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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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My husband has Alzheimer's. He is in the beginning stages. We were together when he got the diagnoses. Where was your mother when the doctor told you? According to HIPPA should he have told you and not her? I don't understand why you are keeping her in the dark about it. To me she has a right to know. He said, he was glad to know, because it put a name to what had been going on in his head.

He is going in to the DMV today to try and pass his written test for the third time. He only misses one more question than he is allowed to miss. He knows why he is failing. He knows it is the Alzheimer's. That is giving him some comfort. It is better than not knowing at all what the problem is.

He is able, and as far as I am concerned, needs to participate in his care as much as possible. We discussed Aricept, he tried it, the side effects weren't worth the medicine.
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Others have provided better answers, but don't forget as you go along this: even if you tell her, depending on what stage she might be in, she is likely to forget. If you yell and get upset sometimes, it will be forgotten.
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If this is "Early Onset" - don't freak out and keep your mom from freaking out.

My DH took the verbal test and has no dementia - but he does have sundowners - I have had amazing success with Organic Iodine - 1 drop daily - and supplement with Iodoral 1/2 tablet and 1 tiny Kelp capsule.

For the first time in many months, he now knows who I am and that we live and own the house we're in. He knows where the bathroom is again!!

Back in the 1970's, dementia was linked to poor nutrition - I'm old enough to remember that. If you google it, we have a terrible Iodine deficiency nation-wide and possibly world-wide. If you decide to use Iodine drops, you need food-grade Iodine. I'd be happy to tell you what and where I get mine if you're interested.
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Read "Alzheimer's from the Inside Out" by Richard Taylor. Better to discuss your mother's wishes for her future, while she is still able to express them.
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Reading the comments for this question thus far, I felt the compassion, poignancy, and love that commenters had for their loved ones. You are such beautiful people.
It took me back to a lunch outing my two sisters and I had with our beloved mother. We were all sitting at the table and Mom said she felt she was getting forgetful. I said, well, there is something called Age-Related Cognitive Deficit in the DSM. We kind of joked about it, mentioning all of us were middle-aged and could relate. But Mom looked at us so seriously and said, "I hope I don't have Alzheimers." A year later, I was given the diagnosis by her PC after neuropsych testing, and we agreed we would never tell her. I believe she Knew, but it seemed counterproductive to state it aloud. Mom was such a trusting soul, possessing a deep faith in God, certain that we (also two brothers) would never harm or abandon her. We made every effort to provide her with the best quality of life, and a good quality it was...with the brakes majorly put on the disease for 3 years through our orchestrations for her.
As the commenter above stated, Mom meant everything to the five of us. She was a smart, thoughtful, giving, kind, tolerant woman whose life mantra (Every cloud has a silver lining) I've adopted myself, and a role model I've strived to emulate. Her mother died when she was 9, she was raised in an orphanage, our father died suddenly when she was 43 with 5 young children. Yet her strong character led her to approach and manage these tragedies with grace and dignity. We observed these same qualities as her Alzheimers progressed but never felt it important, or purposeful, to say, "we know you have Alzheimers."
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I believe it is her right to know. I would not dwell on it though. When my Mom got her diagnosis at 75yo she was very sad and afraid what the future would bring, as anyone would be. I routinely reassured her that she was loved. I promised that I would always advocate for her and make sure that she was safe and well taken care of. After all... that is all you can do. I think that brought her a lot of comfort. I never promised that I would do the care knowing I had no crystal ball. My Mom lived with me for 10yrs until her death. We kept things routine, lived in the moment & kept our attitude light and easy. It was a pleasure and experience that has brought me much contentment & peace. I thank God for the patience, strength, and the ability to ask for and accept help when I needed it. I did get a lot of help. Please understand and know that only you knows what is best for YOU and your Mom. My best advise would be healthy attitude and not allowing yourself to get overwhelmed with the what is in the future. Live for today!
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My Mom had dementia for several years which did not progress very much. She could read and could recall if given a pathway back to her personal history with updates. This may not work for your Mom, but helped my Mom tremendously. Write a history of her original family, and of her own family, and update it periodically. You can include newspaper clippings of interesting events. It really helped Mom to stay sharp, and combat the dementia and the isolation that comes with that condition which further exacerbates confusion.  I used a very large font for ease of reading.
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I had a parent who was everything to me. He developed dementia. Colleagues would see him and say, 'what a damn shame, he is not there'. My sibs cut out and hide it from their kids. I did the exact opposite. My kids saw something important but I also did not force it. They cherished those times. I sadly hoped that when my parent was much older I would finally have 'time' with him, but that was stolen by the disease. But after this has passed my conclusion was this: if there is brain shrinkage, then know that this disease is winning and you cannot stop it; know that death and end of life can be so very hard, maybe evolution or the Lord gave us this disease to dampen the matter to those facing death, maybe it is the stiffest of drinks before the end; but please also listen to this last piece. I was able to gain an award for my parent from the president, and went to meet the same. The Alzh Assoc. told my other parent (a mean power tripper at best) who is not a good person to keep my parent from the public because in their words, is this how your parent would have wanted remembered?' I did not agree but I gave in. After I returned and showed the award to this effected parent they said to me 'why didn't you take me'. I was so sad. I swung for the fence, hit a HR, but did not end up taking my parent. So I then contacted my regional professional sports team who honored this same person before 65K. That was hard to handle!!!!!!! But it was a day I will never forget for good reasons. The one bad moment was a child who knew my parent came to him, saw something she did not plan for, and busted into tears. Over the years, this has actually happened a few times. My parent was a very loved person. Just think what would (dad or mother) have wanted and if you were extremely close and feel you know, do that and do what make you feel better. You could make the wrong decision, but your act is personal and in good intentions. Now, would I want to know or tell my parent or want the public to know - this is personal to you. All that does not matter. Time goes on and so do the same watchful eyes. But I also look at it this way. I have often worked with kids with intellectual disabilities. Often in the US they are in homes or programs that just happen to keep them away from the mainstream. You almost do not think there are really as many MR/ID people anymore because you do not see them. Same goes with deaf people. But about 80% over 80 are going to have some memory issues or version of dementia. I personally feel that the world needs to know that every family will deal with dementia and we as a society, more than a family or person, need to 'fix' this. Also, what is possibly relevant was a PBS report here in the US of 10 year research of a town in Colombia, totally isolated, and everyone is related to some degree. Everyone there has the markers for early onset dementia. But still after 10 year of this perfect research situation, they have learned nothing to help. So I want to say take fish oils or choline or this or that, but really right now we need to be atop of our affairs so our kids (if one has then) has a earlier go.
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My MIL would not leave my FIL go to the dr with her, very private. He denied she had "memory issues",, even when we would catch her putting food in her purse (ribs,, messy,, no foil. .just ribs..) Then one day he showed me her Aricept, and asked me what it was for. OK then... he was still in denial. And so was she, I have no idea what her Dr told her that was for..
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I take it that your mother does know, right?

