My mother is early stage. She is forgetful during the day, not unlike Rose on Golden Girls, but come evening she transforms into Mr. Hyde! Her sundowning can be quite severe.

My parents were raised "British", meaning: don't talk about uncomfortable topics, and losing one's mind is definitely an uncomfortable topic! LOL! However I am feeling strongly that her memory issues are a HUGE elephant in the room and need to be talked about. I swear I'm going to lose MY mind if I can't start talking to them about their life now.

For 3 years now our family even just calls it "Mom's Memory Issue", to make it palatable for them both. I want to be able to talk more constructively about her Alzheimers and I don't know if it is appropriate to talk about it literally IN FRONT of her, or if this is done behind her back? She is open and participates during daylight hours, but evening comes and we have a banshee on our hands, or rather Dad does.

Unfortunately their family doctor has very little knowledge/experience with Alzheimer patients and family life.

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I think you need to gear your approach to what will be most helpful to your parents. From the very beginning I was open with my husband that he had Lewy Body Dementia, and he freely told other people that. It was important for him (and engineer) to have an explanation for what was happening to him. In dealing with my mother none of us mentions the D word. Her primary coping mechanism all her life has been denial. Why would we expect her to change now? Among ourselves we can talk about dementia but for her it is just a memory issue.

So, different strokes for different folks. By all means deal with the dementia -- but what you call it and how many details you share with Mom should be based on her needs and coping skills, not yours, in my opinion.

Also in my opinion, the best way to address this is to find a doctor who will actually come up with a care plan!
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It is good that you trying to deal with these issues while your parents are able to participate. First of all, I would try to find a geriatric doctors that specializes in Alzheimers. It is always important to have a supportive and educated doctor.

There are several books that have been mentioned here about Alz patients and their care. I am sure someone will include a title or two in their post.

I am one of those "the more you know the better off you are", unfortunately some of my siblings do not feel the same. So any talking to Mother is done when sis is not there, a real case of denial. I cannot stand those elephants in the room. You know everyone is thinking the same thing, just open your heart and mind...stop keeping it all bottled up inside; start talking. Your Mom is bound to have her own questions and concerns. Not talking about it, surely makes her feel very alone.

I know all about the British thing. Love my heritage but that "stuff upper lip" is not for Hugs and best wishes!
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