What To Do If Your Parent Is In Denial About Their Dementia Diagnosis
A denial of a dementia diagnosis is very common even in the early phases of the disease. Who wants to admit they have a problem that causes memory loss and for which there is no cure?
There is a stigma around having dementia. Those with dementia worry that if people know, they will be shunned or not know how to interact. It is crucial to be sensitive to this issue while helping your parent realize they have a problem.
If You Suspect A Parent Has Dementia Here Are Some Ways To Approach The Situation:
Start a conversation about their memory and memory loss
First and foremost, where can the talk be held in a friendly and comfortable environment? Second, consider not only what you say, but also your body language, the nonverbal clues that help to keep the discussion going. There are numerous components of body language to examine, but here are three of the most important:
- Eye Contact: Vision is a dominating sense that serves as a potent sensory tool for understanding our surroundings. Maintaining a gentle, open, and relaxed gaze with someone might be seen as non-threatening and welcoming.
- Avoid expressing annoyance, rage, or impatience with your body language. Maintain a calm state of mind .
- Gestures: A light touch can assist show comfort and support . If youre in the best position to talk to your mom, start with open-ended inquiries.
Have a plan but also go with the flow
While this might seem contradictory, dementia therapists know that theres no one-size-fits-all solution for dementia patients. Have a plan but also adapt to the unique situation. When having sensitive conversations with your loved one, having a few notes, rather than winging it, may benefit you, your confidence, and your approach. The order in which you make your arguments and the environment in which you make them may have an impact on how well they are perceived.
Have a conversation with your parents doctor
Start talking to your loved one about the early signs of dementia
Be present and offer to help
Going To The Hospital: Tips For Dementia Caregivers
A trip to the hospital can be stressful for people with Alzheimers disease or another dementia and their caregivers. Being prepared for emergency and planned hospital visits can relieve some of that stress. This article suggests ways to help you prepare and tips for making your visit to the emergency room or hospital easier.
Read Also: Neurotransmitters Involved In Alzheimer’s Disease
Dealing With Complex Emotions
Witnessing dementia in a parent is one of the hardest things we face as adults. We see our former caretakers become dependent and disabled, often over a long period of time. Even in the early stages of disease, we confront the vulnerability of someone who at one time we viewed as strong and powerful. The emotional consequences for adult children can seem endless and overwhelming.
Whether we are a direct caregiver or not, there is constant worry and preoccupation. When will mom get worse? Is dad yelling at the nursing aides again? When should we think about memory care? Additionally, one of the most unique aspects of human relationships is that we hold them in mind, and assume they are thinking of us as well. When a parent starts to forget, one of the things we may wonder is how much longer we will remain on their minds. After all, parents are supposed to worry about us, not the other way around.
Some of the hardest things for adult children managing dementia involve balancing worry and the realization that roles have changed. How people cope with these realities depends, in part, on the history of your relationship with your parent.
What Other Types Of Treatment Could Help
There are many supportive treatments that may help, although there is no known cure for most types of dementia. Nutritional and emotional support are very important. Counseling or psychotherapy may help someone come to terms with having dementia as well as alleviate depression or anxiety. As well, exercise may slow the progression of impaired thinking, and occupational therapy can teach people new ways to cope as their condition changes.
Recommended Reading: Are Jigsaw Puzzles Good For Dementia
What To Do If A Parent With Dementia Refuses Help
As our loved ones grow old, some may start to show signs of dementia and cognitive decline.
When your parent starts to refuse care and help, do not nag them, make them feel bad, or give them ultimatums for compliance. These are the opposite of what they need.
Emotionally, this will be a hard pill to swallow for both parties. There are ways though, to cope with their refusal. With an effective strategy, you may even be able to turn refusal into an agreement. How to handle this is just as important as to understand why.
Early Signs Of Dementia And How To Spot Them
Spotting the early signs of Dementia can make all the difference to the progression of the disease. If it is diagnosed during the early stages there is a chance that medication will slow down the diseases that cause the damage to the brain.
Weve put together this guide to the early signs of dementia for you to look out for, and some specific symptoms you can monitor. Please use the links below to navigate the article:
Recommended Reading: Does Prevagen Work For Dementia
Talk With Close Family Members Or Friends
Check in with others who know your loved one to see if theyve noticed any changes. Do this in a respectful, confidential manner to avoid unnecessary hurt or embarrassment.
When Alzheimers strikes, although many people become quite skilled at covering their memory lapses, they find it difficult to maintain that around those who know them well. Its often helpful to verify if others have made similar observations they may have been questioning the same thing and not have known whether to raise the concern or ignore it.
