As a parent with an autistic child, your care plate will already be pretty full. So, if you are also facing life with a parent who has been diagnosed with dementia, you may be wondering how you are going to cope and what you need to do. Take a big deep breath, because even though this will be a new challenge to navigate, there are plenty of options to help you avoid burnout and ensure everyone gets the right level of support.
Make Time for Yourself
It is never, ever selfish to take time for yourself when you need it. In fact, it is one of the most sensible decisions you could make. Recognizing when you are close to collapse is an essential part of self-care and finding balance in stressful, high-pressure situations. Juggling the care needs of an autistic child and a parent with dementia fits the bill, and you need protection in the middle of that as well.
Share the Care
When you can, don’t be afraid to share the caring responsibilities so that more people are a part of the team. This might be a sibling, partner, childcare facility, or a friend that you trust to take the lead for a few hours here and there.
Parenting Comes First
It is difficult to remember when you are in the thick of it, but parenting should always come first. This means that your relationship with your parent is important but not as high up on the list as the one with your child.
Research Top-Tier Care Facilities
Finding a care facility is not a failure, it is a strength. It means you understand that your parent needs something more than you can give them, and you want to make sure they have the best care available. Consider options like assisted living in Prescott and make sure that any place you look at has a great team, pleasant facilities, and a positive attitude towardslooking after their residents.
Be Stricter with Routines
The top thing you can do for yourself and your family is to become almost militant regarding the daily routine. Make sure everyone has a clear idea of where they need to be and how it is going to happen and prepare as much as you can for the hours ahead in advance.
Talk to People About the Situation
Find a support group or a good friend that you can talk about your situation with so that your mental health is looked after as well. Sometimes, a coffee and a vent with someone you trust is all it takes to reset a little and face what’s to come for the rest of the week.
Autism is an intense condition for any parent to navigate with their child, and dementia can be equally as demanding. Dealing with the two concurrently is a fast track to burnout if you don’t take care of yourself in the middle of it all. You can be there for your child and your parent and still nurture your own needs too, and they will be all the better for it.