Dear Carol: I love my grandmother dearly, but she’s becoming increasingly forgetful and confused. She also hallucinates at night, “seeing” intruders leaving the house and birds flying to the ceiling. She’s even called the police a couple of times. When I take her to the doctor, she presents herself as doing well and denies the examples I give of her confusion and hallucinations. The doctor seems to believe her. She needs help around the house and the family is doing that, but her mental state is too much to handle. I know she can afford assisted living for quite awhile, but she says she doesn’t want to go to an “old people’s home.” What can we do? - Katrina
Dear Katrina: It's common for people to cover up their cognitive problems during a general examination. Most people instinctively fear change. Illness generally means their lives are changing, so staying in the familiar situation, even when it’s negative, seems easier than getting the right help.