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I have always been honest w/her.

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oh i thing i goofed! we were suppose to be answering the other person's question.. i had asked this question myself and was just giving some info so the group could help answer my question. i am truly sorry to the person that asked the first question which actually helped me find this forum.. Thank you
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con't sorry i made some errors , hopefully you can understand the context
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I was at the appointment with my mother( 3 rd opinion, she had already seen a PCP that recommended she she a neurologist which did a bunch of cognitive tests.. mom did not like that doctor so requested to see another .. so we went to a 2nd neurologist that she got along famously with.. he did a bunch of tests but before he did he asked her if she wanted to know the results? She said no. Then when we came back for our follow up appt, she asked about the tests and asked if she was okay? He smiled at her and then at me, changing the subject and said why don't you both just go and have some ice cream and have some fun! Everything is fine here. We might need to make some medication changes but no worries go have some ice cream. So she doesn't know truly what is going on, nor do i except from the day to day things that prove without a doubt she is having memory loss and i am having to pick up the pieces daily.. she is bouncing checks, something she has never done in all her 80 years, she is getting notices to have utilities turned off, the bank manager even suggested to her that she at least in case of an emergency have me put on her account so that i could help her and make sure the bills were paid etc.. she adamantly refused because she said she was perfectly fine. I am Power of Attorney for my disabled brother and daily involved in his care and in my mom's. I am on 24 hour call and assist daily with the care givers we have for my brother. These same caregivers are concerned about my mother as well. My father had vascular dementia and my mother is so afraid of a diagnosis involving dementia. I take care of her medications and increasing amount of her bills and affairs. Her PCP has told her that she should just let me take care of everything for her and she just laughs and says she is fine..etc she has started accusing people of stealing, to the point she has called the police and made statements about care givers that may not even be true,which has resulted in them being fired from their jobs and one even serving jail time! One time i was helping her at her request clean up a bunch of boxes that were loaded with jewelry, some of which appeared to be some of the "stolen" items. I have a family and also care for a young grand child. She will ask me if she is fine, and also as i said call me and say she needs help which i provide to the best of my ability. My question is should i tell her after she told the 3 rd doctor she did not want to know, he did not tell her and it seems she wants me to lie to her too..but things are getting increasingly difficult to attend to all her needs that are growing by leaps and bounds. She calls me her advisor then laughs. sometimes in moments of clarity she will say she does not know how she and my brother would survive without my help and that she is grateful. Other times she cries and says the things i do to help make her feel stupid like she knows nothing and is worthless, and why is she even involved in anything i should just do whatever i want. in the distant past she did make a comment that both she and my brother should just die..just go to sleep and not wake up.. i discovered she was stocking up pills, which i took away. And also the garage remote after she mentioned how handy it would be to you know open and close the garage..i hope i have not gone on topic too much just need advise form people that have been involved in this.. i am so close to the situation.
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I have told my mother-in-law who has lived with us since February, if she asks. She will say, "why can't I remember?" She will scratch her head, so I tell her she has altizmers, but you are takeing medicine and I give you nuts and berries to help your memory....she says...Oh is that why I get so many berries and nuts....Bless your heart. - It would worry me if I had memory issues and noone bothered to tell me...I would hate not knowing.
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Just saw your update, congratulations. Hugs to you and your mother. Thoughts and prayers go out to you both.
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Ultimately, each family has to walk that road alone and make the decision that they feel is best for their family member and themselves.

We have dealt with two parents so far and a third showing signs. One was extremely controlling and it only got worse as the disease progressed. Because she knew her diagnosis, there were decisions that had to be made and we were happy many legal aspects were handled prior to her becoming incompetent and not able to make her wishes known or wise decisions. Currently, my mother is a hospice patient living with us and we also handled what legal matters we could prior to her diagnosis. Mom was pro-active because she knew she wouldn’t live forever and wanted to have her affairs in order before it was too late. For those reasons alone, I suggest you, at the very least, speak with your mother about talking to a lawyer so there will be no questions or possible unrest with siblings when she can no longer make her wishes known. The government is clamping down on finances and if you don’t take some steps and your mother needs long term assisted living or nursing home care, she will lose every penny she may have saved throughout her lifetime to leave to her family. Once that is gone, then the government will kick in financial assistance.

For numerous reasons, I suggest you have a discussion with her doctor prior to speaking with your mother. The doctor can advise you as to the degree of her dementia so you will have an idea how far it has progressed and her current mental acuity, what medical interventions are available, and what her long term prognosis might be. This will help you cope with the road ahead. I don’t know if her physician is an internist or specialist, but another avenue you could look into would be scheduling a consultation for an evaluation with at geriatric specialist. They are often more versed on testing procedures, medications and treatment options specifically designed for the elderly. The doctors can also offer suggestions as to what help and support groups are available in your community. Believe me, you will be needing help in the months and years ahead.

