Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
Hi. My Mum has alzhheimers and nobody not even the doctors has told her what she is suffering from. She thinks it is just short term memory loss. Would it help if she knew. She is looked after by my father who is 83 and is finding it very hard to cope. Any advice would be helpful.

Nutty Nan

Registered User
Nov 2, 2003
Dear Paul,
Your question is such a hard one to answer, and whatever you decide, you will never know whether the decision was right or wrong. Would your Mum understand the implications if you told her the diagnosis? Would she be frightened or depressed? Or do you think she (and indeed your Dad) might benefit from the help and support of the Alzheimers' Society, carers, friends and family, who would then be able to openly discuss her problems and strategies to overcome obstacles that arise as time goes on?
My husband was diagnosed 3 1/2 years ago, and he has been on Aricept since then. We as a family decided not to tell him that it was AD, as we did not want to confirm his worst fears (that he would 'end up like his mother'). He is not a positive person, and we worried that he would get too depressed. I am not sure that we were right: his depression set in anyway, because he knows that he is not 'functioning properly', and gets very frustrated and angry. But because we did not tell him, we are unable to openly introduce anything to do with the Alzheimers' Society and their care schemes.
He still has good days, but if we told him now, he would not understand what AD means, and so we will never know how he would have reacted had we been open and honest in the first place. - It must be such a worrying thing to realise that you don't quite understand the world and the people in it any longer ....
Perhaps you could try and enlist the help of the Community Psychiatric Nurse. I did not realise until recently that she is an obvious link who should be aware of what is available in your area to support both your Mum and your Dad.
All the best, Carmen


Registered User
Aug 18, 2003
east sussex
Dear Paul
When my dad was first diagnosed with AD, we did not tell him because he was already worrying about how forgetful he was and his mum had had the disease many years ago.
We did manage to get help in with the CPN for mum as sadly dad went downhill quite quickly - he was only 67 at the time. Before we got him assessed to be taken in he was at the stage of not knowing who mum was and kept trying to throw this stranger out of the house. Sadly no one can predict how quickly this awful disease takes hold.
it is a difficult thing to decide - but you must remember you know them best - and it is a difficult decision to make - whether to tell or not.
I personally feel we made the right decision, but there have been occasions that both mum and me wondered if it was the right one!
Keep in touch and make use of the site - it has invaluable information - we are all in the same boat
Kind regards Susan


Registered User
Feb 1, 2004
I'm 12 years old.

When i was 6 my grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimers I didn't quite understand what my mum was talking about when she described this "thing"
My mum described it to me as a sunflower.. When grandma was a baby she grew up and had lots of seeds in the middle of her flower just like me..this was her memory..Then slowly over the years she began to forget things..All grandmas seeds were dissappearing...Grandma would soon be forgetting her family. Then Grandma couldn't remember my name and when i spoke to her she wouldn't reply and when she did none of her words would make sense.

Then Grandma went into a nursing home. I was scared i wen to see her everyday after school and eventually got used to it. Managers of the home came and then went. The place was deteriating, So was grandma. Grandma broke both her hips. She went into hospital and when she ready to go back to the Nursing home, She had got even worse!

7 years later i would never have thought my dear grandma would be struggling along. She cant walk, Talk and she can barely eat, carers sit around the table to feed her! It's awful. I no many of you are going through the same things.
I hate to think what Grandma would be like now, but i cant imagine her any other way. If only i could turn back the years and medication was available for her then.

That's the story of my dear grandma.
Physically she's here...Mentally she's dead.

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