Anosognosia is a condition that medical personnel have a difficult time explaining. The most difficult part of this disease is that the person who is affected by it has no concept they are affected. Typically, when a person slides into dementia, they experience signs of forgetfulness and confusion. However, this is not so with anosognosia. When this happens, a personal care assistant can support your loved one who has no recollection of the cause of their current confusion. Often this condition is the result of some anatomical change or damage to the brain and for the elderly it could be something similar to a TMI.
For your mom or dad struggling with anosognosia, having a personal care assistant or family member’s help may result in resistance. It is tough to help someone who does not understand that they need support. Your mother or father may have obvious difficulties with personal care, however, they may not recognize it themselves and they may become combative when assistance is offered. Because they do not know or understand this, attempting to discuss the problem with them is almost impossible as well.
The signs of this form of dementia are as follows:
- Inability to maintain personal care including bathing, brushing teeth, wearing clean clothing.
- Financial confusion, not paying bills and not keeping track of how much money they have.
- Vocally spontaneous, using language that they may not use if they thought about it.
- Quick to anger if confronted with something they have not done.
- Wild imagination, telling stories that often can be hurtful.
A personal care assistant, as well as family and friends, must maintain a calm environment around your loved one if they have anosognosia with dementia. Speaking in positive tones and providing gentle encouragement are important too. Providing a structured day will keep your parent’s life in balance and taking the tasks like money keeping and housekeeping out of their hands will lessen anxiety for all.