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  1. #1
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    Unhappy how do we tell someone they have dementia?

    My husband is showing all the signs of early onset dementia and both me and my daughter who is a nurse have thought this for a long time.He has been through so much health wise with cancer etc that we are both afraid to broach the subject with him.how do we go about it without upsetting him further?

  2. #2
    Hello CLK and welcome to Talking Point (TP).

    Do you feel that it's absolutely necessary to tell him? I know some people have responded really well to being informed they have dementia and other, like my mother, who could not be told at all.

    My mother was happy to accept that her memory "wasn't what it used to be" but would become agitated when the word Alzheimer's was even mentioned. I'm assuming it was because at that time she herself felt it may have been more than ordinary forgetfulness but would not accept it. So we rolled along with "memory problems" and she was never informed.

    I would get him to the GP and tested and say it's standard. Get yourself tested at the same time if that would reassure him or at least tell you will be going for the same tests. If appropriate, he could be prescribed medication which would help him.

    I would also get the power of attorney set up immediately and also he should make any changes to his will if necessary to update it. These are very important points. You might want your daughter as PoA also, for a backup. Both my sister and I are PoAs for my mother in an "and/or" situation so that either of us can sign whatever is necessary.

    Good luck and let us know what happens.
    Joanne
    Carer and Volunteer Moderator
    When you've seen one person with Alzheimer's, you've seen one person with Alzheimer's

  3. #3
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    CLK, hello and welcome to TP
    I'm sorry that you are in the situation that you describe with your husband. I would agree with Joanne that getting him to the doctor and having a check up would be a good start, maybe have a word with the doctor first and tell them of your concerns, that way they know what to look for and maybe lead the conversation towards getting a consutation at a memory clinic.

    From my experience it can take years to get someone to agree that they have problems with their memory although everybody is different.

    Is your husband still working and looking after himself, it is a very worrying when memory problems arise and I'm sure more people will be along to give you more help and support.

    Take care of yourself, I look forward to hearing how you get on.
    Best wishes, Jo
    There isn't enough darkness in the whole universe to put out the light of one candle (quote Hubby, 25 September 2010)

  4. #4
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    hiya

    Hello CLK and welcome to TP, i myself was diagnosed with early onest three years ago and i insisted i was told everything so i could understand what was happenening to me, buts thats only a personal take on it and everybody is different. i know in your heart you will know when , where or even when, if you tell him when you think the time is right. pleaae please use this site, its a wealth of information and everybody on here are so very helpful, i would be lost without it, best wishes, Norrms and family xxxxxxxxxxx
    What do you mean i have Alzheimer`s? IVE BEEN DIETING FOR GODS SAKE !!

  5. #5
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    Smile

    Hi CLK my mum was dignosed in january by the memory clinic with early onset however we just say she has memeory problems and my mum prefers this. She doesn't want to be reminded about it all the time. I think it is wahtever suits you best. Like others have said sometimes is it really necessay to mention it?

    Take care Lucky

    xxx

  6. #6

    Help

    I really need some advice please. My wonderful mum has been displaying signs of early dementia for a while now. At first we just thought it was forgetfulness but now she is becoming confused things. Sometimes she thinks it is the morning when it fact it is night time. Physically she is very fit and still has a couple of part time jobs but she is starting to get mixed up with what days she is meant to be doing them. Sometimes she seems completely herself but we have noticed a change in her. She is a very stubborn lady and has never been one for going to the doctor. A couple of members of the family have said they thought she had early dementia and she went mad and was so upset. She doesn't for one minute think she does and she doesn't want to hear it. My dad managed to get her to the doctors at an appointment for him, hoping that the doctor could give her a check up whilst she was there, but she would not allow it. I made an appointment at the doctors myself for her and tried to persuade her to go for another reason but still she would not go. Sometimes I feel there is nothing wrong but maybe that is just what I am trying to see. I am so worried and I am at my wits end and just do not know what to do. I would appreciate any advice on how to get my mum some help in any way shape or form. Thank you.