Gather words of encouragement and give them to your mother! Reassure her that you will always be there for her, that you are not bothered by her memory lapses, that if she has trouble with some tasks help will be available, that you will never abandon her, etc. (DO NOT promise that she'll never go to a care center. The future is uncertain.)

I think you can do this reassuring without mentioning the diagnosis. She may eventually feel better if you know and she'll tell you, but until then just go with the observable situation.

My mother never knew she had dementia. She acknowledged "memory problems." When she worried about her memory in the nursing home my sisters and I reassured her that she was safe and cared for. As I was ending a visit she said, "Wait! I don't remember where I live! How will I get home?" I assured her that all of the helpers knew where she lived and would gladly push her to her room when she was ready. "That's one of the good things of living here. Many residents have some memory problems and the helpers all know how to help them."

My husband knew his diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia. It took a while of constant reassurance but he eventually simply accepted that he was safe and cared for. We'd go into a medical appointment and he'd say, "Jeanne needs to be here too. She is my memory."

I don't mean to deny that she has infirmities -- that would be insulting. But to convince her that she'll be safe in spite of them. "I know it must be very annoying to forget things! I'll help you remember the important things, like when your favorite show is on, and you can just retire from the minor things, like when tax is due!" Remind her of other people who are there for her. Her doctor. The cleaning lady. A personal care attendant. Staff at the Adult Day Program. Perhaps eventually the people in a care center. She needs to know above all that she is safe and that she is loved.
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She doesn't know you know - does she know that she has dementia?

How did this come about? Is it a recent diagnosis?

In general, I personally feel that the knots people can tie themselves in trying to conceal both facts and who knows what about whom tend just to make everything worse. Assuming you don't need to keep this information from your mother, will you not be able to work round to talking to her about it?
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MammaSarg, learn as much as you can about Alzheimer's/Dementia so that you aren't surprised when your Mom does something out of the norm.

My boss's wife had Alzheimer's for 15 years and in her case she was very easy to care for with his close attention, and with the help of a caregiver during the last two years of her illness. I am hoping your Mom's case she will be easy. Let's hope so.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page to the blue section and click on ALZHEIMER'S CARE.... lot of excellent articles.

And keep us up-to-date, and come here often if you have any questions, we would love to help you any way we can through this website.
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