Of course, your objective here is not to spread a rumor or gossip, but rather to collaborate with those closest to your loved one.
What To Do If You Think Your Parent Has Dementia
Dementia affects more than 50 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. In 2019, 45 million people had it. These figures show that dementia is a problem that will not go away soon. We have to find ways of dealing with it. We can start by taking care of the people who are at the highest risk of developing it. Did you know that three percent of individuals aged between 65 and 74 have this illness? At the same time, 50% of people above 85 years of age have it. You can now see that a persons chance of developing dementia increases with it. Consequently, we have to take care of our parents, especially when they exhibit signs associated with the early stages of this illness. Here is what to do if you think your parents have dementia.
You May Like: What Color Ribbon Is Alzheimer’s
Be Ready To Retreat And Regroup
Despite your best efforts and intentions, when you sit down with your parents to talk about what youve been noticing, they might not not want to talk about it the first time you try to bring it up. They may respond with denial or even hostility. In those cases, stay calm and remember that you get more than one shot at this conversation. They may get angry, upset, defensive, or simply refuse to talk about it, Drew said. Unless its a crisis situation, dont force the conversation. Take a step back, regroup on the approach and revisit the subject in a week or two.
Sooner Rather Than Later: Start Talking With Your Parents About Dementia Signs Early
If you think your parent has dementia, raising your observations about mums memory changes, be they subtle or significant is best to do it early.
Being aware of the gravitas of the conversation, taking action with or without support early, when a person is more cognitively able, means that a lot of good work can be done.
In our experience and that observed by organisations like Dementia.org in more advanced stages of dementia a persons capacity to understand, recall, and have capacity to support a conversation may be significantly limited.
Early conversation can help achieve
- Support early medical and allied health interventions
- Enduring power of attorney. Doing this early when a person has the capacity to choose what they want is key to having a seamless support experience if and when their cognitive abilities change. What is an E.P.O.A ) Enduring Power of Attorney? An enduring power of attorney is a legal agreement that enables a person to appoint a trusted person or people to make financial and/or health decisions.
- Set up positive lifestyle routines including physical activities.
- Investing in meaningful and supportive activities
- Discussing future care and living goals such as engaging a home care service provider
- Mapping and planning financial needs
Also Check: What Color Ribbon Is Alzheimer’s
New Survey Describes Reluctance
The Alzheimers Association released results of a new two-question survey May 31, in advance of Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month in June, on difficulties family members have in talking about the disease. The responses are concerning.
Almost 30 percent of the approximately 1,000 adult respondents said they would not talk to a relative about troubling signs of dementia, despite their worries.
A majority said they would be concerned about “offending” a family member or ruining relationship with that person . And 38 percent said they would wait to talk to their loved one until symptoms worsened.
The online survey was taken last month.
Pam Montana, 63, said in a statement that getting diagnosed early was vital for her.
It is important for me to face this disease and share my story while I’m able, said Montana, of Danville, Calif., who speaks publicly as an Alzheimers Association early stage adviser. That leads to an enormous sense of accomplishment, even with this extremely difficult diagnosis. I want to tell these stories and let others know they are not alone.”
She also wants to demonstrate that having Alzheimers does not mean an immediate end to life.
Resist The Temptation To Diagnose The Symptoms Yourself
If your loved one is showing some of the above symptoms, it might be tempting to jump to conclusions. The truth is that many conditions share the same symptoms as dementia, such as depression, stress, hormone disorders, addiction disorders, and brain tumours.
Remember, only a medical professional can access the appropriate tests that will get to the bottom of whats wrong with your parent. You should encourage them to see a doctor as soon as possible once you notice that somethings wrong, instead of trying to figure it out for yourself.
You May Like: Does Coke Cause Alzheimer’s
Treatment Options For Dementia
Prescription medications to specifically treat some symptoms of progressive dementias are now available. Although these drugs do not halt the disease or reverse existing brain damage, they can minimize the worsening of symptoms temporarily. This may improve an individuals quality of life, ease the burden on caregivers and delay admission to a nursing home. However, each dementia patient is different, and these drugs are not effective for everyone.
Many people with dementia, particularly those in the early stages, benefit from adhering to a clear daily routine and practicing tasks designed to improve performance in specific aspects of cognitive functioning. For example, using memory aids, such as mnemonics, computerized recall devices or note taking can help seniors maintain their day-to-day lives independently for longer.
What If I Suspect My Mother Has Dementia
Your elderly mother is having trouble performing simple tasks, and shes locked herself out of the house several times. The other day mom went to the bank and couldnt remember how to get back home. Moms forgetfulness has now reached the point you suspect she has dementia. What should you do?
