Dementia is a disease that impacts the lives of many seniors all over the world, but it doesn’t just affect those with the disease. It impacts families, friends, caregivers and communities. Many people have a hard time accepting a dementia diagnosis, even when they begin to notice symptoms ranging from memory loss and forgetfulness to wandering and behavioral changes. Some may make themselves feel better by stating that these are simply the normal signs and symptoms of aging, although they know deep down this isn’t true. While it can be difficult for family members to process and accept a dementia diagnosis, it can be more challenging for a loved one with dementia to accept it. When this occurs, helping them understand the disease, being there and giving them time to process is crucial.

According to Cydney Hansen, Marketing Director, at CountryHouse, a memory care community in Granite Bay, CA, seniors may refuse to accept a diagnosis for any number of reasons. “Sometimes seniors may not feel like there’s anything wrong with them, that they are living their lives as normally as possible with just some small memory issues, or they may know that there is a deeper problem, but refuse to admit it,” says Cydney. “Most often, seniors refuse to accept a dementia diagnosis out of fear of what people will think or how they will be treated, how it will change their lives and what will occur as their disease progresses. It’s important to do your best to help them as much as possible to make their lives, caregiving and planning for the future simpler for all of those affected by their disease.”

Why Accepting a Dementia Diagnosis is Important

It’s crucial to address the denial your loved one is facing so your loved one can live the lifestyle and receive the care they deserve. Consider some of the following reasons that getting your loved one to accept their diagnosis is important.

  • Acceptance brings peace and understanding. Once your loved one begins to accept their dementia, they will be able to ask for the help and support they need. By keeping their feelings and fears inside, they are likely to isolate others, lose interest in the things they once loved and become depressed. When they begin to talk about their feelings, it can help both of you find a solution and give each other support.
  • It allows you to begin talking about future care needs. Seniors who don’t accept their disease often refuse to talk about the future. This could leave their families and caregivers to guess what their preferences are. The sooner acceptance occurs, the more quickly you can visit an elder law attorney, ask your loved one their preferences about future care and feel more confident you are making the right choices.
  • You can give your loved one the greatest quality of life. Acceptance allows for you to find ways to make each day more enriching and enjoyable for your loved one. You can then plan for engaging activities that are tailored to those with dementia, take them to support groups and help them find others on a similar journey.

What to Do When a Loved One Refuses to Accept a Dementia Diagnosis

If your loved one with dementia is having a hard time dealing with their diagnosis, try some of these tips.

  • Give them time to cope. Allow your loved one to be upset and sad. They likely just need some time to cope and accept their diagnosis on their own. Ask them if they’d like to talk to you about it and watch for signs of depression. Over time, they may come around.
  • Have them talk to a professional. If time and space aren’t helping your loved one, talk to their doctor.  The doctor may want to meet and talk with your loved one, or may suggest your family member meet with a trusted family friend, pastor or healthcare professional.
  • Encourage them to continue doing things they love. Just because your loved one has dementia doesn’t mean they can’t continue the hobbies and activities they once loved. Participate in some of these activities with them if they won’t continue to do them on their own, as this can help them get back into the swing of it.
  • Avoid arguing with them. If acceptance doesn’t come right away, don’t argue and tell them they have dementia whether they want to accept it or not. Simply make changes that you know need to be made to enhance their safety, and continue monitoring them as much as possible. Understand this could be difficult at first, but may get easier over time as they accept it.

For more information on what to do when your loved one refuses to accept their dementia diagnosis, or for more helpful tips to make this time easier for your loved one, contact the team at CountryHouse at Granite Bay. We would be happy to help your loved one come to terms with their disease as well as help you find better ways to provide them with the support and care they deserve. Call us today at 916•850•2774.

Treating people like family is at the heart of what we do.

CountryHouse at Granite Bay is the very first CountryHouse location in California. With a desirable location among Folsom Lake and the Sierra foothills, and only 25 miles northeast of Sacramento, Granite Bay was the perfect area to place our upscale memory care community. While CountryHouse at Granite Bay may be brand new to California, we are certainly not new to the needs of seniors. And just like every CountryHouse around the United States, we know that personalized care can make all the difference when it comes to quality care and peace of mind.

At CountryHouse at Granite Bay, we provide personalized memory care in an environment that is beautiful and thoughtfully designed. Full of natural light, warmth and tasteful elegance, we want residents and their families to feel welcome and at home. In fact, our staff members are even hand-picked based on their natural empathy. Our staff learns each resident’s story, from their likes and dislikes to their values and their pasts, in order to customize care and make meaningful connections that provide residents with true moments of joy and the desire to make the most of each day.

With our LifeCycles wellness programming, we encourage residents to connect, engage and enjoy every day. Our LifeCycles programming is designed to focus on the four dimensions of wellness: physical, social, spiritual and intellectual. We achieve this through a range of daily activities and routines, which can include daily bus rides, cookouts, trips and other special events. At CountryHouse at Granite Bay, we strive to make sure our residents make the most of each day, and we believe that when you treat people like family, and keep that at the heart of what you do, residents, their families and their health thrive. Contact us to learn more!

Connect with us today or call us at 916•850•2774 for more information or to schedule a visit.

CountryHouse is part of the Agemark family of senior living communities.