How to Talk to a Senior Denying an Alzheimer's Diagnosis

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Alzheimer’s Care: Speaking to a Loved One in Denial

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An Alzheimer’s diagnosis presents many challenges for both seniors receiving the news and family members who will likely be providing in-home Alzheimer’s care for their aging loved one. Once it becomes clear that a senior loved one is denying his or her Alzheimer’s, even after receiving a diagnosis, there are constructive ways to initiate a productive dialog and overcome denial.

Have a Non-Confrontational Discussion

Set up a time to have a talk with your loved one. Remain calm and don’t challenge his or her denial. Just ask him or her to listen to your concerns. If possible, hold a family meeting in advance of your discussion to get everyone on same page.

Bring in a Neutral Third Party

Sometimes it’s easier to accept things when concerns aren’t coming from someone with an established emotional connection to your loved one, like a counselor or therapist familiar with Alzheimer’s care challenges. You might also try going to a local support group together. Sometimes multiple voices are better at getting the message through.

Place AD Literature Around the Home

Avoid the temptation to overwhelm your loved one with facts. AD affects the part of the brain that deals with reasoning, so your efforts will likely be met with denial. Instead, leave literature around the home that can be read on his or her own time. This can be a subtle way to convince your loved one to start the conversation.

Go to Doctors’ Appointments Together

By going to doctors’ appointments together, you can bring up concerns your loved one may not be willing to discuss on his or her own. Your loved one may also appreciate the immediate support you can offer during discussions with the doctor.

Focus on the Positive

While you must acknowledge that things will change as the disease progresses, focusing on the positive can counter initial denial. There have been many advances in Alzheimer’s care that can help ease cognitive decline and encourage memory retention.

If your senior loved one has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, turn to Home Care Assistance to learn more about home care Sonoma County families count on for help and support. We offer flexible schedules with 24-hour availability, a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and we will never require you to sign a long-term contract. Call a dedicated Care Manager today at (707) 843.4368 to learn more about how we can help your family and your senior loved one.