As a caregiver of someone with dementia it is often difficult to grasp why our loved one doesn’t admit that they’re having these impairments and limitations. They don’t see why they need any help or why you may have concerns about their well-being. It may seem clear to you, but for some reason not to them.They may be suffering from a medical disorder called agnosognosia. Your loved one really cannot see their own disability because of real brain alterations. This is not denial but their reality. Research shows that 81% of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and 60% of individuals with mild cognitive impairment exhibit signs of agnosognosia. Here are some tips recommended in an article in Alzheimer’s TODAY.
- Consult with your medical provider for advice.
- Understand that your loved one truly believes there is nothing wrong with their functioning.
- Don’t take things personally. Your person has an illness.
- Let your loved one do what they can.
- Find activities close to things they once did but simplify them.
- Join a caregiver support group for feedback and resources.
- Contact the AFA helpline at 866-232-8484 to speak with a licensed social worker specifically trained in dementia care for support.
I always have to add how important it is for you as the caregiver to get the support you need. In past blogs I have written more about this and emphasized how to give yourself permission to ask for help. Sometimes what it takes is for us to realize that if we don’t keep ourselves healthy, strong and focused that is not being selfish. It is a practical and powerful practice for keeping ourselves as the main caregiver functioning, in control and capable of coping with a progressive illness. Taking care of ourselves also serves to not stress our loved one by making them feel guilty for our suffering.
In addition to some of the suggestions listed in this blog, remember to ask friends and family for assistance. Of course, Catalina In-Home Services is there to provide excellent caregiving and support to your challenging situation