Memory loss is a terrible thing, especially when anger and suspicion arise about family members trying to be helpful. A current male client, John, diagnosed with memory loss two years ago cannot recall the diagnosis or at this point comprehend the extent to which it affects his daily life. Rent and other bills have gone unpaid, police have stopped him due to erratic driving, and he does not take medications important to his health. The only family available is as nephew, living out of town, who agreed to help provided I manage the situation locally. The nephew, Tom, is constantly barraged by John with accusations, anger and paranoia. What John cannot comprehend is that he truly needs the assistance and without Tom the alternatives for his situation would not be optimal; it is likely the courts would appoint a non-family guardian or conservator. If you find yourself in a similar situation it is important to recognize the difficulty that your family is going through in trying to help you and acknowledge that without them you may not be able to maintain your current style of living. And, if you are diagnosed with memory loss, having this conversation early before the memory loss accelerates is extremely important to avoid ruining a family relationship that may be your only source of support.

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About Pamela Wilson

PAMELA D. WILSON, MS, BS/BA, NCG, CSA helps caregivers and aging adults solve caregiving problems and manage caregiving needs through online programs, live support groups, and an extensive caregiving library that includes articles, podcasts, videos, and webinars.

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