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Talking About the ‘Elephant in the Room’: When the Topic of Alzheimer’s Comes Up with Family

An aging family member may have been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It’s a difficult topic to discuss, and one in which most people have no prior experience. Unfortunately, far too many families have a tendency to gloss over the topic or try to not ‘talk about it’ for the time being.

Alzheimer's Care in Cinco Ranch TX: Talking About the Elephant in the Room

Alzheimer’s Care in Cinco Ranch TX: Talking About the Elephant in the Room

They don’t want to talk about the disease, the signs and symptoms, or what will happen in the future.

They would rather simply rally around this aging parent, grandparent, spouse, or other individual and, while they are still able to function quite well with only minimal help, make sure they are comfortable. It’s uncomfortable for many people to talk about issues like this.

After a while, though, it basically becomes an elephant in the room.

This expression essentially refers to something that is so big, so immense, that it sits in the center of the room where everyone is trying to look around it, they can’t avoid it, but they don’t want to talk about it.

So, how do we talk about these things?

It’s absolutely crucial people understand the importance of discussing Alzheimer’s, proper Alzheimer’s care, what is going to happen in the years ahead, and how to best provide comfort for this individual as early as possible. Simply pushing it aside because it’s too difficult to handle emotionally at this moment is only doing a disservice to that person diagnosed with this form of dementia.

If certain family members are trying to truncate the conversation or ignore it altogether, it’s time to confront them directly. Find out what is it about this topic that causes some such discomfort? Why do they not want to figure out the best way forward for this individual?

Most of the time these issues involve naivety or even ignorance about the disease, the symptoms, or what may happen. It could very well be that someone is having a difficult time accepting this diagnosis. Everyone works through their grief differently and there are different stages to overcome. One family member may have worked through their stages of grief within a matter of days or weeks while another may be taking months or longer.

Just because one person may be having a difficult time with this doesn’t mean the conversation shouldn’t happen. The sooner that senior begins receiving reliable, qualified, and experienced care and support, the better it’s going to be for him or her as the disease begins to steal more memory and mental function.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Alzheimer’s care in Cinco Ranch, TX, please call the caring staff at At Your Side Home Care. We will answer all of your senior care questions. Call today: (832) 271-1600.

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Donna Wrabel

For most of us, the word "home" evokes warm feelings of comfort, security and well-being. For older adults, home also means holding tight to cherished memories and maintaining self-esteem and independence. When illness, injury or age make life a little more challenging, remaining at home in a comfortable, familiar environment encourages recovery and enhances the quality of life. Home can be defined as a private residence, an independent or assisted living facility or even a short term stay in the hospital, we recognize the additional benefits provided by a personal, professional assistant.

Our Certified Nurse Aides, 24-Hour Live-in Assistants and Home Health Aides are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We also provide the security and confidence of 24-hour Telephone Assistance, so fast, reliable help is always available when it's needed. To learn more about our homecare services see our homecare services page.

Different people need different levels of homecare. To meet the requirements of our clients, At Your Side Homecare maintains consistent staffing levels of caring professionals. Homecare service is available for as little as a few hours a week, or as many as 24 hours a day, seven days a week

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