October 3, 2019
In Isaac Asimov’s opinion, “The easiest way to solve a problem is to deny it exists.” It’s a common sentiment for many family caregivers when their loved one is diagnosed with a chronic condition, such as dementia. And while refusing to accept this new reality may instill some measure of comfort in believing that life can go on as it always has, the truth, of course, is that acceptance is crucial to obtaining necessary support.
Often at the crux of denial are feelings of guilt, helplessness, or even incompetence in the ability to “fix things.” And it’s understandable for a family member to want to do everything possible independently to provide the care a loved one needs. However, reaching out for home care assistance from Continuum, one of the top St. Louis home health agencies, can yield significant benefits for both for the senior and his or her family members. By facing the condition head-on, you can focus on more important things, such as the ability to savor time together, and to learn effective ways to manage any challenges being faced now or as the condition progresses.
AARP shares some helpful considerations for families struggling to accept a loved one’s diagnosis:
- It’s possible to be TOO positive. Maintaining a sunny disposition is great, but can actually be harmful if not tempered with a dose of reality. Often, those with a chronic disease find relief in talking openly and honestly about what they’re facing, and acceptance is key to providing opportunities for such discussions.
- Acceptance is not giving up. Rather, accepting your loved one’s condition opens the door to learning effective strategies to manage the disease, and to finding the supportive services that will allow for the highest possible quality of life.
- Cherish the time you have with your loved one. Letting go of denial allows you to shift your focus to establishing a new normal. There’s something freeing about removing the elephant in the room, allowing for an unencumbered closeness with your loved one.
- Allow others to help. Facing a difficult diagnosis in a loved one can be an overwhelming process, and it’s important for family caregivers to make sure plenty of time is available on a consistent, regular basis for self-care. Accept any help offered by family, friends, your religious organization, etc., or reach out to one of the top St. Louis home health agencies like Continuum. Remember that you can provide the best care for your loved one when you’re in good health, physically and emotionally.
Finding a trusted home care partner is key. Senior home care from Continuum can help with some of the more mundane aspects of care, so you can spend higher quality time with your aging loved one. Contact us or call (314) 863-9912 for an in-home consultation or to find out if we offer service in your area.