Even the best caregiver finds that now and again, some denial sneaks in.
This is something that you shouldn’t feel bad about or beat yourself up over because it’s your brain’s way of trying to protect you from something that you’re worried or concerned about. As long as you’re addressing your denial as soon as possible, you’re moving in the right direction.
Look at What You’re Afraid of in the Situation
Much of denial comes from fear. You might be afraid of the unknown or you might be afraid of something specific in the situation. Regardless, you need to face up to what it is that you’re feeling fear around so that you can do what you can to address it. If you’re not sure what you’re feeling afraid about, try writing down a page or two of what is going on with the situation. You might find yourself working around to the root cause of the fear.
Assess the Facts
Facts can do quite a bit to resolve both denial and fear. Take a good look at what you already know. For instance, you might know that your senior is having more trouble with her vision, even if you’re not sure how bad that is or what is causing the problem. Having an idea what the facts give you at least a place to start so that you can get more information.
Get as Much Information as You Can
Now that you’ve looked at what you already know, it’s time to add to that by doing some more research. Talk to your senior’s doctor and do some more reading on your own. It’s very possible that by improving what you know about your senior’s health issues, you can start to piece together tools that help you to avoid slipping into denial down the road.
Reach out for Help from Others
When you’ve got other people to help you with caregiving, you’re not relying on just your own observations and knowledge. Elder care providers, in particular, have the experience that you need in order to make decisions from a place of informed empowerment rather than denial. They offer you someone else on whom you can rely and who you can ask for their perspective. Seeing things from someone else’s point of view can open up your own perception.
Being in denial doesn’t mean that you’re a bad caregiver or that you’re not trying your hardest. It usually means that you don’t want to believe that a situation with your aging adult has gotten worse. It’s a way of protecting yourself and your elderly family member from situations you may not understand yet.