Everyone has those moments where they wish things were different. You and your senior might both feel that way about her health or about her overall situation. It’s at those moments when reality can feel way harsher than it should be and denial feels a little more comfortable. But how much reality is enough?
Denial Needs to Be Temporary
Denial can be a helpful tool, as long as it’s something that you and your senior rely on temporarily to get through the worst of a situation. It’s primarily useful when you’re edging closer to acceptance over time. Your elderly family member might not be willing to hear right away what’s going on with her health, for instance, but a slow acceptance of reality keeps her from becoming overwhelmed from the very beginning.
They’re Called Coping Mechanisms for a Reason
The reality of denial is that coping mechanisms really do work. They are a way for your brain to buy a little bit of time in order for you or your senior to get to a point where the problem or the situation makes sense. It’s not wrong to allow your senior to use coping mechanisms, as long as those coping mechanisms aren’t hurting her and aren’t something, you’re looking to make a permanent fixture in her life.
Facts Aren’t Always Enough
But the problem comes in when your senior doesn’t want to visit reality at all. If she’s comfortable in her denial, she might well stay there longer than you or she expect and facts may not have the oomph that you want them to have. At that point, you may have to be the one facing reality and allowing her to have her moment until she’s ready to accept what’s happening.
Someone Needs to Be Embracing Reality
Talk to your senior’s doctors about what’s going on and how you should ideally prepare yourself and her. If she’s still not interested in hearing the truth, you may need to dole out facts on a daily basis until she’s willing to listen. It’s difficult but not impossible to break through even the toughest layers of denial.
It helps to make sure you’re taking care of yourself, too. Make time for your own interests and consider bringing in elder care providers to help your senior when you’re away. Visiting the land of denial, yourself may be tempting, but it probably won’t help.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care in Tallahassee, FL, please call the caring staff at Hopewell In-Home Senior Care today at 850-386-5552. Providing Senior Care Services in North Florida.