It’s not uncommon for a senior who receives a dementia diagnosis to blame the symptoms on aging and write them off as nothing to worry about. Even when a dementia diagnosis confirms the nagging suspicions of family members, a senior may deny he or she has a problem by brushing off offered assistance with a simple “I’m fine” or even refusing to go to scheduled doctors’ appointments. Recognizing signs of dementia denial can help you start a productive conversation and encourage treatment.
Attributing Forgetfulness to Aging
Increasing instances of forgetting names or not remembering something is on the stove can be a sign something is wrong. Out of embarrassment or pride, some seniors either don’t say anything about such instances or brush them off as “senior moments” when someone brings them up.
Deflecting & Changing the Subject
A more subtle form of dementia denial is changing the subject when a friend or loved one expresses concern or suggests scheduling a doctor’s appointment. One way to counter deflection is to bring up the subject in a way that’s as nonconfrontational as possible while emphasizing sincere concern.
Becoming Increasingly Defensive
Seniors may become understandably defensive about the possibility of losing some of their independence. Family caregivers often notice increasing defensiveness or outright anger when they bring up the subject of memory problems with their loved ones. Your loved one may get frustrated or angry at him or herself when unable to perform certain tasks or after forgetting something important. These outbursts are often followed by excuses or blaming it on old age.
Refusing Help with Routine Tasks
Seniors who are in denial about dementia will often say they don’t need help with regular tasks or hygiene, even when they’re obviously having difficulty keeping up or managing these tasks on their own.
Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Edmonton seniors can depend on.
Insisting on Driving
People in the early stages of dementia might seem to drive well enough most of the time, but chances are they don’t have full awareness of their surroundings or the ability to react as fast as necessary. Your loved one may also become lost easily in familiar neighborhoods but insist on driving despite the danger.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly home care Edmonton, AB, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Some instances of dementia denial may be related to a condition known as anosognosia, a lack of awareness of impairment. Anosognosia, which is thought to be caused by chemical changes in the brain, is experienced by approximately 80 percent of seniors with Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia.
Questioning the Diagnosis
When your loved one receives a dementia diagnosis, he or she has typically gone through testing and a process of elimination to rule out other conditions. Despite this, your parent may question the diagnosis or even the doctor who made the diagnosis. This form of dementia denial can sometimes be countered with second and third opinions confirming the diagnosis.
Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, an elder care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at (780) 490-7337 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.