When a senior parent or sibling must care for their adult child or sibling diagnosed with a young onset dementia, their world is literally turned upside down. Senior parents caring for their adult child may fall back into the old roles of responsibility of parent to child. Along with dealing with their own aging health concerns, limited income, and the general sadness of their child’s illness, the senior parent’s life often becomes defined by their child’s dementia. On the other hand, a sibling has all the responsibilities of their own family, career, and life goals, which is now interrupted with the time and financial demands required to care for their sibling.
Grandchildren will need additional care and more attention as well. This role may be more welcomed by the senior parent, although requires a level of energy and commitment that may be compromised. Burnout is a significant risk for caregivers, especially if they are older than the one affected by the disease.
All in all, this is a tough caregiving dynamic to navigate. YES! offers support for parents and siblings who are managing the care for their loved one diagnosed with a young onset dementia.