What to Do When a Senior Is Unaware of Dementia Behaviors
“How could you think that I have dementia? There’s not a single thing wrong with me!”
If a loved one with dementia expresses feelings like this, you might be thinking that he or she is simply in denial and unwilling to accept such a difficult diagnosis. Yet, there might be another reason: anosognosia, when a person is truly unaware that he or she is impaired by dementia.
Finding the most effective way to respond to a senior who is unfamiliar with his or her own dementia behaviors is a challenge. As the professional providers of the best elderly care Pleasanton and the surrounding area have to offer, we’ve compiled some tips to help family caregivers better manage care for someone with anosognosia:
- Understand that the older adult with dementia, while perhaps unaware in this one particular area, isn’t necessarily unaware of his or her entire state of being. The older person may not be aware of the cognitive impairment caused by dementia, but still fully understand his or her physical limitations related to diabetes, for instance.
- Be ready for changes in the senior’s degree of anosognosia. While the senior may seem to be fully cognizant of a particular struggle at the moment, the degree of awareness can shift over time.
- Offer full support to the senior by encouraging conversations about his or her emotions, feelings, and thoughts at all times without judging. It is important for the senior to feel comfortable in opening up with any concerns without feeling the need to cover them up.
Anosognosia, and other dementia behaviors, such as sundowning, wandering, and aggression, can be extremely difficult, both for the senior living with these problems and his/her loved ones. Family caregivers need to ensure they have built a strong network of support and to educate themselves as much as possible about the disease, along with strategies for most effectively managing it. It is also crucial for family caregivers to set aside plenty of time for self-care.
Contact Hired Hands Homecare, providers of the memory care Santa Rosa, CA families trust, for additional tips in dealing with dementia behaviors, ensuring the senior you love enjoys the best possible quality of life at all times. We partner with families to provide compassionate, highly skilled respite care services, allowing family caregivers the chance to step away and relax. Whether your loved one could benefit from several hours of care each week or full-time, 24/7 specialized dementia care, we’re always available to help. Call us at (866) 940-4343 or contact us online to learn more, to find out if our services are available in your area, and to request a complimentary in-home consultation.