The typical course of dementia begins slowly with minor memory lapses and confusion that occur more frequently over time. The slow progression of this illness often allows seniors to hide their symptoms from their loved ones at first. However, this only delays getting the help they need to live full lives. While it’s upsetting to feel like your aging loved one is lying to you, understanding some of the reasons seniors hide dementia symptoms may help you overcome negative emotions so you can tend to his or her needs.
1. They’re 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 themselves can also cause seniors to deny they have the condition. For example, an older adult who has lost the ability to reason may not be able to recognize the signs that indicate he or she has dementia. If you suspect denial is a factor in your loved one’s decision to hide the problem, seek a diagnosis from a 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 service 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 now have many options that allow them to stay in control of where they live. Let your loved one know he or she doesn’t 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 assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Sacramento in-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 Families
Older adults never want to worry their children or feel as though they’re 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’re already facing stress at work or in your relationships. The realization that your parent is still protecting you from potential pain can be quite touching, and you can respond to this act of love by showing your parent he or she has your support.
4. They’re Embarrassed
Forgetting names, getting lost in public places, and experiencing episodes of incontinence are potentially embarrassing occurrences for seniors. A senior who once took pride in being able to remember every item on a grocery list 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.
Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. Sacramento families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life. Call one of our friendly Care Managers at (916) 706-0169 to schedule a free consultation.