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Caring for someone who does not want your help can be a very difficult experience. Caregivers are left exhausted, frustrated and often feeling somewhat hopeless

that their loved one will ever get well.  While opportunities exist to improve access to mental health treatment overall, thankfully there are a few different avenues for caregivers to explore that can help them get their loved one help.

Every family's situation and experience with anosognosia is different, but there are a few simple steps that each caregiver can take to understand the legal and medical options that best apply to their loved one.  Below is a high-level approach that can help serve as an initial roadmap for caregivers to get started.

Anosognosia Caregiver Guide
Click on each step to learn more

1. Consider Legal Guardianship

If you are a caregiver of an adult, then obtaining legal guardianship may be a good first step to becoming more involved in your loved one's healthcare. 

Guardianship should be sought when a person is incapable of evaluating information and making decisions to the extent that they "lack the ability to meet essential requirements for physical health, safety, or self-care"​.  

At a minimum, you will want to seek the help of a psychiatrist who can partner with you in developing a treatment plan for your loved one and is willing to make house calls, especially if your loved one refuses to go to the doctor themselves.  You may also want to hire an attorney for legal counsel as well as seek other caregivers who can provide additional support to you.

2. Assemble Your Team

3. Develop a Treatment Plan

Once you have the support of a psychiatrist and legal authority to discuss your loved one's healthcare, the both of you can begin discussing ways to help your loved one get well.  Depending on their diagnosis, treatment plans can include a combination of medication, therapy and other specific activities that the caregiver or family will take on to support recovery.

4. Develop a Plan to Start

But the biggest obstacle that you and your team may face is deciding the best way to kickstart treatment if your loved one continues to refuse help of any kind.  Police involvement or additional court hearings are potential options but should be fully understood and discussed with your team prior to selecting the best method to pursue.

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