  7. #7
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    Hiya Smudgedog and welcome to Talking Point,

    This is a common issue that you're having with your mum and it could be that she now won't go to the doctor for fear of what others told her about coming true. What is a very useful thing to do and you can get your dad to contribute too, is to start a diary. Start recording all the little incidents that are out of the norm and make a note of what time of day they happened, how long the confusion etc lasted for and whether there were any contributing factors - like was she overly tired etc. Between you, you can then build up an accurate picture of all the things your mum is struggling with and not only that you can then read back over the diary and see if things have been getting worse over time. Having put the diary together, what you can do is make an appointment for the GP (maybe just you and your dad alone) and take the diary along and show him the detail of what is going on. Your GP might, for example, write and invite them both for an annual health check up, or maybe decide it is best to make a call at home instead.

    So far as your mum is concerned, then I would just play everything down. Don't make reference to her not remembering things or being confused etc. All of this will just make her more anxious. You might find this attached thread of help for you and your dad because it gives some hints about how WE can modify how we communicate with someone who has memory problems and it also gives an insight of how things are from the other person's perspective too.

    http://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/showt...emory-Impaired

    Hope this helps,

    Fiona

  8. #8
    Hi Fiona,

    Thank you so much for your advice. I will definitely start using a diary and ask my dad to do the same so we can see any patterns.

    Thank you also for the link which has so many helpful tips.

    I have heard that there is medication which can slow the illness down which is why I wanted to try and get my mum diagnosed. I think even if she was asked to go in for a check up with my dad, she would not go.

    It is the most awful thing to see my mum like this and I feel so sad when I think about how things may get worse.

  9. #9
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    i would leave it to the dr to diagnose and tell of the diagnosis. they often take it better from a professional. and, well, quite frankly, the dr gets alot of money to be the bad guy. you don't get paid anywhere near enough money to go around breaking peoples hearts.
    __________________________________________________ ______________________

    Alzheimers is a marathon, not a sprint, better get myself in shape

    I'm an Australian daughter, mum with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's at 59. Grandmother inlaw nearing a century old also with Alzheimer's, deceased grandfather had Alzheimer's.

  10. #10
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    Hi if you visited your GP or Consultant because you have a medical problem and your sent for tests ect surely you would want to know the test results how else can you move, also if someone is talking to your GP without your knowledge or consent I thought we had the data protection act to stop that

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by trigger View Post
    if someone is talking to your GP without your knowledge or consent I thought we had the data protection act to stop that
    Hi trigger - just to reassure you - when it is suggested that partners or children talk to a relatives GP this is always with the intention that the information flow is mainly in one direction i.e. towards the GP. The data protection act, never mind medical confidentiality, does indeed restrict what information that a GP or other medical profession can give to someone other than the patient. However it does not restrict what information can be received from others. If the patient has previously given permission for information to be disclosed then fine but otherwise it is unlikely.

    The aim is always to give the GP as much information as possible to enable a more accurate picture of the patient and thus a more accurate diagnosis with the least trauma for all parties.

  12. #12
    Zeeeb,

    Thank you for your advice, however the thing is we are unable to get her to the doctor. We just don't know what to do.

  13. #13
    Trigger,

    Do you not understand what we are trying to do by going to the doctor? We do not want to go behind her back, we are trying to help. By suggesting that we are, really does not help. We are at our wits end. There may be something that can help her if she is diagnosed and by not helping her be diagnosed she will only get worse. We feel immense guilt going to the doctor without her knowing, but he is a family doctor who we have dealt with for many years. We have to try anything.

  14. #14
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    What Iím saying if you donít want to know whatís wrong why go to GP in first place
    just sit it out

  15. #15
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    Trigger,

    I think there is a misunderstanding here. It is the mum who won't go to the GP and doesn't want to know. The family however can see how bad she is and that she is deteriorating hence them speaking to the GP to pass on this information. A Diagnosis is needed before things like medication can be given and before access can be gained to support services - the family would want/need to know of any diagnosis even if Mum wasn't able to take things in as they need to be able to help her. PLUS There are other illnesses with similar symptoms to some dementias which you wouldn't want to just "sit out" as they could require more urgent attention perhaps.

    It is not a case of going behind someone's back, it is a case of passing on information so her GP can decide how best to deal with things.


    Hope this helps,

    Fiona

 

 

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