Another reason for having a discussion with her physician is to relieve you of the difficult burden and have the him / her inform your mother of her illness. Sometimes hearing the diagnosis from an expert / professional helps the person accept it as fact rather than having family present it. Of course, you should be there and invite other immediate family members to attend the appointment for support and ask questions they may have. Your mother may still deny or protest, but, at least, it will have come from a professional, the door will have been opened for later discussions and you will not be looked at as the bearer of bad tidings that may leave hard feelings or questions.

You said you had always been honest with her and, personally, I have always felt honesty is the best policy, no matter how uncomfortable. Even if she may outwardly protest, inside she will have an understanding of what is happening and she will appreciate your honesty and know she can trust you. Dementia often fills patients with the feelings of being alone, lost and very confused, especially in the early and mid-stages. They need to know there is someone they can count on and turn to during those terribly unsettling times. From my experience, you will have many days ahead when answers to illogical questions are going to be required, over and over and over. Last night was another one of those for me. Mom kept asking where in the house her parents and siblings were, insisting she had conversations with them that afternoon and they were here. I had to tell my 95 year old mother they had all died many years ago. Still, she was adamant I get them for her. My only recourse was to tell her I had never lied to her and I loved her too much to ever do so. It may not have helped her mental state as much as it helped mine. Yes, there comes a time when you will give up on the orientating them to person, place and time because it just won’t work and you will go along with the current “story”, but when they ask you about long gone relatives and other difficult questions, you need to tell the truth and deep down in their extremely insecure and frightening world, they need to have the security your are there for them and they can count on you for protection.

Long winded answer, but this isn’t an easy or simple decision. IMHO the kindest thing you can do would be to tell your mother of her condition because there may be many, many affairs you may need to get in order while she can still participate. Only you will know how to best break the diagnosis to her, be it alone, or with family and physician present. Good luck and my heart goes out to you as you begin the journey and travel the long road ahead.
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Did you ever have something in the back of your mind that made you happy or sad but you had to think about what it was for a minute? People with Dementia often think they have "unfinished" business, they need to "go" or "get home" or see their mother, etc. I wouldnt ever add to that by telling my Mom. I believe when you think you are ok, you are better off. IF someone tells me I look tired, I am tired, if someone tells me I look great, I feel great. Why plant something in their minds that they will dwell on, yet will NOT be able to express it soon, yet it will still be there in the back of their mind. The only thing I ever told my Mom is she is a "little forgetful sometimes, just like me," and she says "oh you always make me feel so good. " Why add to their burdens they will be facing, somewhere in their minds they will remember that awful news. We learn as they progress we have to lie about everything to please them. Heck my mom thinks her husband and mother are alive.
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Mom and I met with her PCP and discussed the testing results and the need to consult a specialist for further follow-up, ecause she was in early Alzheimers. We had an appointment with the neurologist and he confirmed the status and prescribed medication to help slow the progression of the disease. She was frustrated with her condition before the diagnosis, because she knew something was wrong. She seemed relieved to finally have a name to what was going on with her mind and body. She and my siblings understand that this disease continues to debilitate and we try to do our best and stay one step ahead. Mom understands that we need to make the most of each and every day and keep our memories close to our hearts.
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Update: I sat down with mom yesterday, and told her. It was the right thing to do- she thought she was in the nursing facility because we didn't want her anymore. I, of course was crying as I talked with her, and amazingly, she stepped into her mother role- never cried and said I am glad you told me. When I went back to visit her later in the day, she remembered our conversation, and she said she had been worried about me because I was upset earlier. She even spoke to her doctor and he told her to look at it this way- it's not cancer. I am so thankful I told her. We'll see if she remembers today.
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you could be right guess its a matter of opinion!
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My Mom has dementia and NO I didn't tell her ,nor did her doctors. What is the point? In my opinon it would have made her afraid , she would have dwelled on it. Which would have made things much worse. She knows something is up with her memory loss. I am just there for her, period. Mom is in a nursing home and I do take her home for visits with me. I know one day she will not remember me still as I said I am there for her now.
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She deserves to know...My Mom has the same diagnosis,and-of course she has denied having any problem-But over the years-as she's realizing something's wrong- at least we can talk to her about it..and the need to have to go into a care facility soon&why..
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I think that honesty is the best policy, also even though she may have dementia, that doesnt mean she wont remember everything, my mom has a touch of it too, they need to be aware for safety reasons!
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Depends on what stage the dementia is. I have tried to tell my mother but then she forgets, so I gave up. Why keep making her feel bad each time. I do the same as someone previously said. I tell her that things will get better and we are hoping she will get well soon. I just want her to be happy and content.
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I think that it is important to be honest with her. You may be surprised at her response. She may not believe you, she may get angry with you.
The most important thing that you can do is to find out as much information about what type of dementia,what parts of the brain are affected so that you can plan for her future care needs.
She may or may not accept her diagnosis, but there are important legal papers that you should get into place, if you have not put them into place already.

