One of the most difficult things about the early stages of dementia is that people are able to recognize the changes their brain and body are going through. They realize that they’re becoming forgetful and confused more frequently, making it difficult to handle many of the normal aspects of daily life.
These changes are frustrating, disappointing, and even scary at times. This often leads to patients refusing care or help with tasks they can no longer handle on their own.
Whether you have a parent with dementia who refuses help or a loved one with Alzheimer’s going through similar struggles, this list is here to provide you with ways to assist them. Whenever these individuals are having a hard time or won’t accept your help, it’s important to handle the situation gently and carefully.
1. Make Sure They are Comfortable
If you’re wondering how to help someone with dementia who is in denial, one of the best things you can do is ensure they always feel safe and comfortable. If they become difficult, it is likely there is an underlying problem that is causing these feelings.
Ask them if they need to use the restroom or if there is something else you can do to help them relax or feel better. Simple steps like these will help you in difficult situations when dealing with a parent or loved one who has dementia.
2. Speak to Them Softly and Calmly
You should always address people with dementia in a kind and gentle tone. When a senior gets upset or is struggling, raising your voice will only make things more difficult. If a loved one is having a hard time understanding you, be patient and take your time explaining what is going on.
A feeling of caring companionship can help the effects of dementia slow down. As you maintain a calm and quiet presence, they will feel safer and more willing to accept your help in the future. A gentle touch on the arm or a hug is a great way to diffuse tension as well if they are comfortable with it.
3. Provide Simple Choices and Directions
When you have a parent in denial about dementia, it can be tough for them to comprehend complicated scenarios or to follow instructions. As their memory declines, they will also have a harder time with problem-solving and handling day-to-day tasks without your assistance.
If you see a loved one who is having trouble understanding, make it a point to provide them with simple steps and basic guidance from beginning to end. This will give them a feeling of accomplishment when they do something on their own and show them you’re there for them.
4. Use Distractions to Divert Their Attention
Sometimes, individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s can become belligerent and develop a strong resistance to personal care at certain times. In these situations, one of the quickest ways to settle down patients refusing care is by providing them with a distraction.
Take some time to think about their interests and things they loved before they began losing their memory. Some of the best diversions you can use to help them settle down include:
- Their favorite music
- A movie they enjoy
- Family photo albums
- Arts, crafts, and projects
5. Remove Items That Frustrate or Bother Them
As your loved one’s dementia progresses, they may get upset by things that aren’t really there. When this happens, strong emotions such as anger, fear, or frustration may be triggered by random items around their home.
If they point out things that are bringing up these thoughts or feelings, remove these items from their view or simply get rid of them altogether. When you are serving a parent with dementia who refuses help, it is vital that you do all you can to make them feel happy and content within their living space.
6. Follow a Daily Routine
One of the best ways to help someone with dementia who is in denial is to establish a consistent schedule for their activities of daily living (ADLs). Get them up and out of bed at the same time every morning, plan on having meals at regular intervals, and prepare them for bed at the same time every night.
Other steps you can take to help them follow a routine will make the situation easier to manage on a day to day basis. Developing a pattern is also a pivotal way to promote successful aging and make them more content.
7. Treat Them Like an Adult
As a senior goes through the stages of dementia, at times it will feel as though they have backtracked to their years as a rebellious teenager or even a toddler. But no matter how they are acting or treating others, you should never speak to them like they are a child. This can quickly make them more upset and lead to additional problems.
Always treat them like an adult, be patient, and show them you are there to love and care for them.
8. Give Them Space When Needed
There may be times when you simply cannot help a parent or loved one who is in denial about their dementia. Although you shouldn’t leave them alone often, don’t hesitate to give them time to themselves on occasion.
Brief moments here and there will allow them to calm down and make it easier for you to assist them with their needs later on in the day.
Getting Help for a Parent With Dementia Who Refuses Care
For those who are struggling with a loved one who has dementia, there comes a time when you need help providing care and assistance they require. Trained professionals know the best practices and steps to take for these individuals when they are refusing help from others.
If you’re unsure where to go for help, look no further than Pacific Angels Home Care. Providing top-rated personal care for dementia patients, our staff is patient, kind, and educated in all the ways to support patients refusing care.
Give us a call today at (831) 708-2876 or contact us online to learn more about our services and see what we can do for you and your loved ones!