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Do we tell him?

MinnieG

Registered User
Jul 30, 2013
3
0
My Father 84 is in late stage 4, early 5 of Alzheimer’s. Previously a highly intelligent professional man.
He displays classic symptoms of this disease, yet gives the impression of perfect lucidity when questioned /challenged.
He constantly blames others for his failings and despite seriously limited mobility claims to be pain free and able to walk without his stick or walking frame, wanting to go out on trips yet unable to walk, collapsing, then being weary for days after. He is clearly dementing and deluded as to the true nature of his condition.
We are constantly correcting his mistakes, errors and generally making excuse for his behavior- to him, agreeing that it’s someone else causing his problems. Going to the bank 4 times to unblock his cash card as he forgets his pin, being one of them and claiming the bank has changed its security.
Walking on egg shells and admitting/owning fault is allowing this condition to control us as a family, instead of the other way round.
I want to tell him the truth, explain gently that we all ‘Slow down’ and that we all have to accept our limitations.
My Mother 82, disagrees and maintains that we must protect him from the truth. She herself is struggling to come to terms with what is happening and accuses my Father of being an awkward, difficult, rude, bully instead of a Man with an illness.
How have other carers coped with this demise? Do you tell the sufferer?
Minnie G
 

GiCo

Registered User
Jun 7, 2013
15
0
My mum is a master of disguise and denial too. Despite a clear diagnosis of Alzheimers from her GP and a consultant, she lives contentedly in her own world and any mistakes are never hers. There is nothing wrong with her, according to Mum, and I let her believe that as much as possible. She can actually present quite well to people who do not know her, but asks for £20,000 in the bank or £2. Living in a small town is great as the bank now know to just give her £200 whatever she asks for and do not correct her. I try not to challenge or correct her as she just gets more upset. She operates much better when she is calm. I tend to feel that she lacks the cognitive function to have any rational insight to her condition so just let her live with her version of reality and work around it as much as possible. However, I now need her to move house to be closer to me so watch this space! Her reality or mine?
 

hollycat

Registered User
Nov 20, 2011
1,349
0
Hi MinnieG

Whenever this question has been asked, the suggestion I make is, make a list of positives and negatives of telling him.

Just my personal opinion, but I can't think of one positive but could write a massive list of negatives.

My mum was told once by the consultant and 5 minutes later had forgotten.

She has since lived in a world of denial and my OH and I as live in carers have learned to cope around mums routine via asking questions on here TP.

As always, see what everyone else has to say, personally, ignorance is bliss is my take on dementia.
 

60's child

Registered User
Apr 23, 2013
588
0
suffolk
Hi MinnieG
My Mum has little awareness of the fact that she has dementia. I tend to agree with most of what she says. She genuinley would not be able to accept me disagreeing with her as there is nothing wrong with her. I know there is but find it kinder to simply agree or gloss over something and change the subject. It is my experience that she will forget very quickly in any case and the next day poses the same questions / blame etc
I am sorry. It is very hard to know what to do. To be honest I find the days when Mum is a little more aware harder as she tends to be more upset. :(
 
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sistermillicent

Registered User
Jan 30, 2009
2,949
0
Dad asked the consultant to tell mum she had AD more than once, and he did. She never retained the information even though she appeared to accept it at the time she was told.
You write that you want to tell him the truth and yet that you would say we all slow down with old age, I am afraid that isn't quite the truth, he has an illness and it is not an easy one to deal with. I feel it might be easier to accept that you have an illness than to be told you are just getting old. Not pleasanter of course but it offers a better explanation as to why things are going so wrong.

However, as i said earlier, my mum never retained the information and everything remained our fault. No easy answer.

I sometimes think it is a bit like when my husband used to look at me when I was having a bit of a rant around the house and say "pmt again" - it didn't stop the rant, I couldn't if i wanted to.
 
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Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,289
0
SW London
How have other carers coped with this demise? Do you tell the sufferer?
Minnie G

IMO so much depends on the state of someone's short-term memory. If it is already very bad, then regardless of whether they will accept what you say or not (so often not) , they will very likely not remember anyway. So you will be faced with the same explanation (or argument) over and over.

My mother was told by the GP that she had Alz. but had forgotten by the time she got home 15 minutes later, and to be honest I dare say she had forgotten even by the time she got into the car to go home. She had apparently accepted what the GP said, but then she would never have dreamt of arguing with the doctor (aka God) anyway. In any discussion with the family, though, she would invariably insist that there was absolutely nothing wrong with her.
We soon stopped saying anything - it simply wasn't worth the stress and upset and was never going to achieve anything. There was a very similar scenario with my FIL, several years previously.

However this is just our experience and I'm not saying it should or will be the same for anyone else.
 

meme

Registered User
Aug 29, 2011
1,953
0
London
by telling the truth are you hoping against hope he will be able to take some responsibilty for what is happening to him?? you could also talk to him about slowing down and limitations without mentioning alzheimers...
 

Butter

Registered User
Jan 19, 2012
6,737
0
NeverNeverLand
From what you say, your mother is living with your father. I'm assuming you are not - but I may be wrong. But if she is the only one living with him I think you have to be lead by her on this.

My husband behaves much as you describe - and frequently the only 'safe' way forward is for me to keep my distance and challenge nothing. It is lonely and wearisome but it is not as frightening and exhausting as any alternative that I have found.

So can you help your mother, giving her breaks and helping her with your father? many partners risk personal collapse rather than any behaviour which they would see as disloyal and, if I were you, that is how I would try and see the situation.
 

MinnieG

Registered User
Jul 30, 2013
3
0
Your comments are appreciatated

From what you say, your mother is living with your father. I'm assuming you are not - but I may be wrong. But if she is the only one living with him I think you have to be lead by her on this.

My husband behaves much as you describe - and frequently the only 'safe' way forward is for me to keep my distance and challenge nothing. It is lonely and wearisome but it is not as frightening and exhausting as any alternative that I have found.

So can you help your mother, giving her breaks and helping her with your father? many partners risk personal collapse rather than any behaviour which they would see as disloyal and, if I were you, that is how I would try and see the situation.

Thanks to all who have taken the time to respond, it is appreciated.

I take from this that the way forward is not to tell my Father or correct him in anyway. This does and would result in further adjudication. Its always best not to antagonize him.
 

MinnieG

Registered User
Jul 30, 2013
3
0
Your comments make perfect sense.

From what you say, your mother is living with your father. I'm assuming you are not - but I may be wrong. But if she is the only one living with him I think you have to be lead by her on this.

My husband behaves much as you describe - and frequently the only 'safe' way forward is for me to keep my distance and challenge nothing. It is lonely and wearisome but it is not as frightening and exhausting as any alternative that I have found.

So can you help your mother, giving her breaks and helping her with your father? many partners risk personal collapse rather than any behaviour which they would see as disloyal and, if I were you, that is how I would try and see the situation.

Thanks to all who have taken the time to respond, it is appreciated.

I take from this that the way forward is not to tell my Father or correct him in anyway. This does and would result in him becoming distressed. Its always best not to antagonize him.

As we all know, we are never going to stop the overwhelming tide of this disease.

Nothing predicts the future as much as the past, of that I am sure. So to that end its point less even attempting to tell my Father of his condition & demise.

I will however, endeavor to be the best daughter I can be to both my parents and give them the my continued support and love.

Once again my heart felt thanks
Minne G