The typical course of dementia begins slowly with minor memory lapses and confusion that occur more frequently in time. The slow progression of this illness often allows seniors to hide their symptoms from their loved ones at first. However, this only delays them from getting the help they need to live a full life. While it’s upsetting to feel like your aging loved one is lying to you, understanding these five reasons he or she chooses to hide dementia symptoms may help you overcome negative emotions so you can tend to his or her needs.
1. They Are in Denial
Denial is common among seniors with dementia, and this can occur for several different reasons. Seniors sometimes simply think many of their symptoms are just part of getting older. After all, people often joke about their senior moments as though memory loss is no big deal. The symptoms of dementia can also cause seniors to deny their condition. For example, a senior who has lost the ability to reason may not be able to put together the signs that point to him or her having the condition. If you suspect denial is a factor in your loved one’s decision to hide the problem, seek a diagnosis from a professional physician he or she trusts.
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 home care Boca Raton, FL, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
2. They Don’t Want to Leave Home
There are many myths that circulate about dementia, and one of the worst ones is the false belief that people with this condition end up alone in nursing homes. Fortunately, seniors with dementia have many options available today that allow them to stay in control of where they live. Let your loved one know that he or she does not have to leave home. Professional caregivers can provide assistance each day to help your loved one stay functional while aging in place.
Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to an assisted living facility. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Boca Raton home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.
3. They Want to Protect Their Family
Older adults never want to worry their children or feel as though they are a burden. Your loved one may try to cover up the symptoms as a way to protect you, especially if he or she knows you are already facing other types of stress from work or other relationships. The realization that your parent is still protecting you from potential pain can be quite sweet, and you can build off of this love by showing your parent that he or she has your support.
4. They Are Embarrassed
Forgetting names, getting lost in public places, and incontinence incidents are all potentially embarrassing moments for seniors. Your loved one who once took pride in being able to remember a grocery list by memory may be ashamed that he or she can no longer recall the name of his or her best friend. You can help your loved one overcome embarrassment by discussing how dementia symptoms arise from physical changes in the brain that can be slowed down with the right types of care.
5. They Fear Losing Independence
As dementia progresses, seniors fear losing the ability to drive, prepare meals, and live alone. Naturally, no one likes being told what to do, and your loved one has earned the right to make his or her own decisions. Sit down with your loved one to discuss how he or she can still retain independence by making decisions that increase his or her safety. For instance, having a caregiver visit each day safeguards your loved one from serious hazards such as forgetting to turn off the stove.
Dementia can have a negative effect on an aging adult’s overall health and wellbeing. 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 Boca Raton seniors can depend on. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, call us at (561) 826.9282.