My mom has recently been diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer's. Should I tell her, or is it best not to?

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I have always been honest w/her.

Answers 1 to 10 of 23
You should tell her, but depending what stage she is in she may not even know waht you are talking about. My mother just know that she forgets things,cant find the right words for what she is saying, etc. It does not matter whether you tell her or not, she is going to be frustrated with what she cant do anymore and you will become frustrated with what you have to do. So get prepared, she is going to need you and you are going to need some support, because what you have been used to of your mom will change. Just have patience and plenty of love,and get support.
yes, you need to tell her regardless of what she remembers. You need it to free your conscious. Make sure you seek support groups.
I would first talk with your mother's doctor. He or she will likely have a valid contribution to make before you make your decision. If she is cognizant enough to know something is wrong of dfferent, then she might be relieved to know that she has progressive memory loss, and she might be more willing to take her medications to slow its progress. Sheryl in Charleston
Thats a hard one! I decided to tell my mum,and she looked as if i had slapped her,it was awful.She then said i was preventing her from going home ,which i was,because i had to sell it to pay £800 a week for her care.
But next day she had forgotten.I don't know if people with dementia actually realize they have it.
If she asks me now about going home,i say,When you are better,that seems to pacify her.
So,i would say,no! but it is a hard decision.I don't call it being dishonest,I just don't want her to give up.Just a little incentive to her.
I would if she is in the first or 2nd stage. She know's things are changing and if she's been given Aricept or other dementia Rx she'll figure it out. Unless she's totally out of it, she hears & see what's going on. That doesn't necessarily mean she'll accept it and try to do things to help, like crosswords, Jenga. It might
make it easier on you so you can say what you need to.

If your relationship has been with transparency and honesty,
she would feel you are keeping something from her and this
could end up being worse as she may imagine all sorts of things are wrong with her.

If she's 3rd or final stage, well, I don't have experience with
that yet to comment on from experience.
I chose to tell my Mom. As she is becoming more frustrated with her memory loss it makes it easier for her when I explain that it is not her fault. I cannot even begin to imagin how scary it must feel to know that you are slowly losing your mind. Be prepared, Alzheimers and Dementia are slow and relentless. Just keep coming back here for help and support. It's nice to know that there are others in the same situation and understand.
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Yep. I agree. Hard question. A year ago I informed my mom after a dr.'s visit (Aricept perscribed - turned out to be a horrible waste of time and money for her) and she was very sad and said her life is over now. Throughout the year I believe she completely forgot she had dementia. Which, btw, we never used the term "dementia" but used "memory problem". This week we went to the dr. for a check up and he referred to her memory problem and the need to be further evaluated. She flipped out, cried, yelled at me, said its my fault, blah blah blah. It hurts for both of us, but I now strongly feel we did her no favors by acting like she was fine for the last year. Cuz she is not fine and is getting worse. So from now on, I am going to make her comfortable, happy, continue doing all I do with her and for her, but I will continue to remind her of her condition. Otherwise there are so many hurt feelings and anger from her towards me and all family members cuz she thinks we are trying to control her and she is fine and capable...which she is not. We just want her safe and happy for as long as we can. On my end, I will try to let her do more for herself...I'll still help her shower and get ready for bed, but if she wants to check the mailbox 5 times a day or bring in the damn garbage cans from the street - so be it : ) Not gonna fight the little things anymore. Hope my experience helps you.
Interesting question and I’m sure the answer depends upon what areas of the brain is being affected and what degree. That being said, my wife was relieved when I told her. She knew something was wrong and she must have thought she was going crazy as she said, “so that’s what is wrong!” That was about two years ago and she is steadily getting worst but I have been telling her that she is improving which has improved her outlook. I know it is a lie but it is making her feel better about herself and to me that is more important.
I think that it is important to be honest with her. You may be surprised at her response. She may not believe you, she may get angry with you.
The most important thing that you can do is to find out as much information about what type of dementia,what parts of the brain are affected so that you can plan for her future care needs.
She may or may not accept her diagnosis, but there are important legal papers that you should get into place, if you have not put them into place already.

Advanced directives, health and financial power of attorney, funeral arrangements etc are always better to be addressed earlier, than later.

Report a Health Care Provider -

Report a Hospital or Facility -

Depends on what stage the dementia is. I have tried to tell my mother but then she forgets, so I gave up. Why keep making her feel bad each time. I do the same as someone previously said. I tell her that things will get better and we are hoping she will get well soon. I just want her to be happy and content.

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