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She refused to let anyone but me or my dad know. I finally told my siblings. My mother was diagnosed with vascular dementione one year ago. She refused to tell others, but I did tell my siblings. One sibling is close, one far away. We kept this hidden for a uear, not easy to do. This week after a really bad spell with her, I told her sister and brother. I'm sure they told her other siblings. Now I feel bad, but felt so alone in this. She will be so mad if she finds out and maybe the upset will harm her. It's hard to know what to do. Any advice?

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Than you for the responses.
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Thanks for sharing that, BarbBrooklyn. Personal experience is very valuable input!
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Years ago, my parents told their three children that dad had gotten a diagnosis of Chronic Leukemia, for which he got treatment. A few years later, mom got a diagnosis of breast cancer. There was much upset over that, of course; mom was making really dumb choices about treatment (as in, the doctors were telling her that the treatments that she wanted were from the 1940s, when she was a medical secretary, and were dangerous, not beneficial). Trying to enlist some family support, I called a cousin that my mom is very close to and poured out my concerns about both parents.

There was silence on the other end of the phone. Finally, my cousin choked out "your dad has leukemia and your mom has breast cancer? I had no idea". It turned out that my parents had kept both diagnoses secret from everyone except us three kids. (my next call was to my parents' lawyer and very close friend and neighbor; he didn't know either.

I was plenty ticked off that my parents chose to think that we could cope with their illnesses with no family support or understanding. We three sibs all had small children and not a lot of extra time or money or wherewithal to help out. Getting a few close family members and friends involved who were able to rally around was key to getting my parents what they needed.

I'm all for respecting elder's privacy (my parents weren't old at that point, they were the same age I am now). But not when it impacts your kids' ability to help out.

Yep, they were upset for a bit. Eventually, they told me I did the right thing.
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I think in the long run it is in your mother's best interest for her loved ones to know about her condition. Have you also told them that she is very sensitive about the diagnosis? I can't imagine any need for their knowledge to come to her attention.

Dementia progresses. It gets worse. This is true whether other people know about the condition or not. People with dementia can get very upset over things real or imagined. The upset doesn't cause the dementia to get worse, it is the result of the dementia getting worse.
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