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Diagnosed but without using the word Alzheimer's


Registered User
Jun 20, 2015
Advice please, this is my first post.

My mother has been increasingly experiencing short term memory loss over the past four years along with other personality changes. I am sure I don't have to explain these here. After gp referral to the memory clinic, assessment there, brain scan and further assessment my parents had the diagnostic appointment. Unfortunately my father suffers from hypoxic brain damage from a cardiac arrest he was lucky to survive so the feedback from that appointment to my brother and I changes at each telling! My mum is feeling acute shame about her situation and refuses to acknowledge anything to my brother or I so conversations are difficult with my dad who is stuck in the middle.

My dad is refusing to acknowledge it is Alzheimer's despite mum being prescribed with donepezil and also being given the forms to advise the dvlc of her condition and to arrange for a driving assessment. He says they were told it is cognitive impairment only. Next conversation it is accepted.

My question is, would a doctor read the situation with individuals and assess their capacity to deal with the diagnosis and not actually say the word Alzheimer's? Or is it that my dad is blocking it himself. My mother hasn't even accepted she has been to the memory clinic much less anything else.

It makes knowing how to move forward with any help and support very difficult.


Registered User
Aug 28, 2014
The doctor should manage the treatment and at the moment giving it a name makes little difference. Your Mum might never admit it to herself or her family. The DVLA is the only issue. That needs followed up.

Until she needs care and support from external people you can sit tight, Stay close to them and take it a day at a time. Get POA set up and registered for when you need it.

The biggest lesson I have learned is not to look too far ahead. The future is unpredictable especially with alzheimers. She could be steady for years.

Keep posting and will all be here to support you.


Registered User
Apr 15, 2015
Hi Duracell … and welcome to the forum. Sorry that I can't be of much practical help but I was in a similar situation to you a few years ago- Dad was suffering short term memory loss and various other symptoms of dementia and it took a while for him to get these addressed… Once he had started to go to GP and get things moving everything then went through him and Mum ( who, for various reasons, has always had a unique view of the world around her). I often felt that I had a very sketchy view of what was happening and what was being said at appointments as- like you- the story varied every time.
I don't know if this would be practical for you but this only changed when I started attending appointments with them .. after their initial reluctance I began to deal with everything and all appointments and discussions now go through me. In some ways this ultimately seemed a relief to them, despite Dad always having been very private ( or even secretive!) about his personal affairs. Social Services, the Health Board and everyone else involved seem happy with this. Work have been very understanding and for appointments they have classed Dad as a dependent and allowed me time off.
Thinking of you and the journey ahead of you. xx


Registered User
Mar 17, 2005
“Alzheimer’s “ is only one type of dementia I think there several types but they all amount to one category in the end as far as bureaucrats are concerned and that
{ Dementia} or Mental Illness every one irrespective of the type or how they actually cope with the illness everyone in Same Box no one treated as an individual if you want that you have to Fight for that and some battles could be long and hard