The answer to that question could be “yes.”
You only want the best for your aging loved ones. But, as elder care professionals in North Dallas, we know helping them can be an uphill battle for many reasons—not the least of which is their pride. While observing an elderly individual can clue you into to potential health problems like vision loss, dietary changes, and mobility issues, your knowledge about their health is often limited to what they tell you. A new Canadian study shows that can be dangerous for everyone.
Canadian Researchers Find Elderly People Lie About Their Health
The results of a new survey by researchers from UBC Okanagan may come as a bit of a shock to most of us. The survey asked individuals (with an average age of 82) a variety of questions in order to give elder care professionals the tools they need to:
- Better relate to aging individuals
- Understand their thought processes
- Provide a higher, more comprehensive level of care
Researchers uncovered that the majority of older individuals lie (and omit truths) about their health even when asked direct questions.
This can be counterproductive, says Rachelle Hole, Associate Professor of Social Work at UBCO and co-author of the study. “. . . having a transparent and open conversation around both health concerns as well as potential changes in people’s health . . . really helps us plan and care for those individuals better.”
Why do Elderly Individuals Lie?
But why would your loved one lie about dangerous, life-altering health issues?
Aging can be a scary thing. Many older people practice what therapists call active denial. If they don’t admit anything is wrong they can fool themselves into believing that symptoms are just minor annoyances.
- They Don’t Want to Be a Burden
Older individuals don’t want to burden younger generations. They keep their personal problems “close to the vest” under the mistaken assumption that the less anyone else knows, the better.
- They Associate Illness with Loss of Independence
Elder care professionals in Dallas, Texas know that aging loved ones will lie simply because they don’t want to lose their independence. Remaining in their own home is important and anything that might endanger that freedom is terrifying.
It’s Not Just You They’re Lying To
It would be bad enough if family members were the only ones elderly individuals lie to but the survey showed that they also lie to friends, elder care professionals, and even their own doctors. This can become deadly if seniors don’t tell doctors about symptoms they’re experiencing.
Elder Care Professionals in Plano, Texas Can Help
Elder care professionals in Dallas, Texas can help you overcome one of the biggest barriers between you, your loved one, and the truth. Second Family Home Care provides professional at home care in Dallas, Texas and the surrounding areas allowing aging individuals to live at home as long as possible. Maintaining that sense of independence helps them feel safer, more secure, and may even help them open up about their health.
To learn more about how our services help your loved one live in their own home longer, call (972) 347-0700 today.