Difficult Elder Care: Ridding Yourself of Denial When Caring for Seniors with Dementia

Elder Care in Henrietta NY

Elder Care in Henrietta NYFacing the reality that your aging loved one has Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia is something that you never want to encounter in your elder care journey. You do not want to think about your senior coping with the emotional, mental, cognitive, and physical changes that come along with this progressive disease, or the thought that you will at some point in the too-near future have to deal with the fact that he is not the same person that you have always known and loved, but a different version changed by the new challenges and limitations brought on by the condition. This resistance might cause you to dig in your heels and refuse to accept that your father may be going through the early stages of the disease, or even be approaching more moderate stages. While this can make you feel better by covering up your fear and allowing you to move forward in much the same ways that you already have been, it can also pose serious dangers to your loved one and the future of his health and wellbeing.

Some of the dangers of denial in your elder care journey when you are caring for a senior with dementia include:

• Delaying treatment. Not admitting to yourself that something may be wrong, or refusing to accept a diagnosis from your parent’s doctor, can lead you to delaying the treatment that he needs to help him manage his condition and protect his ability to live a high quality of life into the future. Getting treatment as soon as is available is critical to ensuring your parent can maintain his functioning as much as possible and can guard against more serious consequences of the disease.

• Dangerous mistreatment. The majority of seniors are taking several different medications at any given point. Denying that your loved one is dealing with dementia could make it so that you are not actively supervising their medication compliance or ensuring that their medication is not readily accessible to them. This could cause your parent to miss doses or overdose on his medications when he is not with you or your senior’s home care provider.

• Physical danger. When you do not accept that your parent is coping with challenges and limitations related to dementia, you are not putting yourself in a position to take steps to protect his physical safety and wellbeing. This may mean that he attempts to use kitchen gadgets or tools that are no longer safe for him, allows strangers into his home, or wanders out of the home and gets lost.

• Missing moments. The potential danger of denial in your care efforts that will have the longest-lingering impact in the moments that you will miss with him. When you deny the progression of the disease, you are denying the fact that every moment you have with your parent is precious, and the time that you have him with now will not be there tomorrow. It is difficult and can be painful, but the most compassionate and loving thing that you can do in your elder care journey is to accept the challenges of dementia and dedicate yourself to making the most of this new chapter with your loved one.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Henrietta, NY, contact the caring staff at Caring Hearts of Rochester today! Serving Rochester, Pittsford, Greece, Webster, Canandaigua, Fairport, Perinton, Penfield, Brighton, Henrietta and surrounding communities. Call 585-245-0134.