Is Your Loved One Hiding Dementia?Alzheimer's, Dementia & Memory Care | October 20, 2016
One of the most common signs of dementia is persistent memory loss. While forgetful moments can be normal among aging adults, such as misplacing your keys or glasses, not remembering where you left your purse or parked the car, memory loss that disrupts daily life is a key indicator that something more serious is going on.
The problem is that many seniors fear admitting that memory loss has become an issue means they will lose their independence. They will go to great lengths to hide their condition from loved ones and friends, which hinders the start of treatment that can ease some of the dementia symptoms they’re experiencing.
3 Ways Loved Ones Hide the Signs of Dementia
It’s important for caregivers to be aware of some of the ways aging parents can hide the signs of dementia. Sometimes, your loved one might not even be aware of his or her condition at all, which is called anosognosia. In this case, your loved one doesn’t realize that medical treatment is a necessity and can downright refuse treatment. However, the sooner treatment can begin, the higher chance there is of slowing the progression of the disease.
Some of the top ways aging loved ones might hide dementia symptoms include:
If you used to enjoy weekly lunch or dinner dates at your loved one’s home, but recently he or she has been making excuses to keep you- and others- away, this could be a sign that he or she is struggling with confusion or memory loss. Perhaps the house is in a state of disarray, as daily living activities like cleaning and paying bills can become difficult throughout the stages of dementia. Or, perhaps your loved one has stopped going to their weekly card game at the senior center because remembering the rules to the game has started to become an issue.
Denial of issues with memory loss
Aging loved ones may insist everything is fine; they are just having frequent “senior moments” during which they get confused or forgetful. They may say they’re just tired from not sleeping well. They may feel like making excuses or being in denial that anything is wrong, hoping it will help keep them living independently in their homes for a longer amount of time.
Increased dependence on a spouse
Spouses often feel pressured to help hide a loved one’s possible dementia symptoms, as their own independence might be tied to the spouse who is having memory problems. If you notice your loved one’s husband or wife completing sentences or tasks for the other on a regular basis, this could be a clear sign something bigger is going on.
Again, if you notice any of the signs of dementia in a loved one, it’s best to address the problem as soon as possible. A doctor can rule out other possibilities, like dehydration, infection, or issues with any current medications. You shouldn’t be afraid to start the conversation about necessary treatment or alternative living options, as your loved one’s health and safety are the main concern.
American Senior Communities offers memory care assisted living in a specialized environment for those in the early or middle stages of dementia. Or, our Auguste’s Cottage provides person-centered memory care throughout each stage of the disease. Contact us today to request more information.