Advanced directives, health and financial power of attorney, funeral arrangements etc are always better to be addressed earlier, than later.

Report a Health Care Provider - http://www.empoweredpatientcoalition.org/report-a-medical-event/report-a-health-care-provider

Report a Hospital or Facility - http://www.empoweredpatientcoalition.org/report-a-medical-event/report-a-hospital-or-facility
Diane
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Interesting question and I’m sure the answer depends upon what areas of the brain is being affected and what degree. That being said, my wife was relieved when I told her. She knew something was wrong and she must have thought she was going crazy as she said, “so that’s what is wrong!” That was about two years ago and she is steadily getting worst but I have been telling her that she is improving which has improved her outlook. I know it is a lie but it is making her feel better about herself and to me that is more important.
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Yep. I agree. Hard question. A year ago I informed my mom after a dr.'s visit (Aricept perscribed - turned out to be a horrible waste of time and money for her) and she was very sad and said her life is over now. Throughout the year I believe she completely forgot she had dementia. Which, btw, we never used the term "dementia" but used "memory problem". This week we went to the dr. for a check up and he referred to her memory problem and the need to be further evaluated. She flipped out, cried, yelled at me, said its my fault, blah blah blah. It hurts for both of us, but I now strongly feel we did her no favors by acting like she was fine for the last year. Cuz she is not fine and is getting worse. So from now on, I am going to make her comfortable, happy, continue doing all I do with her and for her, but I will continue to remind her of her condition. Otherwise there are so many hurt feelings and anger from her towards me and all family members cuz she thinks we are trying to control her and she is fine and capable...which she is not. We just want her safe and happy for as long as we can. On my end, I will try to let her do more for herself...I'll still help her shower and get ready for bed, but if she wants to check the mailbox 5 times a day or bring in the damn garbage cans from the street - so be it : ) Not gonna fight the little things anymore. Hope my experience helps you.
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I chose to tell my Mom. As she is becoming more frustrated with her memory loss it makes it easier for her when I explain that it is not her fault. I cannot even begin to imagin how scary it must feel to know that you are slowly losing your mind. Be prepared, Alzheimers and Dementia are slow and relentless. Just keep coming back here for help and support. It's nice to know that there are others in the same situation and understand.
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I would if she is in the first or 2nd stage. She know's things are changing and if she's been given Aricept or other dementia Rx she'll figure it out. Unless she's totally out of it, she hears & see what's going on. That doesn't necessarily mean she'll accept it and try to do things to help, like crosswords, Jenga. It might
make it easier on you so you can say what you need to.

If your relationship has been with transparency and honesty,
she would feel you are keeping something from her and this
could end up being worse as she may imagine all sorts of things are wrong with her.

If she's 3rd or final stage, well, I don't have experience with
that yet to comment on from experience.
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Thats a hard one! I decided to tell my mum,and she looked as if i had slapped her,it was awful.She then said i was preventing her from going home ,which i was,because i had to sell it to pay £800 a week for her care.
But next day she had forgotten.I don't know if people with dementia actually realize they have it.
If she asks me now about going home,i say,When you are better,that seems to pacify her.
So,i would say,no! but it is a hard decision.I don't call it being dishonest,I just don't want her to give up.Just a little incentive to her.
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I would first talk with your mother's doctor. He or she will likely have a valid contribution to make before you make your decision. If she is cognizant enough to know something is wrong of dfferent, then she might be relieved to know that she has progressive memory loss, and she might be more willing to take her medications to slow its progress. Sheryl in Charleston
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yes, you need to tell her regardless of what she remembers. You need it to free your conscious. Make sure you seek support groups.
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You should tell her, but depending what stage she is in she may not even know waht you are talking about. My mother just know that she forgets things,cant find the right words for what she is saying, etc. It does not matter whether you tell her or not, she is going to be frustrated with what she cant do anymore and you will become frustrated with what you have to do. So get prepared, she is going to need you and you are going to need some support, because what you have been used to of your mom will change. Just have patience and plenty of love,and get support.
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