are far reaching, and there are many ways that dementia can impact families, such as:

  • Strong Emotional impacts
  • Lack of Help
  • Lack of Understanding

Strong Emotional Impacts

The most common emotions that dementia can bring out in family are feelings of guilt, grief and anger. Guilt may be brought on from feeling helpless to help your loved one, or from past behaviour or history. Families may also feel a sense of guilt of putting the loved on in a dementia care home. Anger can emerge from a feeling of frustration, or even annoyance. You may also feel grief at the loss of the person that you knew, as the dementia takes over.

Lack of Help

Another impact on families of dementia is the stress and problems that arise from dealing with it. Many families may feel that there is a lack of help and support, and not be able to handle the stressful situation. However, outside of assisted living, there are other support services available, such as the Alzheimer Society of B.C. Often this impact can be mitigated through education and exposure to what resources and help are available for families.

Lack of Understanding

Perhaps the biggest impact on families is the lack of understanding, especially in younger children. Witnessing the change in functioning with a person with dementia, especially a loved one, can be traumatic and difficult to process. Children may not understand what is happening, and have difficulty comprehending the change in their loved family member. Reassure children that everything is ok, and you may need to bring in counsellors or other professionals to help with coping.

Dementia is a terrible disease, and affects not only the victim, but also the family and friends. Recognizing some of the impacts that this disease has on the family can help to make the situation easier to manage. Remember to stay together as a family, and support each other through this difficult time.