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Interaction with Friends and Family | Doctor's Diary

The fact that many people with Alzheimer's disease show few problems interacting with family members and friends in the early part of the disease can be a mixed blessing. On the one hand, we clearly want to strive for people to be as free as possible of problems for as long as possible. On the other hand, the ability for the person with dementia to put on a good social front can lead family members who are not intimately involved with that person's care to underestimate by a large extent just how much the dementia is a problem. They don't see how much the dementia affects their family member. Because they don't see the extent of the problem, they also don't see how much care the main caregiver is providing. This lack of insight is coupled with the understandable reaction to minimize what is wrong. Minimizing what is wrong is both a form of optimism, and a way to lessen any guilt that they themselves feel about not doing more. But, it can be hard for the primary caregiver to remember all that when confronted with all sorts of unhelpful comments from those more peripherally involved, such as "I don't know what you're talking about - I talked to Dad on the telephone the other night and he seemed fine to me."

See Also:
Symptom Library > Personality Changes > Insight (Others/Environment)
Symptom Library > Memory & Language > Memory for Names and Faces
About Dementia > Alzheimer's Disease > Executive Function
About Dementia > Types of Dementia > Frontotemporal Dementia
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Last updated January 13, 2019
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