In Isaac Asimov’s opinion, “The easiest way to solve a problem is to deny it exists.” It is a frequent feeling for many family caregivers when their loved one is diagnosed with a chronic condition, such as dementia. Even though this can generate some measure of comfort in believing that life can go on like it always has, if only we refuse to acknowledge this new reality, the truth, of course, is the fact that acknowledgment is vital to obtaining the necessary help at home.
It is understandable for a family member to want to do everything possible independently to provide the care a senior loved one needs. Nonetheless, frequently in the crux of denial are thoughts of guilt, helplessness, and in many cases incompetence in the capability to “fix things.” And there are major advantages to be gained – both for the senior and his or her family members – by dealing with the situation head-on, such as the opportunity to relish time together, and also to learn successful approaches to take care of any difficulties being faced now or while the condition progresses.
AARP provides some helpful issues to consider for families struggling to acknowledge a loved one’s diagnosis:
- It is possible to be TOO positive. Sustaining a sunny disposition is tremendous, but can actually be harmful if not tempered with a dose of reality. Typically, those with a chronic disease find relief in talking freely and truthfully about what they are facing, and acceptance is paramount to delivering opportunities for such discussions.
- Acceptance is certainly not giving up. Instead, accepting your loved one’s condition opens the door to understanding effective strategies to regulate the condition, and to obtaining the supportive services that will allow for the highest possible quality of life.
- Treasure the time you have together with your family member. Letting go of denial helps you switch your focus to setting up a brand new normal. There’s something liberating about eliminating the elephant in the room, allowing for an unencumbered closeness with your family member.
- Allow others to help. Being confronted with a hard diagnosis in a senior loved one can be an overwhelming undertaking, and it’s very important for family caregivers to ensure enough time is available on a consistent, regular basis for self-care. Accept any help provided by family, friends, your religious organization, etc., or contact a knowledgeable home care agency like Midnight Sun Home Care. Keep in mind that you can supply the very best care for your family member when you are in excellent health, physically and emotionally.
Finding a reliable care partner is key. Midnight Sun in Anchorage, the best Alaska home health care provider, can help with a number of the more mundane facets of in home care, to help you spend quality time with the older adult you love. Contact us at Midnight Sun in Anchorage (907) 677-7890 for an in-home consultation to find out more about senior living alternatives.