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Denial and the Dementia Caregiver

By Melissa Hill, 8:00 am on

Memory loss is often attributed to a side effect of aging. However, dementia is a more serious cognitive condition that goes beyond forgetfulness and memory loss. Often caused by Alzheimer’s disease or stroke, dementia makes it difficult for seniors to think and act normally. Even the most basic, everyday tasks can be challenging for them.

For caregivers, dementia in a loved one, especially a parent, can be overwhelming. It can even spark denial about the diagnosis. As a trusted Oklahoma dementia care provider, we’ve worked with many families with loved ones who have been diagnosed with dementia, and want you to know that denial is a completely normal reaction. It is also one you can overcome so you are in a better mindset to help and care for your loved one.

Signs of Denial
Denial is often the first reaction a family member experiences when a parent or other loved one receives a dementia diagnosis. You might accuse the doctor of being wrong, and insist that the condition will improve. You may even tell yourself there is nothing wrong and attempt to rationalize the symptoms. When left ignored, denial can transform into anger about the dementia diagnosis, as well as guilt and depression.

Review the Facts

Facing a dementia diagnosis is hard, but it is best for both you and your loved one to understand the reality of the situation. Acceptance can help you cope with the diagnosis, opening yourself up to education and care techniques. There are also treatments available to slow the progression of dementia—ask a doctor how certain medications may help ease symptoms in your loved one for a better quality of life.

At Home Care Assistance, we have a revolutionary in-home wellness program, the Cognitive Therapeutics Method that can also play a role in promoting memory, brain health and mental acuity for seniors of all abilities. With the right combination of education and support, you can help to delay the symptoms of the disease and enjoy quality time with your parent, grandparent or loved one.

Communication is Key

Dementia in a loved one can be difficult to cope with, but you shouldn’t feel as if you must keep your feelings to yourself. Open up to another family member or a close friend for support. When the emotions are overwhelming, you may even find help through a family therapist.

Also, don’t rule out talking with your loved one’s physician. Asking questions about the disease, symptoms to expect and how it will progress can help to ease anxiety and fear. A doctor can recommend professional in-home caregivers that may help ease the burden and ensure quality care for your loved one through each stage of the disease.

To learn more about tailored dementia care for your loved one, call 405-285-4191 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a friendly Care Manager from Home Care Assistance of Oklahoma. Our highly trained and compassionate dementia caregivers proudly service Oklahoma City, Edmond and the surrounding communities, and are available for care twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. We are here to help so please don’t hesitate to reach out.