Should you tell your spouse that he has dementia? -

Should you tell your spouse that he has dementia?



In my opinion, telling someone they have dementia is like telling someone they have cancer. If the person is alert enough it would shake their world to the core.

I remember when my Dad was saying he can't remember things like he use to, I would tell him I have the same problem, too. Then I would reference file drawers in the brain, which are jammed packed with information, so it does make it harder to find the right file. Too bad we can't dump some information to make room for new information.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to freqflyer

It depends, on all sorts of things.

If he's asking, you shouldn't *not* tell him.

If he isn't asking and isn't resisting help, you don't have to rub it in.

Would you like to say a little more about your situation and any problems you and your husband are having?
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Reply to Countrymouse

If your husband is lucid enough to wonder what is wrong with him then I think he should be told. We want to protect our loved ones and with dementia there are so many situations in which we have to protect our loved ones, mainly from themselves, but as long as your husband is concerned about what may be going on with him he has a right to know. You tell him out of love and out of respect and you tell him so he has an opportunity to face the illness with dignity for as long as he can.
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Reply to Eyerishlass

Of course you'd have to get a diagnosis of dementia first. Has he been tested? You can't just chalk it up to dementia if his memory is bad or if he forgets where he puts things. Best to get a geriatric psychiatric evaluation.

If that comes back positive, I'd say it depends on how advanced it is. I confronted my mother (who lived 500 miles away from me) that she was not acting like she used to. I made a doctor's appointment for her and she went. It was dementia. I convinced her to move closer to me and that I (the only child) would take care of her as it progressed. I would guess she was in stage 3-4 Alzheimer's at that time. She was receptive because she knew something was wrong. She looked to me for help.

At stage 5 (Alzheimer's), living near me, she thought she could take care of herself but she was getting so bad, I had to trick her into going into a memory care facility for her own safety.

I guess it boils down to what stage they're in, how you think they would take it, how you or the doctor presents it and if the person thinks there's anything wrong. I would start a conversation with them about memory, etc. and see what they think of their own condition.
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Reply to SueC1957

No, they will only deny it. He knows something is wrong, sometimes. Most of the time that is not the case and will cause agitation and frustration. The best thing to remember is that you cannot reason or explain to dementia. The brain does not process that sort of information. This goes for everyone, not just you.
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Reply to gladimhere