In Isaac Asimov’s opinion, “The easiest way to solve a problem is to deny it exists.” It’s a common feeling for a number of family caregivers when their loved one is diagnosed with a chronic condition, such as dementia. And even though this may generate some measure of comfort in believing that life can go forward like it always has, if only we refuse to admit this new reality, the truth is that acceptance is extremely important to obtaining necessary support.
It’s understandable for a family member to wish to accomplish everything possible independently to provide the care a senior needs. Nevertheless, frequently within the denial lie feelings of guilt, helplessness, and in many cases incompetence in the ability to “fix things.” And there are certainly major benefits to be attained – both for the senior and his or her family members – by dealing with the situation head-on, like the opportunity to savor time together, and also to learn about successful methods to deal with any issues being faced now or once the condition progresses.
AARP shares some practical things to consider for families struggling to acknowledge a loved one’s diagnosis:
- It is possible to be TOO positive. Keeping up an upbeat disposition is great, but may actually be harmful if not tempered with a dose of reality. Many times people diagnosed with a chronic disease discover relief in speaking freely and honestly about exactly what they are experiencing, and acceptance is vital to delivering opportunities for such discussions.
- Acceptance is not giving up. Instead, acknowledging your loved one’s condition opens the door to understanding practical strategies to regulate the condition, and to obtain the supportive services that will enable the greatest possible quality of life.
- Treasure the time you have with your loved one. Letting go of denial permits you to shift your focus to establishing a brand new normal. There’s something freeing about removing the elephant in the room, permitting an unencumbered closeness with your senior loved one.
- Allow others to help. Confronting a hard diagnosis in a loved one can be an overwhelming undertaking, so it’s important for family caregivers to make sure sufficient time is available on a consistent, regular basis for self-care. Accept any help offered by family, friends your religious organization, etc., or get in touch with an expert home care agency like Responsive Home Care. Understand that you are able to provide the best care for your loved one when you’re in good health, physically and emotionally.
Finding a dependable care partner is key. Responsive Home Care can deal with some of the more mundane facets of care, so you can spend quality time with the older adult you love. Call us at 954-486-6440 for an in-home consultation to find out more.