How to Deal with an Elderly Parent who has Alzheimer’s (And Doesn’t Realize It)

Alzheimer’s disease is a prevalent issue among the elderly population. The most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 50%–60% of all cases of the condition.

Almost 50 million people worldwide suffer from dementia, with nearly 10 million new cases being registered each year. With such a large population, this means that there are countless adults and children who are taking care of their elderly parents who may have Alzheimer’s disease.

Despite that, there’s something to be gained from this; the fact that we have a lot of information on how to deal with a parent with Alzheimer’s, carefully and respectfully.

Relating to a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease

For someone who may not know they have Alzheimer’s disease, telling them they may have it to their face without employing tact will only make things worse.

Remember, Alzheimer’s disease is not to be taken lightly.

If they do show all the symptoms of the disease, they’ll also feel scared. But more than that, they’ll feel like they’ve done something wrong, or have been doing so without realizing it, which can be embarrassing.

The Argument

There has actually been a lot of debate around the subject. Should you tell your parent (or a loved one) that they have Alzheimer’s?

It might cause a lot of emotional distress for them. They might feel hopeless about their condition and will start over-thinking everything. They might even think that they’re a burden to their family and loved ones.

But your loved one has the right to know. While you might want to protect them from knowing, keep in mind that they know themselves best. So the chances are that they may actually have sensed that something is wrong, but they can’t quite put their finger on it.

Knowing the cause of all their anxiety might answer their health questions. Also, if they know they have Alzheimer’s, they’ll be able to prepare for themselves long-term. Documentation, caregiving, legal matters—they’ll want to make sure they’ve organized everything so there’s no issue later.

So if you were to tell then, how do you go about doing so?

You rely on the medical reports and accounts, while surrounded by only their closest people. You want be gentle and supportive, but you also want to be sure you get the message across so you can take the next step.

The Most Important Part

If they know about their condition, this will greatly help them in making a decision on whether or not they want to live in an assisted living community.

Plenty of residents at AvantGarde Senior Living in Beverly Hills, CA come to us for our memory care services. With our help, people can be comforted knowing that they have the best people available for their loved one’s care.

So if your parent has Alzheimer’s and you believe telling them will help, do so. Treat your parent respectfully and do what is right by them, not you. It’s the best thing to do.