I've just learned my 78 year old Mother has Alzheimer's/Dementia. She doesn't know I know -- I could use any words of encouragement.

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MaryKathleen, reading once carefully should suffice. Maybe twice before you make negative comments. :P But we are all stretched for time and all of us misunderstand a post once in a while.
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MammaSarg: My late friend visited her husband who had Alzheimer's and was in an NH for 12 years. She never missed going there, which equated to 4,380 trips. BUT he was taken care of by the NH staff.
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To MammaSarg and everyone else, I apologize for my unkind comments. No excuse, I'll try to read two or three times before commenting.
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Hola...

I am sorry your mother was recently diagnose with it chica, pero ...(but)just be there for her  and try to keep things as they always were even though some things we all know have/will continue)at times to change)but LIFE is still and can still be a great one, while dealing with such Dementia, at least in my case and my father, and i will share some below with you today. SUSAN post above is a great one. I agree with that on so many levels and a few more.

I've been able to commence such pathway toward helping for a while now my father in NC,while mom is a great help too of course, but i have 24hours a day made sure he is comfortable, NO STRESS from any 1 and that encompass other siblings, grandskids etc.al., i limit such immediately.

I continue to make sure  that he is able to (once i invoke such past or present memory) he is able to smile and remember with joy in his face and cheeks regularly, and it works,while he will then repeat and then start to "remember more of it himself, by adding things on, with such happiness ya know." 

I leave multiple notes in his bedroom, where he sleep with mom, on his side of the bed, and also by the bathroom (his master bedroom bath area) encompassing leaving notes in eat-in-kitchen near his chair, and notes in the living room area, for which is a huge help for dad at times.I make sure his "days" have not fully changed premised on dementia,and try to make it seem as normal as we all feasibly can meaning me and my  mother mainly as we are the MOST around him out of four older kids who are not. (Long story)I am the baby in the family, and i moved near him, and end up staying, when i learned and was in the house when he had his light stroke(1st fall)at 83 last year.) winter 2017.
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I have no regrets living permanent now with dad and mom through all of this to make sure he is still happy and living a semi-normal life) even though he has dementia. I do not look at him as frail because he is not. I do not look at him as not being "normal or not competent."He used to love GOLF 50 years or longer. since a teenager, and he could've went pro. He is still healthy/strong heart dr. says, its just the memory loss at times, but NOT all of the time. Dad is doing well so far.
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I work with him on Brain memory exercises i call it, and i make sure his pathway is as clear as it was prior to a WINTER 2017 diagnosis of dementia.He is still clearly competent, praise God and was never deemed as incompetent,ever and dr.remind him of such regularly,as i have witnessed with mom.
Dad knows. He is dealing with it daily and by also keeping my father busy, going on a day trip, outing, even if just for i'd say 15 to 30 minutes, to 1 to 2 hours, he is loving it and enjoying as he always has his life, and each blessful day of getting up and relaxin' with his queen/his bride he still affectionately refer to her as, for 62 years this June 2018.
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So, just be there for her and do for her much as you're able to, share past (good memories)as much as you're able, and always remind her as i do with daddy, remind her/fill in the blanks of the things she CAN'T remember, with sweet ease,and tender as you are doing so, and advise her, "It is ok mom, you're not remembering,"I will simply remind you daddy" as i am tenderly  holding his hand,and or rub his shoulder as i walk him through whatever he had forgotten and he appreciate it.
He at times says to me and mom, "Just remind me, if i forget, but so far he does not get down when he is reminding us to "remind him IF he forgets anything." On his past life as a child down south, he almost remembers everything and  does exceptionally-well!(remembering his childhood/his parents RIP, ALL 13 siblings and their wives names, it's amazing!) and he also remember other things too out of the blue and i love that, but he forget/suffer from more of the "short-term memory loss."He is not letting this get him down either. Dad still is clearly  competent praise God.

So, I pray for you,and this site is very good, been here a while, and i pray for you and your mother.Make each day and night a blessing with your parent or parents. I make sure i do and he is still enjoying most important his days and nights,while dealing with Dementia. God bless us all."
Hugs+Blessings. adios.
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Again, frustratingly, we have an OP who seems to have been "just passing through."

But it did occur to me to wonder, later on, how the OP came by this information without her mother's knowledge. Could it be that somebody's been a right little blabber-mouth? Is that why she is hesitant to approach her mother about it?

We will never know. Aaargggh!!!
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MaryKathleen-you read the question wrong. The OP is not "lying" to her mother. Her mom knows. Her mom just does not know that *she also knows. Her question asks for words of encouragement. I did not see that at all in your response. In fact, I found it to be quite harsh, and inappropriate, so I reported it to the moderators. The OP needs encouragement and kindness right now, not interrogation.
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I have been exactly where you are. That was 12 years ago. I want you to know...it gets easier. 12 years ago I was so scared of what the future may hold I couldn't even sleep. So afraid of my mom living in a nursing home, in a wheelchair, in diapers, unable to speak. I'm on the other side of that now. My mom is in a nursing home with all those symptoms, but she hasn't lost the essence of who she is. I think I was afraid of "losing" my mother to Alzheimer's...but I didn't lose her. Every time we're together, we hold hands, we communicate in our own way, we laugh. My sweet mom laughs. Sometimes I say something and she gives me "the look" and we both crack up. Sometimes I just go and put my head on her shoulder...

I want you to know, 12 years out, that all the things I was so afraid of losing in my mom, I didn't lose.

My advise would be to stay close to her. Support her. Go to doctors together. Take meds (Aricept and Namenda helped my mom dramatically). Be her ally in this fight. Let her know you love her and you will always be there for her.

And here's the best advise I ever received, from a doctor whose mom and grandma both had Alzheimer's: plan for 2 steps ahead. She can live at home independently now. Plan for what you will do if she needs in-home help, or memory care. Tour facilities (by yourself if it's too upsetting for her). Pre-decide which ones would be acceptable. Shop around. It's possible to find a good one. Join the Alzheimer's Association local chapter support group so you can attend the free seminars. The one on Medicaid planning is especially helpful.

Know that you are not alone. A lot of us have been where you are and we can help you through it. Feel free to reach out to me--or any of us--any time you need to.
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From my personal experience with my husband, you do need to read regularly to understand the Alzheimer's as new stuff comes out that may help you. I did not hide my husband's Alz. I quietly told close friends & relatives, people who always saw us involved in church activities, of course our grown kids, but I did not go into great medical detail. I advise them to go to the Alzheimer's website which has an excellent graphic on the brain's destruction as it happens.

Also look for a local support group for Alz caregivers so you know you are not alone. Talking to these people shares the emotional burden for you as you will give them your emotional support by listening to them. My husband progressed fast and passed away. He never accepted his diagnosis but because the destruction in his brain went fasy( a total of almost 7 years), he stopped fighting it - he just forgot he had a problem and was more in need of being taking care of. Each Alz person reacts somewhat differently from others. Again a support group can prove helpful for you. But never forget - You Are Not Alone! - as more families are having to deal with the dementia.
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RayLinStephens, early onset dementia refers to dementia that starts early in life, before age 65. This Mother is 78 years old, so it is not early onset.

Several of you seem to be answering whether the mother should be told she has dementia. That is not really the question, as I understand it. It is whether she should be told that her daughter knows about the diagnosis.
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MammaSarg: Stand tall akin to a Sargeant (genius user name, btw)! Arm yourself with as much knowledge on Alzheimer's as you can (books/audio books/You Tube videos/ support groups even. Then you will be better equipped to handle the disease now and down the road.
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