As the loved one of a family member with Alzheimer’s disease, watching your parent go through it can be tough. You may be wondering whether your elderly parent is aware of their condition. The surprising answer is that not every older adult with Alzheimer’s disease know that they have it. This is due to the cognitive impairment that has taken place and should not be equated with being in denial about their condition.
In this article, we answer the question of whether people with Alzheimer’s disease know they have it.
Individuals with anosognosia do not know that they have a disease or condition. Remember that every individual is unique and your elderly loved one may be aware that they have Alzheimer’s. This is especially true if the disease was caught in its early stages and has yet to progress. At this point, they may still be capable of making some decisions for themselves, particularly when it comes to their long-term care options.
However, the implications of not knowing they have the condition can cause distress to the affected person as well as their caregivers and loved ones. Keep in mind that they may also have periods of awareness and at other times, they do not know what’s going on. This can result in inconsistent behavior.
Symptoms to Watch Out for
Be careful not to confuse the lack of awareness for denial. The cognitive decline that has taken place in the brain of an Alzheimer’s patient can mean that they are not even aware of being cognitively impaired.
Below are some symptoms to watch out for when you suspect that your loved one is not aware of their condition:
Denying that there’s a problem
Your loved one may deny that they are experiencing any sort of symptoms and claim that everything is normal. Sometimes, this can be because they don’t understand what’s going on and are afraid of anything changing. When you try to mention it to them, they may give you excuses such as they just forgot.
Getting agitated or defensive
Do you find that your loved one gets agitated or defensive when you remind them of their condition? Rather than being in denial, this could be because their capacity to understand has decreased as the cognitive impairment progresses.
Having trouble with language
One common symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is having trouble finding the right words. This can make it hard for patients to keep up a conversation. However, as their condition progresses, they may not be aware that their memory and other cognitive skills are slowly declining.
Consider Residential Memory Care
Have you have just received a diagnosis, or is your loved one is in any stage of Alzheimer’s disease? If so, you may be on the lookout for a long-term partner in care. Our memory care community has plenty to offer our residents, and we welcome you to schedule a tour with us today. We make use of the latest industry best practices and scientific findings to provide the highest level of care.