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5 Tips for Talking to a Senior Denying a Dementia Diagnosis

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When an elderly loved one with dementia is in denial over the diagnosis, it makes it more challenging for you to ensure your family member receives appropriate treatment and care. It also makes it harder for everyone involved to prepare for future challenges. These five tips can make it easier to talk to your loved one about the diagnosis.

1. Call a Family Meeting

Schedule a meeting for family members and intimate friends after your loved one’s dementia diagnosis. By presenting a united front in an atmosphere of loving compassion, your elderly family member may be more likely to accept the situation. However, be mindful this meeting might come across like an intervention and put your loved one on the defensive.

2. Share Important Information

Denial sometimes comes to an end when a senior is presented with enough convincing evidence that a problem exists. Collect and share reading material about dementia, current treatment options, and dementia care in Fairfield with your loved one and invite questions. However, be sure you give your family member time to process the information.

3. Offer Reassurance

Fear is the primary reason seniors deny a dementia diagnosis. You can help allay your family member’s fears by offering reassurance that you will be there to help. Encourage your loved one to make the most of each moment by accepting the loving assistance of friends and family.

4. Avoid Arguments

Even during its early stages, dementia can interfere with a senior’s ability to understand and cope with the diagnosis. Trying to convince your loved one to use logic and reason to face facts can be self-defeating. Expressions of love and concern are usually more effective than arguments.

5. Take Small Steps

Instead of pressing for an admission of mental impairment, focus on getting your family member to accept offers to help. Volunteer to run errands, mail bills or handle the week’s grocery shopping, or encourage your loved one to consider a caregiver in Fairfield who can help with errands, cooking, and light cleaning. Your loved one will find it easier to accept a dementia diagnosis knowing that he or she won’t have to face the future alone.

The days and months after a dementia diagnosis are challenging for everyone involved, but your loved one and your family don’t have to go through this tough time alone. As a leading provider of senior care in Fairfield, Home Care Assistance offers help and support both seniors and their families can count on. Learn more about our senior care services by calling 203-955-1915 and speaking with a dedicated Care Manager.