Dementia is a disorder that affects a person’s daily functioning, so why do people with dementia often seem unaware of their symptoms?

This is a common question from loved ones and family members. And it’s what makes dealing with the disorder so difficult.

First, let’s examine the symptoms themselves, as they often contribute to people being unaware of their condition.

Symptoms of Dementia

Dementia isn’t an actual disease. It’s a complex and progressive disorder characterized by a decline in cognitive function, memory loss, and changes in behavior and personality.

Common symptoms of dementia include the following:

  • Memory loss, particularly short-term memory.
  • Difficulty with language and communication.
  • Impaired judgment and reasoning.
  • Changes in mood and behavior.
  • Inability to control emotions.
  • Changes in personality.
  • Confusion, disorientation, and wandering.

In people with dementia, these symptoms become severe enough to interfere with their daily life and activities.

Why Do People with Dementia Often Seem Unaware of Their Symptoms?

Remember, dementia is a disorder that presents as a decline in cognitive function. Here are some of the reasons why people with dementia often don’t recognize their own symptoms:

1. Lack of Insight

Dementia can affect an individual’s insight and self-awareness. And this can lead to a lack of recognition or understanding of their symptoms. They may not perceive themselves as having memory problems or cognitive decline.

2. Memory Impairment

Memory impairment is a hallmark symptom of dementia. Individuals may struggle to remember recent events or experiences, including conversations about their condition. This memory loss contributes to their apparent unawareness of their symptoms.

3. Denial and Coping Mechanisms

Denial is a common coping mechanism for people facing a diagnosis of dementia. Some may consciously or unconsciously deny or minimize their symptoms as a way to cope with the distressing reality of their condition.

4. Neurological Changes

Dementia causes significant changes in the brain, affecting areas responsible for self-awareness. These neurological changes can impair the individual’s ability to recognize their own cognitive decline.

How to Help People with Dementia

Here’s how you can help a loved one with dementia:

  • Provide Support and Understanding. Offer support and understanding to individuals with dementia, recognizing that their lack of awareness of their symptoms is a result of their condition. Avoid arguing or correcting them about their perceptions.
  • Validate Their Feelings. Validate the individual’s feelings and experiences, even if they don’t align with reality. Acknowledge their emotions and offer reassurance and comfort.
  • Encourage Engagement and Socialization. Encourage engagement in meaningful activities and socialization to promote cognitive stimulation and emotional well-being. Participating in activities they enjoy can enhance their quality of life and sense of purpose.
  • Provide Gentle Reminders and Assistance. Offer gentle reminders and assistance with daily tasks as needed, respecting their autonomy and dignity. Provide cues and prompts to help them navigate their environment and maintain independence.

Dementia Care in an Adult Family Home

Not all adult family homes have staff with specialty training in Dementia and Mental Health care, but some — like Crest View Adult Family Home — do. These adult family homes can provide a level of care for people with dementia that is often difficult for family members to achieve on their own.

Dementia care in an adult family home can include the following:

Personalized Care Plan

Adult family homes like Crest View tailor care plans to meet the unique needs of residents with dementia. Caregivers provide individualized support and assistance with activities of daily living, memory care, and emotional support.

Safe and Secure Environment

Adult family homes offer a safe and secure environment for individuals with dementia. The home-like facility has trained staff and measures in place to prevent wandering and ensure the resident’s safety.

Engaging Activities and Programs

Crest View Adult Family Home provides engaging activities and programs specifically designed for residents with dementia. These activities promote cognitive stimulation, social interaction, and a sense of purpose.

Visit Crest View Adult Family Home

If you’re seeking compassionate and specialized care for a loved one with dementia, we invite you to stop by Crest View Adult Family Home for a visit and tour of our facility.

Experience firsthand our warm and nurturing environment, and learn how our dedicated team can provide the support and care your loved one needs.

Contact us today to schedule a visit and discover how we can help enhance the quality of life for your loved one with dementia.

Click here to schedule a visit.