Anosognosia – How Do You Prepare Yourself for a Parent Who Feels They’re Fine Despite Their Diagnosis?

Anosognosia – How Do You Prepare Yourself for a Parent Who Feels They’re Fine Despite Their Diagnosis?

Caregiver in Nixa MO: Anosognosia, What Is It?
Caregiver in Nixa MO: Anosognosia, What Is It?

Anosognosia is a condition where a person cannot comprehend or refuse to admit they have a disorder or disease.  In terms of the elderly, it’s a frequent problem in Alzheimer’s patients.

 

What Happens With Anosognosia

As the pathways between the neurons become clogged and brain cells die, brain function diminishes.  As the brain function diminishes, a person with Alzheimer’s simply becomes unaware of his or her issues with cognitive function.  Dr. Doty of the University of Florida Cognitive and Memory Disorder Clinics states that 8 out of 10 people with Alzheimer’s also have anosognosia.

If your mom has anosognosia, she may not be aware that she’s losing her memory.  She doesn’t realize that she took the dogs for a walk already or that she already did that load of laundry sitting in a basket on her sofa.  If you mention it, she can get angry and frustrated.  She sees herself as normal, and you’re now telling her otherwise.  She gets defensive and takes out her anger and frustration on you.

 

You know she’s declining, even if she doesn’t. 

You know she needs help around the house, but she’s rejecting those ideas.  You may find yourself taking some verbal abuse, which makes it hard to be around her.

 

What Can You Do?

You need to help your mom without her feeling insulted.  Keep knives, medications, and car keys locked in a cabinet or cupboard that she cannot access.  Check her fridge and cupboards weekly to look for past date or spoiled foods.  Compost and recycle foods and containers.  Put in a thermostat that you can control.  You don’t want your mom turning the heat off in the middle of winter or turning on the furnace in the heat of summer.

 

Take Time to Reboot

Rather than deal with the emotional stress of caring for your mom every day, make sure you’re spending time with friends, other family members, or by yourself.  Yes, it is hard to leave your mom with someone else, but it’s so important for both of your mental health as well.

Caregivers are trained in all aspects of home care.  A caregiver can cook your mom’s meal, eat with her, and wash the dishes after.  Your mom will have someone to keep her from wandering, keep her from trying to use a small appliance without supervision.   Caregivers can also drive her to appointments, join her on walks, and help her with housework.

Do you want to learn more about taking a break without leaving your mom alone?  Call a home care agency today to discuss the benefits of respite.

 

If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring a caregiver in Nixa, MO, please contact the caring staff at Sutton In-Home Senior Care today.  Call us: 417-865-8812

 

Sources:
http://alzonline.phhp.ufl.edu/en/reading/anosognosia.pdf

 

Brooke Sutton, President, RN

Brooke Sutton, owner of Sutton Home Care and a Springfield native, is a fully licensed Registered Nurse with over ten years experience in the healthcare field.

Brooke provides trusted home care services to numerous patients in the Springfield market which has earned her agency the reputation of being the premier home care agency in this area.
Brooke Sutton’s journey to the home care sector began while she was working as a Registered Nurse at Lakeland Behavioral Health.While at Lakeland, she learned and developed her skill working with psychiatric patients as well as patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia. After Lakeland, Brooke worked as a Community Health Nurse for the Arc of the Ozarks providing home health care services to dual diagnosis patients living at home.Brooke has also worked in the Emergency Room setting which has given her the ability to recognize and communicate problems and potential issues before they arise.

Brooke and her husband Sean live in Springfield and have three children (Brett who is twelve, Karaline who is eight, and Henry who is four).Brooke is active in church and enjoys spending her free time at Table Rock Lake or with family and friends.

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