Pittsburgh / Allison Park Senior Care Blog

What to Know about Caring for a Senior with a Cognitive Impairment

By Erin Carll

Caregivers in Cranberry Township PA

Caring for someone with a cognitive impairment can cause a number of challenges for the caregivers. Depending on the severity of their condition, the elder may be able to continue living independently since they are able to do many tasks by themselves. Unfortunately, if the elder is not able to live independently due to their condition, they may require around-the-clock care. Here is some information on the condition to know before beginning your caregiving adventure.

  • Have a family meeting. Before even beginning your caregiving responsibilities, find out what is expected of you at a family meeting. Include siblings and other family members who would like to be involved, as well as the senior. Ask what the elder would like help with and what problems other family members have noticed with them. For example, have they been forgetting to take their medication? Are they not paying their bills? Knowing this information will help you better determine what you will need to do.
  • Set up an appointment with the doctor. If your loved one has not had a proper health diagnosis, now is the time that they have one. By getting a thorough medical examination, you and the elder will be able to better understand what condition the elder is suffering from in order to help you provide the best possible care.
  • Become educated. Once your parent has been diagnosed, it is time to do some homework. Research their condition and learn as much as possible, including symptoms, treatment options, and coping mechanisms. Keeping a notebook with all of this information will especially come in handy if you ever need to look up some information on the elder’s condition.
  • Formulate a care plan. With all of the information you now have on their condition, it is the perfect time to develop a care plan. This plan should include what the elder’s short- and long-term needs are, the tasks they are capable of doing and the ones you need to help with, and any challenges you should expect.
  • Take advantage of respite care. With respite care, professional caregivers will come to your rescue. They will provide the same quality of care that you would, allowing you to take a much needed break from your caregiving responsibilities.

Your elderly parent may seem like a completely different person because of their cognitive impairment. This includes their behavior and problem-solving abilities. With these tips, you will better be able to help your loved one maintain their independence and dignity.


If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring in-home caregivers in Cranberry Township, PA, please call the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (412) 201-0712.