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My grandmother has been recently diagnosed with dementia and short term memory loss. It actually has been going on for awhile, but we recently got the diagnosis. I just want to know how you deal with it emotionally, it just breaks my heart and is really hard on me. I want to know some tips and tricks to get through this. Thank you.

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Also, just because you now have a name for it, shouldn't make it anymore traumatic then it was the day BEFORE the diagnosis. When my mother-in-law's doctor finally just came out and said she had the dreaded A word (Alzheimer's) I felt like I had been kicked in the gut. But in reality, I had known she had a memory problem for years, but now that it had a name it seemed worse somehow. I have yet to tell her what she has, what's the point? I tell her when she asks me 'where is my poor brain? I used to have such a good memory', that her memory is just AWOL and she's fine. I know that sounds weird, but her having such a terrible memory has been going on for the last 5 years now, so it's status quo. Which is another thing, your grandmother needs to be on Aricept or Namenda which will slow down the progression of Alz/dementia as much as possible. And the disease moves at a different pace for everyone who has it. It doesn't happen overnight that she suddenly forgets everything thankfully, so take advantage of what time you have with her now. Sorry about grandma.
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It is a heart-breaking diagnosis all right. As the disease progresses allow yourself some time to mourn. You are losing Grandmother memory by memory. It is a sad loss. Embrace the grandmother who is still with you, and cherish each good moment.

I highly recommend the book "Loving Someone Who Has Dementia" by Pauline Boss. This one isn't a "how to" book about caregiving techniques but rather a look at the emotional impact on loved ones. Its subtite is "How to Find Hope While Coping with Stress and Grief." It helped me understand what I was going through on the nine year journey with my husband's dementia.
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