Denial is particularly frustrating for you to deal with as a family caregiver. You can’t always use logic to break through denial, but having an idea of why the denial exists can help you to work around it.
1. Distance Can Be a Factor
When your other family members live far away, they don’t have the same perspective on your elderly loved one’s health that you have. They’re not able to see the same situations you see and they have only your word to go on. Unfortunately, that can often mean that they choose to believe that you’re exaggerating.
2. They Don’t Want to Believe the Decline Is True
It’s difficult to watch someone that you love experience declining health and other problems. Often other family members experience denial because it’s too difficult to face the truth of the matter. What these family members usually don’t understand is that it’s difficult for you to witness your loved one dealing with these problems, too.
3. Experts Carry More Weight
For still other family members, the opinions of experts can be more important than the information that you’re sharing. This can mean that no matter how much data and information you share, these family members won’t believe you until they hear it from the mouth of an expert. Since they’re probably not at your loved one’s doctor’s appointments with you, they’re less likely to hear what they’re wanting to hear.
4. They’re Dealing with a Lot of Their Own Issues
In still other cases, your family members are too busy dealing with their own issues to really be able to focus on your loved one’s issues. This isn’t technically denial, but it’s got the same effect because these family members are still oblivious to what is going on with your elderly loved one overall. Do what you can to support them in their situation, even if they can’t return the favor just yet.
You can’t always break through someone else’s denial. Instead, focus on ways you can make your life and your loved one’s life easier, such as hiring elderly care providers to pick up some of the extra tasks for you.
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