Giving dementia sufferer news which will cause anxiety


Registered User
Jan 23, 2013
Hi. I am new to the forum. I have recently become carer to an elderly relative who has dementia. I have opened a letter to her (which came c/o me) and the contents are full of information which I feel will cause her stress(she becomes anxious and agitated very easily - and it is then hard to reassure her). Do I give it to her or just forget it? Would appreciate any comments. Thanks!:)


Registered User
Sep 15, 2012
Nuneaton, warwickshire
Hi and welcome to TP. I'm sorry to hear about your relative but you are in good company on here.

With regards to the letter, if the relative doesn't need to know then personally I wouldn't say anything. Dad used to get letters for mum and he would say 'oh it's just junk' if she asked what it was.

We used to do whatever it took to keep mum calm and stop her flying off the hadle. A lot of the time, especially in mums case she couldn't comprehend what she was being told anyway so going into a long drawn out explanation made things worse.

Others will be along with more advise soon, keep posting.



Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
SW London
With regards to the letter, if the relative doesn't need to know then personally I wouldn't say anything. Dad used to get letters for mum and he would say 'oh it's just junk' if she asked what it was.
Ditto to that. And even if you feel they ought to know, but will only forget whatever you say very quickly anyway, then IMO there isn't much point in upsetting them even for a little while.
And welcome to TP!


Registered User
Nov 20, 2011
Echo the previous comments.

OH and I have managed to get 95% of mums mail re-addressed to us under LPA to avoid undue stress to mum. Whilst on one hand it is withdrawing mums independance, on the other and far more importantly in our opinion, it is in mums BEST INTERST


Registered User
Nov 9, 2009
Hello Dotty and a welcome from me also to Talking Point, I cannot add anything much to what has already been said here, I also remove any post which I know will now upset my mum it's mainly the ones that are marked "Urgent" which alas are from mail order companies, the wording in some of these does distress her, she is fine with any bills etc.
Glad you have joined us and do please keep posting.
Best Wishes


Registered User
Jul 7, 2007
Welcome to TP :)

I can't add to what's already been said really, beyond that I personally prefer to not try to tell my Dad anything upsetting or unsettling.

When Mum and Dad's beloved dog had to be put to sleep last year Mum was inconsolable as Rosie was the constant in her life since Dad went into the Care Home. When she went to see Dad the following day he asked about Rosie (couldn't remember much but he remembered his Rosie) and Mum decided not to tell him which was a change for her as up until then she had always told him everything even if it upset him (a point of contention between she and I as I said why upset him when he will forget within minutes and then ask again......a vicious circle).

Now when he asks about Rosie we all just say that she is at home, likewise when he asks on the rare occasions about a relative who has passed on.



Registered User
Jan 23, 2013
Thank you

Thanks for all these replies - it has really helped as I find this a strange role to be in - sort of role reversal as she is becoming more dependent and looking to me to know 'everything is alright'. I can see her visibly relax when I tell her that there is nothing to be worried about. I had been twisitng myself this way and that trying to decide what to do. :)


Registered User
Jan 26, 2013
Bad news


My dad just over two years ago suddenly aged 63. He was an only child & so am I. My gran had been in an Alzheimer's home for four years when dad died and I took over the power of attorney. For over a year I didn't tell her that my dad had died. She can't communicate very well but always asked for my dad.

At the time I just couldn't tell her and didn't want to put her through the stress of possibly not remembering and having to tell her. In the end one day I just decided to say. First I said dad had died and that's why he didn't visit. She didn't understand this and so I said his name. For about 20 seconds I got my gran back. She understood, cried and gave me a hug.

I'm not sure if she has retained this but she asks after my dad every day. No one else just him.

Everyone is different, so it's really how you feel. I'm glad I told her and it helped me a lot. I often tell her that I miss him. I also wish my dad knew just how much she loves him and misses him.

Alzheimer's is a cruel disease. You can only do what's best. Some things the sufferer just doesn't need to know.

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