In Isaac Asimov’s opinion, “The easiest way to solve a problem is to deny it exists.” It’s a standard belief for many family caregivers when their loved one is diagnosed with a chronic condition, such as dementia. And even though this might generate some level of comfort in assuming that life can go forward like it always has, the truth is that acceptance is essential to obtaining necessary support.
It is understandable for a family member to want to do everything possible independently to deliver the care a loved one needs. Nevertheless, in the crux of denial often lie feelings of guilt, helplessness, or even incompetence in the power to “fix things.” And there are certainly major advantages to be gained – both for your senior loved one and his or her family members – by dealing with the situation head-on and accepting help, such as the chance to savor time together, and also to learn about successful techniques to take care of any obstacles being faced now or once the condition progresses.
AARP offers some practical factors to consider for families struggling to come to grips with a senior’s diagnosis:
- It is possible to be TOO positive. Sustaining a sunny disposition is tremendous, but could actually be harmful if not tempered with a dose of reality. In many cases, individuals with a chronic disease uncover relief in talking freely and truthfully about what they are experiencing, and acceptance is paramount to delivering opportunities for such discussions.
- Acceptance is not giving up. Rather, acknowledging your loved one’s condition opens the door to learning effective strategies to manage the condition, and to locating the supportive services that will enable the greatest possible quality of life.
- Cherish the time you have with your loved one. Letting go of denial will allow you to change your focus to implement a new normal. There is something liberating about eliminating the elephant in the room, allowing for an unencumbered closeness with your loved one.
- Allow others to help. Confronting a difficult diagnosis in someone you care about can be a difficult undertaking, and it’s very important for family caregivers to make sure enough 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 knowledgeable home care agency like Home Sweet Home In-Home Care. Keep in mind that you can supply the best care for your senior loved one when you are in good health, physically and emotionally.
Choosing a dependable care partner is key when accepting help. Home Sweet Home In-Home Care can deal with a number of the more mundane areas of care, so you can spend high quality time with the older adult you love. Give us a call at (269) 849-9252 in St. Joseph for an in-home consultation to find out more about how in-home caregivers in Portage and the surrounding area can help your family. You can also reach out to us at (269) 373-5444 in Kalamazoo, (269) 763-5350 in Paw Paw, or (269) 963-9888 in Battle Creek.