How Is Your Health?

Words You Should Know If A Parent Has Dementia

by Camila Davidson

If you are providing care for somebody who has dementia, there are a few words you need to know. These terms help you provide the best care for somebody with dementia as well as understand the level of care your loved one may need.


Accreditation is the formal acknowledgment that a facility meets high standards of care. Facilities that are accredited must meet specific standards.

Adult Day Care Centers

Adult day care centers help people with dementia and Alzheimer's participate in social activities with others. They provide a safe environment for people who may need a place to go while their caregivers are at work or school, for example.

Assisted Living Centers/Facilities

Assisted living is a residential facility in which your loved one has access to 24-hour assistance, including recreation, food, and necessary supervision. These centers provide help for many daily activities your loved one may not be able to do on their own.


Dementia is a term used to describe the many symptoms associated with memory decline as well as a decline in other types of skills, including cognition.

Functional Impairment

This term refers to the abilities and inabilities an individual has. For instance, your loved one may no longer be able to dress or shower themselves. They may need assistance with these tasks.

Home Health Aides

A home health aide is a non-medical healthcare professional who provides care for your loved one in their home. These aides may provide your parent with medication management, help with household tasks, and more.

Palliative Care

In some cases, people with dementia may be struggling with other illnesses. Palliative care provides some comfort for those dealing with this pain. You might also use "hospice care" to describe this.

Power of Attorney

If somebody has a power of attorney, they have established a written document that names another person to act on their behalf if they are unable to do so. This would allow somebody to place them in an assisted living facility, for instance.

Respite Care

Respite care provides temporary help, taking in the person who needs care so that the regular caregiver can have a break.

Dementia Can Be Confusing

It is very confusing to deal with dementia, especially in the early stages. If you suspect that a loved one has dementia, seeking professional help is a good idea. With an understanding of these terms, you will have a knowledgeable approach to choosing a facility and finding help.

For more information, contact a dementia care facility in your area.