What resources are there to explain to the Alzheimer's patient about his/her own diagnosis?

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My dad thinks that the condition is just one of memory and there are no other issues related to having Alzheimer's or Dementia. He thinks he's totally in control of his behavior and actions and that to suggest that he is incapable of driving safely or doing anything else he decides to do is not true. He tells me that :"I'll know when I can't drive any more. I'll know when I will need help."

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I think it's important for you, the caregiver, to be "on the side" of your person. I don't mean that you should let them do dumb things. I mean that you should act sad that "those jerks" at the DMV say she has to stop driving. Blame the outside world.

I think it's fine to agree that Mom is "not that bad" most of the time. It is true that we all have occasional memory problems. We can know that hers are really that bad, but we don't have to remind her.

"I know you can do it, but just this once, will you let me do it? You know how I worry."

Before my husband was tested and diagnosed with dementia of the Alzheimer type, we discussed how he would feel if he were diagnosed. He and his therapist agreed that knowing would make him feel bad. So we don't use that word. It's memory problems or ADHD. That's not what I would want, but it's what he wants.

When they say, "What's wrong with me?" maybe answering "I don't know, but I will take care of you and keep you safe" would be reassuring.

It's tough.
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My father died 7 years ago in his early 80"s. Prior to that he made a sound judgement that his driving might not be what is should be, and he would give me the keys to drive him when he needed to go somewhere. He joked that he liked having a Chauffeur to drive him around. He did not have Dementia or Alzheimer's.

My mother is now 84 and has moderate Dementia and we got the paperwork last week that her license expires on her Birthday this year and she will need to take a written test. She can only see out of one eye and yet she said she would like to have her license renewed! We have not let her drive in years because she had vision problems in the past.

A person with Dementia or Alzheimer's never sees themselves as "having a problem" this disease lies to it's victims and allows them to believe they are fine, and when they are not, they will know it and let YOU know!

I still have to try and convince my mother that she has a memory problem even though numerous times during the day she will say, "I don't know what is wrong with me I just can't remember things anymore." When you try to tell her she has a memory problem, she is ready for a fight and will tell you where to go, and that her memory is fine and in 5 minutes she is back to telling you how bad her memory is.

They live in denial of their disease and their condition. When my Mom was diagnosed the doctor explained things to us as well as he could, but if you have this disease, you don't or won't remember the details of what he told you and if you are in the early stages, they will just blow off the news as being "hogwash."

I tell you after caring for my Mom for the past 7 years, there are times anymore when I am afraid for myself! I get the feeling it is "catchy" or that if you live in a crazy situation long enough, you will become crazy! I am serious that I do become frightened anymore by different situations. Now maybe I am in denial but I keep saying to myself that it is because I am under so much continual stress.

Honestly you can get all the books you want or have the doctor explain it over and over and you can talk until you are blue in the face and he will not believe you because he is in denial, they are all in denial.

You do need to turn him in to the DMV and have them take away his license as was mentioned here earlier. You may need to actually sell the car and have it gone from the property to keep him from driving it because he may not listen.

One thing you do need to make sure is taken care of IMMEDIATELY if it isn't already, is you need to get him to sign over his Power of Attorney to you or another sibling NOW. Tell him it is for future use, should it ever be needed. In reality you do need it now but don't tell him that. If you fail to get it NOW and his dementia worsens, he will not be able to assign it to anyone, because he is no longer competent or of sound mind. You will need this to help make medical and financial decisions for him as his condition worsens. If he has a Trust it is probably already in it. If you don't you will have to seek guardianship with is long, difficult and expensive down the road.

It is difficult and a touchy situation when you have to become the adult and begin telling your parents what they will and will not do and sticking to your guns because they will fight you on this. You are taking away their independence and they do not like it. They do not want to be told what to do! Kind of like we use to be when we were teenagers!
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I don't see the point in letting people know they have dementia. First, they are in denial, and understandably so. Then again, they might not comprehend this, or plain forget; or might not want to know. You cannot make decisions for them. I would say a reference to the poor memory which is traditionally associated with old age is sufficient.
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We just took my moms car.We had to to be responsible people.She had 3 accidents.I would not want her killing someone on my conscience.She has moderate dementia.She also got lost driving a few times.Scary but needed.
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As to the 93 year old in assisted living, what's the point of having her know her diagnosis? It wouldn't change anything about the way she lives. I would think that when and why you would discuss the diagnosis would depend on the individual and the situation.
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Well - I believe that people must know that they have been diagnosed with dementia - so they know what is happening to them. That said, if a person gets too upset or keeps insisting s/he is fine, well, I guess I would just drop the matter. As for driving, you could also file down his ignition key slightly so that it would not work when he tries to start the car. There is also a device that you can attach to the ignition that prevents it from starting but - sorry - I don't remember the details. Good luck!
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By the way, to get my mother off the streets, I told her that her license had expired and that she gave her car to my nephew like she had promised him years ago that she would. She would pout about it for awhile, but soon forgot.
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My mother always responds "you know I've always had a bad memory". The thing that hits home with her the most is when I tell her about President Reagan having what she has (Alzheimer's) and that he forgot that he was ever .President of the United States. She then gasps that she is glad that she is not "that bad" but when I ask her if she knows where dad is she tells me "no, I've been waiting for him to come get me". I then inform her that he passed away over 13 years ago and she shakes her head and responds "I guess my memory is getting real bad, how could I forget that". Long story short, at least for me is that NOTHING will ever register and I am always prepared to keep answering the same questions over and over again until dad comes to get her.
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I don't know about NY, but in IL you won't get any leeway to pass.
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You can explain it, but you will have to repeat the explanation quite often, because he will not remember. He is unlikely to know when to stop driving, but the local police should be notified that he is impaired and to keep an eye out for him. Here in NY the MD's are reluctant to report an impaired person for fear of being sued. The DMV will do nothing until he has a series of reportable accidents. If you send him for a state road test, they will give him tons of leeway to pass. Take the car in for "repairs" and keep it out of sight and out of mind, or face the reality that he may kill innocent bystanders.
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