In Isaac Asimov’s opinion, “The easiest way to solve a problem is to deny it exists.” It’s a frequent belief for a number of family caregivers when their loved one receives a chronic disease diagnosis, such as dementia. The Santa Barbara elder care experts at Complete Care At Home believe that even though this could instill some level of comfort in thinking that life can go forward as it always has, if only we refuse to admit this new reality, the truth is that acknowledgement is essential to obtaining necessary support.
It is understandable for a family member to wish to accomplish everything possible independently to provide the care a senior loved one needs. Yet frequently in the crux of denial are thoughts of guilt, helplessness, and in some cases incompetence in the capability to “fix things.” And you will find considerable benefits to be achieved – for the individual along with his or her family members – by dealing with the situation head-on, such as the chance to savor time together, and to uncover effective ways to deal with any obstacles being faced now or as the condition progresses.
AARP provides some practical points to consider for families struggling to acknowledge a loved one’s chronic disease diagnosis:
- It’s possible to be TOO positive. Keeping up an upbeat disposition is great, but can actually be harmful if not tempered with a dose of reality. In many cases, individuals diagnosed with a chronic disease find relief in speaking openly and truthfully as to what they’re facing, and acceptance is paramount to supplying opportunities for such discussions.
- Acceptance is certainly not giving up. Instead, acknowledging your loved one’s condition opens the door to learning successful strategies to regulate the illness, and to obtaining the supportive services that will allow for the greatest possible quality of life.
- Cherish the time you have together with your senior loved one. Letting go of denial will allow you to change your focus to “a new normal”. There’s something liberating about removing the elephant in the room, making it possible for an unencumbered closeness with your senior loved one.
- Allow others to help. Confronting a difficult diagnosis in a loved one can be an overwhelming process, plus it’s essential for family caregivers to ensure plenty of time is available on a consistent, regular basis for self-care. Accept any help provided by family, friends your religious organization, etc., or reach out to an experienced Santa Barbara home care agency like Complete Care at Home. Keep in mind that you are able to provide the very best care for your family member when you are in good health, physically and emotionally.
Selecting a trusted care partner is key. Complete Care at Home, the experts in elder and dementia care in Santa Barbara, can deal with many of the more mundane aspects of care, to help you spend quality time together with the senior you love. Reach out to us at (805) 727-3445 for an in-home consultation for more information.