When youre dealing with an aging in place loved one who may have dementia, providing them with the care they need can be challenging. But doing so is possible when you use this approach.
Also Check: Did Reagan Have Alzheimers
Monday 17 September 2018
Dementia is the term given to a group of diseases that affect a persons thinking, behaviour and ability to perform everyday tasks. While its commonly thought of as an older persons disease, dementia can affect people of all ages.
Early symptoms of dementia can be vague and vary between people. While some people pick up on changes in their own thinking or behaviour that might be caused by dementia, sometimes these signs are first noticed by those around them.
If youve noticed a change in someone close to you, the steps below can help you assist them in seeking diagnosis and treatment.
Difficulty Remembering Or Trouble Finding Words
Its normal for older adults to have lapses in thought here and there. But showing signs of forgetfulness every day is an early warning sign of dementia.
If your mom is consistently losing track of her thoughts mid-sentence, or if your dad has trouble finding words in casual conversations, these are dementia signs to note.
Also Check: Shampoos That Cause Alzheimer’s Disease
Other Things That You Can Do
Keep an updated list of the medications that your parent is taking. Ensure that his medical records are available for perusal by health professionals when necessary. Remember, dementia research is ongoing. Those records would help scientists determine your parents suitability for enlistment into specific trials or his participation in emerging therapies. You also need to change the setup of your home so that you can make it friendly to people living with dementia. For example, remove as many objects and bumps on your floor as possible. Remember, people with dementia have a problem with spatial relationships. Therefore, falls will be common if your floor has too many obstacles. You also need to keep hazardous material away as they might use it for something else having forgotten how dangerous the material is. Install easy to read clocks, keep noise levels down, and ensure that the lighting is adequate and as natural as possible.
Make Safety A Priority
Safety becomes more crucial than ever when a parent is in denial of their symptoms because the information they are giving you is not reliable. For example, you may be actively discouraging your aging parent from driving but they may assure you that they are driving just fine.
With dementia, unfortunately, you cant take what your parent tells you at face value. Any information should be validated if possible, and there are ways to do this that we will discuss in the next tip.
Read Also: Where To Buy Jelly Drops For Dementia Patients
Legal Issues: Caring For Parents With Dementia
Created by FindLaw’s team of legal writers and editors| Last updated May 17, 2021
Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other disorders that cause dementia have become more common among aging adults. While any form of memory loss is emotionally devastating for everyone involved, dementia can present extraordinary challenges for older adults and their families when drafting a will, making health care decisions, and taking care of other legal and financial matters.
Moreover, it is often the children of dementia-affected adults who end up making decisions on their behalf. But it is important for family members to understand the legal and financial implications of their actions.
The following factors should be considered when assessing your loved one’s mental capacity for making important legal, financial, and health-related decisions.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dementia Symptoms
My dad seems to be tired all the time lately how do I know the difference between age-related changes and dementia symptoms?
Sleep disruption is common with regards to both age-related sleep patterns and signs of early onset dementia so it can be tricky to work out whats going on. But if you look out for accompanying symptoms specific to dementia you may be able to tell the difference. If you suspect it is more than just sleepiness make an appointment with your parents GP.For more information on how dementia symptoms can affect sleep please read our article on dementia and sleep.
What do I do if I think my mum or dad has dementia?
The GP should be the first point of call if you suspect your parent is suffering from signs of early onset dementia. If the doctor suspects your parent has dementia they will refer them to a memory clinic or specialist. For further details on the process please visit our guide on diagnosing dementia.
How does the dementia diagnosis process work?How are dementia symptoms treated?
Unfortunately, dementia cant be cured but it can be slowed down significantly, especially if diagnosed earlier on. For more details on drugs used, visit our guide on dementia treatment.
You May Like: Does Meredith Have Alzheimer’s
Encourage Your Parent To Go For A Full Medical Check
Dementia is a complex illness whose cause remains unknown. The term itself refers to a group of symptoms that impact a persons memory negatively. In some cases, one might confuse it for another condition including head trauma, delirium, depression, hormonal disruption, and kidney diseases. Encourage your parent to go for a full medical check-up so that you can ascertain whether what you think your parent has is what they have. This check-up is also important if your parent has this illness. More specifically, it will determine which stage of dementia that your parent is experiencing. Remember, dementia has seven stages according to most medical experts. Determining which one your parent is in would help you plan for his care. For example, you can hire a home care expert immediately if he is at an advanced stage of the disease.