If you’ve ever had family members share with you just how far in denial they are about your elderly family member’s health, you already know how powerful denial can be. It might be a useful coping mechanism for them, but it doesn’t help you or your aging adult at all.
Denial Is Very Common.
You might not realize it, but denial is extremely common for family members of aging adults with health problems. It gives them a way to cope with what they’re feeling and thinking. In fact, denial can be so very comforting that some family members may not want to leave its warm embrace. You can try to help them leave denial behind, but that doesn’t mean that they will.
Try to Stay Calm, Even if You’re Frustrated.
The very first thing that you need to do is to remain as calm as you possibly can. If you allow your frustration and your irritation to lead the conversation, it’s not going to go as well as you’d like. If possible, try to remind yourself that this is a way to protect themselves from the situation as it really is. Put yourself in their shoes and try to talk to them how you’d want someone to talk to you.
Keep Information Handy about Your Senior’s Health.
Something else that you might want to consider is keeping information handy that can help other family members to understand your senior’s health conditions. Whether it’s a book about specific health issues or an article you’ve printed out, sometimes seeing information in black and white can help to break down that barrier of denial.
Find an Expert to Explain Things.
Some family members might see you as just another family member, even though you’re a caregiver who has educated yourself about the best ways to care for your elderly family member. It’s not necessarily fair, but some of those family members might respond better to information from your senior’s doctor or even from elder care providers about what is going on. The mental block here is usually that you’re not a health care professional and other experts have more experience.
Ultimately, you may not be able to do much about your family members staying in denial. They may be actively keeping their denial alive because they don’t want to cope with what’s going on. You may have to leave them to their own choices.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Spokane, WA, please contact the friendly staff at Love at Home Senior Care, today. Call (509) 204-4088
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