When a senior you are caring for has memory loss, it can be difficult for them to do the everyday things they used to. Whether this includes simple tasks such as cooking and bathing or getting out of the house and going to semi-familiar places, it can be frustrating for caregivers. One of the most common issues that caregivers face is trying to get their loved one with memory loss to go to public places.
According to Alison Wall, Senior Living Consultant at TreVista Antioch, an assisted living and memory care community in Antioch, CA, this is common for a number of reasons. “Seniors with memory loss often don’t like to go to unfamiliar or overstimulating places. They may get nervous or anxious someone may notice their disease, they may get so overstimulated and unsettled that they become likely to wander or they may get agitated or aggressive,” says Alison. “This is likely to occur when a loved one with memory loss needs to go to the doctor for an appointment as well. This can occur for many reasons. They may not feel as though there’s anything wrong with them, they may respond negatively that you made the appointment for them or they may simply refuse. Either way, it’s important to understand why your loved one refuses to go to the doctor so you can learn effective ways to address it and make future visits easier.”
Common Reasons Why Seniors With Memory Loss Don’t Like Visiting the Doctor
While you may believe your loved one doesn’t like to go to the doctor because they are afraid, it’s possible that there may be other reasons, such as:
- The waiting room is overstimulating
- They don’t feel as though there’s anything wrong with them
- It’s uncomfortable and unfamiliar to them
- They pick up that you, as the caregiver, become stressed about taking them
- They are seeing a new specialist, not one they’ve come to know
- Misplaced fear that the doctor is going to hurt them
How to Make Doctor’s Visits Easier
When it comes time to take your loved one to the doctor, it’s important to prepare as much as you can ahead of time. Consider some of the following ideas to help make visits easier on both yourself and your loved one with memory loss.
- Schedule appointments wisely. Is there a specific time where your loved one is at their best? Perhaps they are happiest in the morning when the day is just starting and will be more likely to respond to a doctor’s visit well. Maybe a visit is best after lunch when you take your loved one to eat and then go to the doctor. Don’t forget to consider when the office is likely to be less crowded and overstimulating, as this can make a loved one’s mood turn negatively quickly. It’s important to schedule appointments for the time your loved one is more likely to react well in order to have a successful visit.
- Make the day as stress-free as possible. When preparing your loved one to go to the doctor, try not to share so much information. Give yourself plenty of time and calmly get you and your loved one ready. It’s crucial to make this time as relaxed and stress-free as possible. If your loved one asks where you are going, state that you are going out today and that there are errands to run. When you get to the doctor, let them know you’ll be going for lunch or dinner afterward to make it appear more appealing and guide them inside. Again, this will likely be easiest when they are calm, relaxed and at their best.
- Talk to the doctor. If they know and understand your loved one’s fears about visiting the office, they may be able to help you prepare or calm your loved one. Call them and discuss the situation, ask if they have any tips and see if they are able to speak with your loved one about the upcoming appointment.
If going to the doctor is still a large source of stress for your loved one, see if there’s anything you can do to help. Will they respond better to virtual visits? What if the doctor comes to their home? Talk to your doctor’s office to see what options could make both of your lives more stress-free.
For more information about why a loved one may refuse to go to the doctor or to learn more helpful tips that can make your visits easier, contact the team at TreVista Antioch. With healthcare available on site, scheduled transportation to doctor’s appointments and memory care experts available to help you, they are sure to provide useful knowledge to make your caregiving journey easier. Call today at 925•329•6292.
Making the everyday extraordinary.
Family-owned and operated, Agemark Senior Living is the new owner of TreVista Antioch. Known for creating warm, welcoming communities, vibrant lifestyles and engaging programming, Agemark has been one of the most premier and trusted senior living providers since 1987. As Agemark’s newest community, TreVista Antioch is located on 10 acres in a prime location close to shopping and local attractions, as well as the great outdoors. Our beautiful community features a personalized, resident-centric approach to care that provides support, all while helping residents live full, connected lives.
At TreVista Antioch, we provide assisted living and memory care set in a beautiful environment that not only meets our residents’ needs but makes them, as well as their families, feel more at home. Although our gorgeous community is a plus, we truly believe it’s our programming and caring, dedicated staff that makes TreVista home. With our family-oriented inspiration and resident-centric approach, our residents flourish and experience days full of joy and meaning. Our staff learns each resident’s likes and dislikes and their values and pasts, right down to the dreams they never thought they could accomplish, in order to customize their care and make their dreams a reality.
LifeCycles wellness programming encourages our residents to connect, engage and enjoy life, every day. Our LifeCycles programming is designed to focus on the four dimensions of wellness: physical, social, spiritual and intellectual. This is achieved through a wide range of daily activities and routines, from outings and excursions to local events and programming at the community. At TreVista Antioch, our residents have the tools and care they need to make each day fulfilling, engaging and vibrant. Contact us to learn more!
Call us at 925•237•1952 for more information or to schedule a personal visit today.
TreVista Antioch is part of the Agemark family of senior living communities.