Anosognosia is the lack of awareness or outright denial that a person has a neurological illness or condition. You may have heard your dad say there’s nothing wrong with his memory. He may claim he doesn’t have Alzheimer’s disease and everything’s just fine.
About 8 out of 10 people with Alzheimer’s also have anosognosia. There’s no way to treat it. When it’s your dad denying anything’s wrong, it can make Alzheimer’s care very hard to manage. You won’t be able to convince him. You can become proactive in making sure he is well cared for.
Keep Your Cool
It’s frustrating. There’s no way you’re going to convince your dad that he has Alzheimer’s. From time to time, he may say he’s forgetful. Most of the time, he’s going to deny he’s already done some or said that. He may accuse you of taking something he gave you.
You cannot lose your cool. You have to remember that it’s the memory loss causing his refusal to accept something. If you try to argue, he’ll refuse to admit it. It’s just going to add to the frustrations you both feel. It’s best to try to change the subject or use a similar distraction technique and move on.
Try to Get Your Dad to Designate a Medical POA
If it’s not too late, get your dad to designate someone as his medical power of attorney. He’s going to reach a point where he is incapable of making his own medical decisions. When that time comes, you want someone he trusts to be able to make these decisions for him.
He’ll still have say in what he wants, and it’s listed in the paperwork. If he wants a DNR to be followed, the medical POA will make sure he’s not resuscitated. If he doesn’t want feeding tubes or ventilators, the POA also makes sure doctors follow those orders.
The medical POA also helps create a care plan. If your dad denies he needs caregivers, but he never remembers to eat or take his medications each day, a medical POA can push to bring in caregiver services to ensure he isn’t neglecting himself.
Bring in Help
He may not feel he needs caregivers, but you know he does. Arrange to have aides helping him remember to take medications, eating and drinking throughout the day, and helping him with housework and laundry.
Eventually, you’ll need caregivers to help prevent wandering. Feeding, ambulation, and personal care are also necessary at some point. Call our agency to talk about the pricing for these caregiver services.
If you or a senior family member are considering hiring Caregiver Services in Midland Park NJ, please contact the caring staff at Caring Solutions Home Care LLC. In-home senior care servicing Bergen & Passaic Counties. Call today at (973) 427-3553.
I started my career as an ICU nurse over 30 years ago. I have functioned as an educator and preceptor mentoring new nurses in the clinical arena. I have sat on many Patient Care committees authoring a variety of patient care protocols.
In 2007, I saw an opportunity to improve the delivery of patient care services in the home and founded Caring Solutions Home Care. Over the last 10 years I have functioned as the Director of Nursing overseeing all client care, administrative and personnel operations.