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I went to a Home Instead training class a few weeks ago and I learned a lot from them. Some people mentioned that they discuss dementia with their care receiver and others didn’t because they denied it.
Yesterday when I took my mom to the doctors the receptionist prints out a list of medications that you are on and you take that in when you see the doctor and verify that you are still taking them.
Mom is on Donezepil (Aricept) and it stated that it was for dementia. She kept staring at that paper for a very long time. I often quiz her about things and tell her it is so that we can exercise her brain so that she can remember things better. It’s also a good gage for me to see where her mind is on the drive into town.
Do any of you discuss the fact that they have Alzheimers or dementia with them? I’ve sort of skirted the topic with mom.

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Yes. My husband knew throughout his 10-year journey that he had Lewy Body Dementia. His doctor talked openly with him about it, and so did I. It was helpful to both of us for me to be able to say, "Honey, it is just that darn Lewy messing with you today. I'm here for you and you'll be OK."

No. We do not use the "D" word with our mother. It would upset her and she would deny it. What is the point?

So the answer is "it depends" ...

Any caregiver you bring into the home should be told what the family's decision is about this issue, and follow the family's lead.
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I had one experience with my mother where she seemed aware that she was not "right" and asked me and my brother if she was "crackers." I told her that her mind was playing tricks on her, and my brother told her some things were slipping. It seemed to help at the time, but now those conversations are long forgotten. If your mother asks outright, I would tell her, but then immediately reassure her that you are there and you'll make sure she gets all the help and care she needs going forward.
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No, it would just upset her to be reminded that her mind is going. I do reassure her that she can stay in her home as long as I'm able to take care of her, though there may come a time when it is too much. Other than that, we don't talk about the dementia. I do let relevant people know that she has dementia so they will understand some of the things she does. As far as I know, none of the people I've talked to have discussed it with her, either.

So even though everyone relevant knows, no one is talking about it. There is nothing to be gained right now by doing it.
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