Denying your loved one’s dementia diagnosis can be dangerous.
There are few things in life that are as difficult to hear as a loved one’s dementia diagnosis. There’s no denying that living with dementia can be difficult, but ignoring or downplaying the diagnosis won’t make it go away. In fact, denying a dementia diagnosis can actually put your loved one at risk. The best way to face dementia is head-on, but in order to do that, you first need to accept the situation. Here are some of the risks of denying your loved one’s dementia diagnosis:
Risk #1. A delay in Treatment
While it’s true that there is no cure for dementia, depending on the type of dementia that your loved one has, treatment options may be available. With medication, the progress of many forms of dementia can be slowed down. Even Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most progressive form of dementia, can be treated with medication. Though in this case, the medication is meant to temporarily relieve symptoms rather than to slow the progression of the disease. The bottom line is that regardless of the type of dementia your loved one has, getting treatment as soon as possible is essential, and remaining in denial prevents you from seeking that treatment.
Risk #2. An Overdose of Medication
Denying the diagnosis of dementia also means denying your loved one that little bit of extra support and attention that they need. One of the biggest risks of denying dementia is your loved one continuing to manage their own medications when they can no longer do so safely. Your loved one could easily forget to take the medication they need, or, worse, they could take too much of it. Some of the most common medications can be seriously dangerous to take too much of, including insulin, blood thinners, oral diabetes medication and antiplatelet drugs. In fact, for people who are 65 and older, these medications are involved in 67 percent of hospitalizations related to drug-use.
Risk #3. Financial Trouble or Abuse
Criminals often target the elderly in telephone phishing scams. In these scams, a criminal will call pretending to be a beloved grandchild, the utility company or even the bank to try to trick the victim into giving them their banking information, Social Security number, credit card number, driver’s license number, etc. If your loved one is living on their own with dementia, it makes them even more susceptible to these scams. Additionally, even if your loved one is not scammed, it can be difficult for them to manage their own finances, and they could forget to pay the gas bill or their mortgage.
Risk #4. Missed Opportunity for Shared Time
We all forget how short and special life is from time to time, but dementia is not a death sentence. Just because your loved one has dementia does not mean that you can’t enjoy their company or spend quality time with them. By accepting your loved one’s dementia diagnosis instead of denying it, it gives you the unique opportunity to truly seize every day that you have with them. Dementia is a degenerative disease, so it’s essential to take advantage of every moment you have today, but denial keeps you from doing so.
Denying a dementia diagnosis won’t make it better, and as you can see, it puts your loved one at risk in many ways. In our next blog, we’ll be going over a few more of the dangers of denying dementia, so please stay tuned to learn more.
If your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, and you’re looking for a compassionate, loving environment for them to stay, visit us online today to learn about our memory care assisted living in Friendswood!