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How did you tell friends and neighbours?

patsy56

Registered User
Jan 14, 2015
839
Fife Scotland
Sorry if this is out of place, but it just occured to me and I was wondering how others told friends and neighbours that their mother, father, MIL, FIL etc actually had dementia.

When I started to tell mater's friends and neighbours, I was shot down that I shouldn't tell them of her sickness.

But I found that most when I told, nodded their heads and said "Yes we suspected for a while".

This has led to some of mothers friends and neighbours now not visiting, or if they do they don't stop.

Makes me wonder if she has said something to them, or are they embarressed. I know her house smells a little, and I did notice last time I was in there was a bag of pot pourri, I never got a change to ask where it came from.

Just was wondering really.
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,035
Scotland
I have found neighbours, local shopkeepers, and acquaintances in general very sympathetic and helpful. When I stop with John they always speak directly to him rather than to me about him which I would hate.

I prefer people to know because he might need their help at some point and would be more likely to step up to the plate knowing he is ill.

Family knew from the start and so I can discuss possible future plans openly. In life in general I am very open and honest and so was John so that's how I intend to continue.

Do what seems right to you.
 

patsy56

Registered User
Jan 14, 2015
839
Fife Scotland
Thank you, yes thought being honest was best, but her neighbours are also ageing, and maybe don't want to see what is round the corner for them.
 

chick1962

Registered User
Apr 3, 2014
11,282
near Folkestone
Hello same here John is very honest about his dementia too and we told friends and neighbours due to that we have lost some friends and one neighbour is a bit nasty but in general not just with the dementia . We gained and kept some fab friends and neighbours who admire Johns positive attitude to his illness and even though he gets confused and can't find always the right word they love him to bits xx


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Countryboy

Registered User
Mar 17, 2005
1,450
Cornwall
My suggestion is to get on and live life to the full , don’t worry about what other may or may not think if a person has the diagnoses of dementia it won’t go away you will need a lot of positive forward thinking as far as others are concerned it’s not important ( hay great illness to find out who you friends were though !! )
 

chick1962

Registered User
Apr 3, 2014
11,282
near Folkestone
My suggestion is to get on and live life to the full , don’t worry about what other may or may not think if a person has the diagnoses of dementia it won’t go away you will need a lot of positive forward thinking as far as others are concerned it’s not important ( hay great illness to find out who you friends were though !! )
So true Tony ;) the ones who leave weren't real friends . We might not have many but the ones we do have are diamonds :)


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Fred Flintstone

Registered User
Aug 28, 2014
133
S. E. England
Thank you, yes thought being honest was best, but her neighbours are also ageing, and maybe don't want to see what is round the corner for them.
I think that's just the point. My parents were a bit deaf before there was any question of mental decline, and some were a bit unsympathetic, but I believe that was out of fear that they were witnessing dementia rather then deafness.

When my Dad started talking about his being deaf *please speak louder* it broke the ice, and people responded.

My parents' somewhat younger friends are now in their late seventies at least. The thing that frightens them the most is dementia. They will have been aware of it happening to people younger than themselves, and they are probably more frightened of it than dying.

Only my thoughts, of course.
Fred
 

Countryboy

Registered User
Mar 17, 2005
1,450
Cornwall
So true Tony ;) the ones who leave weren't real friends . We might not have many but the ones we do have are diamonds :)


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Yes I agree chick1962 also when you carry on regardless you find you will make new friends in a similar situation as yourself but not if you stay at home and hide however I do understand the persons view point when they first get the diagnoses can be be a bit frightening
 

chick1962

Registered User
Apr 3, 2014
11,282
near Folkestone
Yes I agree chick1962 also when you carry on regardless you find you will make new friends in a similar situation as yourself but not if you stay at home and hide however I do understand the persons view point when they first get the diagnoses can be be a bit frightening
Yes we do :) first diagnosis was a huge shock but 4 years on my OH is holding up well and I have grown into my role as a carer, if that makes sense?! We enjoy our good days and make the best and concentrate on the things we can do, rather then on the ones we can't . :)


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Countryboy

Registered User
Mar 17, 2005
1,450
Cornwall
Yes we do :) first diagnosis was a huge shock but 4 years on my OH is holding up well and I have grown into my role as a carer, if that makes sense?! We enjoy our good days and make the best and concentrate on the things we can do, rather then on the ones we can't . :)


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Chick1962. 4 Years your only just getting , it 16 for me and its me with the diagnoses and feel No different in myself but yes your correct can be a bit. Of a shock to the system although it wasn't such a shock to us my mum dad mums brother & sister all had dementia all lived to age of late eighties and mid nineties , also agree again do what you do best
 

chick1962

Registered User
Apr 3, 2014
11,282
near Folkestone
Gosh 16 years there's hope for my John then , I make you my inspiration :) thanks for all your comments and here's to the next 16 x


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Alan19531953

Registered User
Jun 16, 2015
36
Just be honest

You'll find they will all have guessed anyway. They will stop visiting but would have done that anyhow. At least it makes it easier for you.
 

kingybell

Registered User
Feb 3, 2015
115
I tell everyone about it. My mil was very embarrassed at first but not bothered now. It has worked in our favour as everyone is looking out for her as a result.

We made a decision to tell people based on how young she is and how uncommon dementia is in younger people. I used to find people calling her weird and laughing at her because they didn't understand. They now either ask how she is or help us out.

When my grandad had Alzheimer's (died 2 yrs ago) we told nobody and it was a lonely situation for my gran and mum. people thought he was a strange man and avoided him as a result.

I think telling people raises awareness so I'm a massive fan of this option. Awareness means people help, will fundraise and eventually some sort of cure will happen
 

Rageddy Anne

Registered User
Feb 21, 2013
5,984
Cotswolds
We told people too. Most were kind and have tried to understand. A few disappeared into the woodwork.
Terry Pratchett told the world, and the fact that he did has helped a lot of people to understand better. I think we owe it to him and to other future victims to tell it like it is, and not behave as though it was a nasty little secret.

Sorry, that little soapbox speech didn't actually answer the question....We varied the way we introduced the subject depending on who we were telling. Mostly we simply introduced it into conversation casually and didn't make a big deal of it. In fact, my husband often made a joke about it, and so did I. That seemed to put people at their ease......
 
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Spamar

Registered User
Oct 5, 2013
7,070
Suffolk
Just before diagnosis, but after he'd seen memory consultant, we had building work done. I told every tradesman he had a memory problem and to ask me if they had a problem/ question. We were living away, but he came back more than I did ( I was working/ doing voluntary work at that time).
So when I came, had a look around and said shy are you doing that, the reply was, your husband said that was what was wanted! I learnt to do grievous injury with just one glance!
From that point of view, I was quite glad when we moved back...but that's another story!