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The MDs have not spoken to him about it, and since the last one spoke to me, last March, he has seemed to come out of it with only short visits to confusion. He keeps denying he has it, proving it by discussions about philosophical and intellectual ideas. Yet his motor skills are declining and his ability to follow instructions involving more than 3 steps, as well as short term memory loss. I've been playing along with him so far.

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I think MDs don't discuss it with patients because they want to give as much support as possible and are afraid that the patient will spiral into depression. He always comes back from his appointments encouraged and feeling good about himself. His main MD, though, springs memory tests on him that he passes each time!
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My husband, an engineer, needed reasons, cause-and-effect, explanations for what was happening to him. His neurologist freely and opening discussed his Lewy Body Dementia with him. It was comforting to my husband to understand that this was not his fault or something that he was doing wrong, that his doctors and caregivers were doing everything that could be done, and that there is research underway. In fact, my husband donated his brain for dementia research.

So, some people do benefit from knowing what their illness is. But that is probably the exception rather than the rule. Trying to force the information on someone who really does not want to know is, in my opinion, unnecessarily unkind.

My mother had dementia for several years before her recent death. Her family and her doctor avoided using the D word with her. She knew she had "memory problems."
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This being 2016 and all that, it is not standard practice that three - 1, 2, 3 - MDs would disclose your husband's diagnosis to you without at least seeking to discuss it first with your husband. So why didn't they? Do you know the reason(s)?
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You talk about declining motor skills. There are forms of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's that affect the parts of brain that govern movement rather than memory, but people often get confused that this is dementia. Get a proper diagnosis, not just replies to a list of questions. There are also cases of Alzheimer's where confusion and memory loss alternate with perfect lucidity: but these bright periods get shorter and rarer quite quickly. Sounds like he needs Aricept quickly to slow the damage down.
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What is your goal in convincing your husband that he has dementia?

I would look up anosognosia. It's the actual INABILITY a patient has to accept their medical condition. I don't think there is any way to get around this. You can discuss it with his doctor. But, even if he did accept it...he would eventually forget about it. So, what have you gained?

I agree to get the proper paperwork signed and sealed.
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Have the doctors tell HIM! My mom's doctor told my husband and me she has degenerative discs and should be in a nursing home, but he didn't tell HER, so she doesn't believe it. We are doing the best we can to keep her in her own apt with her beloved cat, but it would have been easier if the doctor had leveled with her; they (they were two of them) didn't want to upset her by saying such a thing to her - so why did they tell us? Only made trouble.... Also, make sure your husband has POA, living will, DNR if he wants, etc. all signed and in place, because there will come a time he can't or won't do it. While you're at it, do it for yourself, too, with someone else as the one left in charge, since it looks as if he won't be able to be.....
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Keep playing along. If you tell him, he will argue with you. Let it go. In the meantime, see an Elder Law attorney about planning ahead.
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Chances are your husband already knows that he is having memory issues.

I remember my Dad would call me on the phone and say how confused he feels I would usually tell him he was tired and that we all get confused every now and then. Then I would redirect the conversion to his hobby, watching the weather, and his mind would quickly go back to the here and now mode and he would chat about what State will get rain and floods, etc.
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he aint ever going to understand dementia . you just tell him that he has an illness that will horribly affect his short term memory . when hes battling for the proper words just remind him that his current illness causes that . dont worry about it .
redirect him to something he still enjoys ..
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