In Isaac Asimov’s opinion, “The easiest way to solve a problem is to deny it exists.” It’s a common feeling for lots of family caregivers when their loved one is diagnosed with a chronic condition, such as dementia. And though this may generate some level of comfort in assuming that life can carry on as it always has, if only we refuse to admit this new reality, the truth, of course, is that acknowledgment is extremely important to obtaining necessary support and help at home.
It’s understandable for a family member to want to do everything possible independently to deliver the care a loved one needs. Nevertheless, frequently at the crux of denial are thoughts of guilt, helplessness, as well as incompetence in the ability to “fix things.” And you can find major benefits – both for the individual along with his or her family members – by facing the situation head-on, such as the chance to enjoy time together, and to discover successful approaches to deal with any challenges being faced now or while the condition progresses.
AARP shares some helpful issues to consider for families struggling to acknowledge a loved one’s diagnosis:
• It is possible to be TOO positive. Keeping up a sunny disposition is wonderful, but could actually be harmful if not tempered with a dose of reality. Many times those with a chronic disease uncover relief in speaking openly and truthfully as to what they’re experiencing, and acceptance is paramount to offering opportunities for such discussions.
• Acceptance is not giving up. Instead, acknowledging your loved one’s condition opens the door to understanding effective strategies to regulate the condition, and to locating the supportive services that will allow for the greatest possible quality of life.
• Cherish the time you have with your loved one. Letting go of denial helps you to shift your focus to setting up a new normal. There’s something freeing about eliminating the elephant in the room, permitting an unencumbered closeness with your senior loved one.
• Permit others to help. Facing a difficult diagnosis in a loved one can be a formidable undertaking, and it’s essential for family caregivers to ensure sufficient time is available on a consistent, regular basis for self-care. Accept any help offered by family, friends, your religious organization, etc., or contact a professional home care agency like Heaven at Home Senior Care. Keep in mind that you are able to give the very best care for your family member only when you are in good health, physically and emotionally.
Finding a reliable care partner is key. Heaven At Home Senior Care can help with many of the more mundane areas of care, so you can spend higher quality time with the senior you love. Reach out to us online or at 866-381-0500 for an in-home consultation for additional information about our University Park home care providers and the surrounding communities we serve.