How do you break through a family’s denial about this disease?
-Jean

The world is made up with people of all types of backgrounds and personalities. Some like to confront hard things and push through, even if reality hurts. Some like to live in denial and it makes life easier at the moment and that is what helps them get through the day. It is not easily possible to change a personality, especially if someone is wired that way and have lived into adulthood handling various life events in this manner. While it might make it a little frustrating and lonely for you to handle the reality by yourself, there is little you can do to get them to suddenly admit what is happening in your family dynamic. Sometimes you can have them take care of the loved one for an extended period of time so they can see firsthand the changes that have taken place. Sometimes you can have a close family friend or physician explain to them what is happening. There are books, such as “The Dangers of Denial” by Elizabeth Lonseth and “Mom’s Ok, She Just Forgets” by Evelyn D. Mclay to read. Perhaps they or others will help as well with the denial. Good luck and hopefully they will eventually come around.

One thought on “How do you break through a family’s denial about this disease?

  • hettie posner

    I am in the U.K. I have just found this fab website and in reply to this question of denial, I just dont think that you can always get through to people. My husband is 89 now. Has had dementia for 4 years and is frail anyway, with a bypass that is now almost 25 years old! We have not heard a word from his married son who lives in the U.S., in 2 years. I once suggested to him that he phoned his dad a little more often than every 3 months or so, and well, thats it! He blamed me and we have heard nothing since. According to him, everything is my fault, and of course, nothing is!, but he does’nt care. His sister is also married with teenage kids and is a vetenery surgeon living a very affluent lifestyle here in the UK and we hear from her occasionally, every 3 months or so. She never offers any help. She has a lovely home in the countryside where her dad could stay for a few days, but, she just does’nt seem to care enough. Their father has dementia – I am his wife and its my problem, not theirs! Its denial. My husband is one of those husbands who does’nt converse with me anymore. I am terribly lonely. Covid 19 does not help. But, he was a lovely man, good and kind and does not deserve the treatment he gets from his kids, even though I dont think he cares anymore.

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