All my sister-in-law, Joy! Hers is real-life, hard-won knowledge as the sole caretaker of a mother with severe dementia. Glad to hear that some of the suggestions are helpful, and may be adapted by others.
All good advice, Susan. I have not personally dealt with a parent or loved one affected by dementia, but it is certainly a challange for friends and colleagues. I like your idea of looking and listening for simple changes first -- driving habits, losing items, etc. When do you think an adult child should seek an expert opinion, if they suspect cognitive deficits?
Kate, I have added Norma's suggestions for caregivers to my post. I was most struck by the need to CARE for the caregivers. These needs may be related to mental health (therapists, social workers could donate time), medical (caregivers ignore their own health concerns), financial (teach caregivers how to access financial aid/subsidies, or professional (legal resources to support caregivers). I didn't realize that - in serving the needs of seniors with dementia - the needs of caregivers are so often overlooked. Even as a family member, I did not realize the array of needs Norma faced in caring for her mother (my former mother-in-law).