How Can You Make Someone Care About Their Alzheimer’s Diagnosis?
When Danny was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, he was 68. It wasn’t a complete surprise, but it certainly wasn’t anything he wanted to hear. His mother had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when she was in her 60s, his uncle had also dealt with some form of dementia. He had been on the lookout for the various signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and when he was 65 he began noticing some changes in his memory. He didn’t want to have a formal diagnosis too soon, so he kept putting it off.
When he was formally diagnosed, his family felt as though he didn’t care.
He didn’t seem to be too concerned. In fact, some of his adult children believed he was being aloof. “Dad,” they said to him, “you need to take this seriously.”
He would shrug every suggestion they had about his future off. He didn’t want to hear it. If they talked about him moving in with one of them, he would tell them, “No thank you.” If they suggested he get a roommate, consider moving into a different facility, or something else, he basically didn’t respond.
They couldn’t figure it out.
It was as though he was under the impression everything would basically stay the same. The more research they did into the various signs and symptoms of the disease, how it progressed, and how challenging it could be for them and others taking care of him, they became worried. This worry transferred into anxiety and increasing pressure on him to at least step up and be realistic, as they put it.
Nothing they did seemed to make a difference.
He just didn’t seem to care. In truth, Danny cared a lot. However, because he had quite a bit of direct experience dealing with this disease with his uncle and mother, he knew there was nothing anyone could do to change the outcome. He saw his mother waste away, his uncle get frustrated and nasty, and he was frightened about the future.
He just didn’t know how to vocalize his concerns.
He didn’t want to be that way with his children. He didn’t want to become a burden. When one of his adult children stopped by for a visit and began having a conversation with him, she started asking questions that surprised him. These questions were about what he wanted, what he was worried about, and the things that kept him up at night. Instead of telling him what he should do, somebody actually wanted to hear his perspective.
Sometimes people really do care, even though they appear as though they don’t; they just want people to realize this is still their life and they want to maintain control as long as possible.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering elder care in Parma, OH, please talk to the caring staff at Avalon Home Health Care today.
Call us at (440) 863 -3609.