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Do I tell Mum?


New member
Sep 11, 2019
I lost my Dad to Alzheimer's 21/2 years ago and after he died my Mum was very lonely so came to live with us a year ago and we had a granny flat extension built. Following a brain scan and several other tests I had a call from her doctor today as he believes she is in early stages of Alzheimer's. My question is do I tell her?


Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
Welcome to the forum. It's a difficult question to answer as it depends on the individual. Why is the GP telling you but not your Mum - is it because she lacks mental capacity to understand the diagnosis? If so then I'm not sure what the benefit would be to letting your Mum know.

You know your Mum best so are best placed to know what her reaction would be to the news. Would she want to be told the diagnosis or would she be fine with being told that she had some memory problems? Is it worth potentially distressing her if there would be no benefit in doing so?

Sorry this isn't very helpful but it's a question that there is no right or wrong answer to and only you can decide on what would be best for your Mum.


Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
Welcome from me too @Jas35

As Louise says this is pretty much a judgement call. There is no right or wrong answer. I didn't have to make this decision as my dad's GP told him. If you think she'll be upset don't tell her. Dad forgot he had dementia as the dementia progressed and died believing that he was perfectly healthy... Probably the best way to go!

I used to call dad's condition "colander brain" which made him laugh and diffused a potentially upsetting situation. We also used to refer to his lapses in memory or logic as "brain trumps" but didn't use the "d" word after initial diagnosis.

I'm glad you've found the forum. I found it invaluable while caring for my dad. It saved my sanity in many occasions :)

Keep posting!


Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
Hi @Jas35, I had a similar dilemma. My father passed away after suffering from dementia, then Mum was diagnosed via a letter from the Specialist that I found unopened at her bungalow - she had experienced the pain of what happened with Dad. I did read it to her and she understood at the time (there were various 'tips' on diet etc). Within a day or so she had forgotten the diagnosis and often said 'what is wrong with me' initially I used to say that she had been diagnosed with vascular dementia, to which she would respond 'who says so?' I would show her the letter. I soon learned this open approach wasn't the best for her. So I just used to say 'you're just in a bit of a pickle at the moment' then reassure her. All the best to you, it isn't easy at all - I'm not sure there's a right or wrong answer on this one!


Registered User
Sep 9, 2019
Hi Jas 35 and welcome,
I’m new on here too and have found it so helpful, I have the same problem at the moment, OH asking “what’s wrong with me “ although he hasn’t asked since yesterday so hopefully he’s forgotten about it but thanks to the advice I got on here, I now know how I’m going to deal with it if he does. This is a great forum, it’s helping me understand a lot of the behaviour that was frustrating me so much, so I can deal with it in a much calmer way now! x