My mom has early stages Alzheimer's, do we tell her?

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She 76. I think she has some idea. She is very independent well able pay bills knows names. If went somewhere few hours like last Friday went a town half hr away from near both of us on way home she asks what town were we in? I cook meat now and she doesn't even argue that normally she say do that herself she lives with my dad.

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I think that you should not tell her. Even if she knows that she has some memory problems you should stay by her side and make her strong. She it's her old age, she may feel discomfort or fear if you tell her about this. It's being told that old age is another form of childhood. So treat her like a child. Don't scare her off. Tell her that she's fine and you'll stay by her side all day long.
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Let her physician deliver that news to her.
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It only upset my mother when she was diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Decline, she refuses to go back to the neurologist, and we don't discuss it. I got all the necessary paperwork in order by telling her that it was a good idea and I was getting mine done at the same time. Also when she gets upset, it makes the whole memory thing worse, she doesn't sleep well, and that also makes it worse.

I think someplace in her mind and at times she does know that there is a problem with her memory but she gets angry and says she is not stupid. I tell her she is not stupid, but even Einstein could have memory issues that is not a direct correlation with IQ (which my mother is very vain about IQ).

It is very hard to slowly have to take over all the things she use to be able to do, like drive, and cook and balance her check book, or even make out checks. And I don't correct her when she says she still does those things.

So my basic answer is it depends on how well or badly you think your mother would take the news of a diagnosis of AD.
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I'm assuming she has already been evaluated. You don't just feel that someone has Alzhemiers. Why didn't the doctor tell her. She needs to be told. This way she can plan how she wants her life handled. She may want to gift some of her belongings.
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I see a lot of "I'm sure she knows" answers but believe it or not, not only am I a dementia caregiver for my mother, but I am a nurse who specialized in Alzheimers for years. There are two specialties of mine, one was skilled home health and the other Alzheimers.

Not everyone recognizes that they have a problem. She may be forgetful, but she may not recognize the problem. I worked for an Alzheimer's center and let me put it to this way. Originally our shirts said "Center for Alzheimer's Disease" then a patient had a break down realizing she was going to the center because she had Alzheimer's. We changed the shirts immediately, so even we don't tell them.

She will eventually (probably, but even then not always) figure it out. Is it really necessary that you bring it up? Most doctors, nurses and medical workers know not to call it out. There will be times that you will need to tell her, to explain why she can't do something that may be dangers, like use the stove... but you can say it gently. What I tell my mother, who forgets that she has a memory problem and thinks it's us with the problem, is that she is very forgetful, but it's okay because it's not her fault. It's just something that happens and so this is what *insert someone she respects highly* says for us to do.

I wish you luck but she is really in the very early stages and it may very well be that she does not know she has a problem. She may think that others are doing this to her and that's a normal reaction. Look at it from her point of view. She's raised kids, paid bills, maybe worked and was an intelligent woman, there is no way this is her problem! Surely others are mistaken.

That she let you cook is a sign, but she may reason with herself that she just didn't feel like doing it.

Give her lots of love and let her know that. :)
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She knows. Since it will progress, just keep an eye on her.
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If she is aware at this point then yes tell her. This will give her a great way to help you plan for what is to come.
Consult with an Elder Care Lawyer, get POA's in place for Finances, Health Care and she should probably sign a P.O.L.S.T that is the "new" DNR. P.O.L.S.T. stands for Physicians Order For Life Sustaining Treatment and it is more detailed than a DNR.
She will forget that she said that she does not want to burden you with her care and when she can no longer care for herself that she will be willing to go into Living or Memory Care. but the fact that you talked about it when she is aware will help you in the decision when the time comes. Or if she knows what is to come she may be willing to look at Assisted Living now.
But it will also give you a greater amount of time for her to plan for possibility of going on Medicaid. There is a "look back" but planning now can help.
Another reason...enjoy each other now. The Mom you have now is not the Mom you will have in 6 months, 12 months or 2 years from now.
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Early on, I kept thinking the more people told my mom she had dementia, the more she might remember or believe it. What you should know is that many individuals with dementia can't recognize their condition. It's call anosognosia -- and knowing that helped me make more sense of mom and her swings between "my brain is bad" through "Why are you telling the doctor I had a stroke?" After this, I decided I would always tell my mom everything once so we could discuss it, she could ask questions, and vent her anger. Then I never brought it up again.
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I would say yes to telling her. Make it gentle and supportive. This way she can plan for it. So often as it progresses most people with Alzheimer's are not able to see their limitations and it makes keeping them safe more difficult. If you can help her to accept it know and put safety measures in place over time, the transition will be smoother because she will be calling the shots by planning instead of you struggle through when she might not be able to decide.
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Eibhlin My Late Mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2013. I felt Heart broken for Mam as I knew She would never enjoy that great quality Life which She had. I phoned Kathleen My first Cousin and best Friend, and I asked should I tell Mother of Her diagnosis ? The answer was NO stating that Mother is in Her own little World and She's happy there, let Her be and do not upset Her. Three years after Mam had been diagnosed at the ripe age of 87 years Our beautiful Mother passed away suddenly but so peacefully and with out pain. Mam's Heart just stopped beating. I'm so glad I asked Kathleen that Question, and that I did not break Mothers Heart.
Good Luck Eibhlin, this is Your time to make new and beautiful memories with Your Mom.
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