By Carol Bradley Bursack, AgingCare.com
A frequent problem expressed among adult children is that their parents aren’t truthful with their doctors. While the parent may complain at home of pain, exhibit memory problems and accuse family of theft when he or she can’t locate a commonly used item, the moment the parent faces their doctor a change occurs. Like an actor on stage, the person sitting in front of the doctor becomes animated and charming.
My mom was a supreme example. She fell in her apartmentóoften more than once a week. She had memory problems. She was taken advantage of by telemarketers. She had digestive issues. However, when I took her to her doctor, what I called her “hostess personality” took over. While she may have complained of pain in the car during our drive, the minute she had a chance to tell her doctor how terrible she felt she was perkiness personified.
I’m not alone. A friend of mine took her mother to the doctor because she suspected her mom was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. My friend sat dumbfounded as her mom charmed the socks off the doctor and seemed as sharp as she was ten years ago. The mother denied any health issues, especially those associated with memory. The doctor, too busy to run tests on someone who seemed “so good for her age,” signed off of some prescriptions and sent them off. My friend felt like banging her head against the wall.
Why Your Ill Parent Fools the Doctor and What to do About It originally appeared on AgingCare.com.