A frequent problem expressed among family caregivers is that their aging loved ones aren’t honest with their doctors. At home, they may gripe about intense pain, struggle to complete activities of daily living (ADLs) independently, or exhibit memory problems that lead to unfair accusations, but the moment they sit down in a doctor’s office, a change occurs. Like an actor on stage, the patient becomes animated and charming and has no complaints to report to their physician. What gives?
A Caregiver’s Experience With “Showtiming”: My mom was a supreme example. She fell in her apartment on a weekly basis and had memory problems. She was taken advantage of by unscrupulous telemarketers and suffered from digestive issues. However, whenever I took her to the doctor, all her hardships disappeared. What I called her “hostess personality” took over as soon as we would arrive at the office. While she may have complained of arthritis pain in the car on the drive there, the minute she had a chance to tell her doctor how terrible she felt, she became perkiness personified. I’m not alone, either. A while back, a friend of mine took her mother to the doctor because she suspected her mom was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. My friend sat dumbfounded as her mom charmed the socks off the doctor
Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories.“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.” ...Craig William Dayton, Film Composer
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