Denial of the aging process and diminishing abilities of seniors cause problems Vanity often keeps the elderly from getting the aids they need for a better quality of life. Aids that could make their life better, such as glasses, a hearing aid or a cane to prevent falls are all ignored. Often reduced night vision is the first sign that driving ones self may soon be something that has to be given up. To give up driving is a real blow to the ego as well as limiting the seniors mobility.
For our children a parent who fails to recognize their aging related problems is an area of frustration. The children live in constant fear that the parent might do major damage to themselves and others in a driving accident. Perhaps they might not be taking their medications on schedule or over dosing on their medications.
Often seniors will not admit or recognize the fact that they cannot do things as well as they used to do. When we look in the mirror we see a few wrinkles, a couple of gray hairs but it is usually hard for us to imagine that the person in the mirror will someday reach a point in their life where they will have altered their life style or address issues never before because of aging. Those seniors who are in aging denial often create very serious problems for themselves and for those who care about them. Getting older is nothing to be ashamed of, not preparing for old age is.
They often tend to ignore or excuse away the problems. Not being able to keep track of the medicines a senior is taking, missing doses and not letting anyone else help is a problem. They often will withhold vital health information because of embarrassment, feeling it is trivial or in fear of the co-payments that treatment might cost. Ignoring preventive measures such as balance exercises because that is for the really old people.
The senior who fail to admit or recognize the reduction in abilities due to aging is a problem for all concerned. Their desire to carry on as they have always done can be life threatening. Their reluctance to make necessary adjustments can and will often lead to disaster.
Sometimes they just pretend to understand things they really do not comprehend. Seniors often fake it, not wanting others to think they are old and unable to comprehend what is being said. They do such things as faking understanding with their doctor, which can lead to not following the advice and procedures necessary to maintain good health. They will reject the idea of senior proofing their home, even to the point of covering up a fall. Not willing to ask those they love for help or for even willing to admit they need help.
Seniors often will go to great lengths to cover the fact that their mental and or physical abilities are diminishing, presuming the realization has sunk in. Being in a state of denial, they are not open to ideas that could help them have a better quality of life that compensates for the aging process. In actuality, denying the aging process will often accelerate the symptoms.