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Diagnosing Dementia: Speaking to a Loved One in Denial

Instances of forgetting names or appearing confused during conversations are sometimes rationalized or dismissed as never having happened when your elderly loved one is in denial about possible signs of dementia. The first step in convincing your senior loved one that there may be a problem that’s affecting his or her quality of life is starting a productive conversation.

Take the Right Approach

Avoid being confrontational. Annapolis home care providers stress that this approach to communication only increases denial. Remain positive while reassuring your loved one that you’ll be there for him or her no matter what. Consider the following tips when communicating with your senior loved one:

• Maintain a gentle tone during the conversation
• Remain empathetic (without automatically assuming the worst)
• Take breaks during your talk (to offer reassurance or regain your focus)

Address Likely Concerns

Your loved one’s denial may be driven by the fact that he or she doesn’t want to become a burden on you or other family members. If you suspect this is really the issue behind the denial, let your elderly relative know you’ve already researched reliable Annapolis dementia care providers and that he or she will receive any assistance needed. Other concerns may include:

  • Fear of losing independence
  • Worries about cost
  • Being treated differently by friends and family

Get Help from Your Loved One’s Doctor

Consider asking your loved one’s doctor to get in on the conversation during the next office visit. This can be a more effective way to initiate a conversation, especially if your loved one already respects the doctor and his or her opinion. Your loved one may be more willing to admit he or she is experiencing some signs of forgetfulness or confusion in a setting where questions can be immediately answered.

When your loved one shows signs of dementia, it’s not necessarily a sign that things are only going to get worse. There are many conditions that present dementia symptoms, including some that are completely treatable and reversible with the right medication.

If memory lapses are making it more difficult for your loved one to complete everyday tasks, or more dangerous, it’s time to consider home care in Annapolis. At Home Care Assistance, we specialize in dementia, Alzheimer’s, stroke, and Parkinson’s care for seniors. Available on an hourly or live-in basis, our caregivers can ensure your loved one has the support he or she needs to live safely in the comfort of home. For more information, please call 443-302-2771 today.