What Can You Do If Your Elderly Parent Has Anosognosia After Their Stroke?

20 September 2015
 Categories: Health & Medical , Blog


If your elderly parent has had a stroke and is starting to act differently than they used to, they may not realize it. This condition is called anosognosia, and is defined as a general lack of awareness about cognitive changes they are experiencing. This happens often with people who have Alzheimer's disease, but it can also happen to people who have had strokes. This can make the situation difficult for you as a caregiver, because your parent may attempt to do things as they've always done and resist any changes without realizing how their health has changed.

What are Some Symptoms of Anosognosia?

If your parent has anosognosia, they may exhibit the following behaviors:

  • Denial of physical impairment, even when told
  • Disregard for personal hygiene
  • Frequent interrupting in conversation
  • Sudden inability to handle finances properly
  • Anger when questioned about the above things

What Should You Do if You Suspect Your Parent Has Anosognosia?

To make things go smoothly for you and your parent, the first thing you need to do is consult their doctor. The doctor will be able to more accurately determine whether your parent is, in fact, going through an experience where they don't realize that they have changed mentally or physically.

If the doctor agrees that anosognosia is an issue for your parent, you need to take action to help them and keep them safe. Some things you can do include:

  • Dealing with fall hazards in the home and preventing falls by removing throw rugs, clearing clutter on the floor, using a night light for nighttime visibility and ensuring your parent wears shoes with non-skid heels
  • Not leaving your parent alone for long periods
  • Helping them manage their finances
  • Maintaining a calm voice and staying positive in your interactions with them
  • Enlisting the help of home health professionals who can help in the case of an accident or emergency, in addition to helping with feeding, clothing, bathing and other daily activities your parent may be neglecting

By doing the things above, you can make sure your parent gets the assistance they need on a day-to-day basis.

Now that you know more about anosognosia and how that can affect your elderly parent after they have a stroke, be sure to use the information in this article to improve the situation. Consult home health professionals, like Argus Home Health Care, who can help you come up with a care plan that works best for you and your parent.