Do most dementia patients suffer from denial? (Anosognosia)
Do most dementia patients suffer from denial? We've had 4 opinions that my 51 year old husband has Lewy Body Dementia. He refuses to believe it and says we are all delusional and conspiring against him. Its becoming unbearable for me and my school aged children. Can he be admitted to a place so we can live a normal life or is that for people old enough for Medicare only?
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Caregivers: Dementia Support Group.
Medicare doesn’t pay for long term care- assistive living or a skilled nursing facility. Medicaid does, but you need the help of an Elder Law attorney to advise you how to protect assets under the laws of your state. Hate to say it, but talking with a divorce attorney would be helpful too- once the required assets are “spent down”, he would be eligible for Medicaid.
Do you feel unsafe at home? Are there guns available to him? Has he threatened you or the children in any way? Please be wary and observant.
You know your husband better than anyone. My husband has vascular dementia, as he declined he became more angry. I knew what conversation subjects to stay away from, I stopped offering any advice or suggestions, stopped asking for help with anything, stopped being involved with the meds, smiled a lot. Reflective listening was a big help- whatever he would say I would rephrase back to him. Trying to make a point, trying to justify, or disagreeing in any way would get him escalating. You don’t want World War III in your house, while you try to figure out the next step. It won’t get any better. Please get legal advice.
It is not denial. It is the INABILITY to know there is a problem. The name for that condition is anosognosia, and it is very common. It is probably wise not to talk about dementia unless he brings it up. That will likely cause him to be on the defensive, and argue about it. There is no upside to that. It's best to let him believe what he does. This is a battle you can't win.
@cmiddlet I know it can be so hard to care for someone with dementia at home. I googled “help for someone with dementia” and so many responses came up that i couldn’t put them all here. When you go looking for the information, your computer will ask if it can use your location. Say ‘yes’ and the resources should be narrowed down to your area. You can also check for senior resources and elder care legal assistance in your community.
Will you let me know if you’re able to find some helpful resources?
I'm so sorry you and your family are going through such a trying time. In itself, Lewy body dementia, as you probably know, affects the brain's chemicals that are involved in thinking, memory, movement and mood. It also causes cognitive impairment. All that aside, not one of us would want to admit that we are suffering from any form of dementia in a lucid moment.
As far as assistance/placement for your husband, long term care aka a nursing home can be covered if you have Medicaid. As others have suggested, an Elder Attorney is an excellent resource and a good starting point. There are also Personal care homes which are private residences that are licensed by the state and accept usually 4-6 residents that "feel" like they are at home with home cooked meals, aids for showers if needed and a nurse to oversee medical conditions and dispense medications. These are a private pay arrangement unless your husband is a Veteran or you have Long Term Care Insurance. If he is a Veteran, there are many programs thru the VA which may be helpful.
Hoping this information is helpful to you.