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How to deal with diagnosis

Moorcroft

Registered User
Nov 4, 2015
70
Mum has now been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, but very mild. She was told she scored just 84, where concern starts at 80. She has been prescribed Aricept - a low dose.

My brother accompanied her to the appointment with the psychiatrist. He was concerned that she'd be distressed by the diagnosis.

Actually, mum's reaction seems to be more confusion than distress. The psychiatrist, and her GP whom she saw the next day, both stressed that, since she is nearly 90, she will probably never experience the full effects of Alzheimer's. That seems to have left her confused about whether she is actually diagnosed with Alzheimer's or not.

It is a tricky one for us, because on the one hand we'd like her to take the Aricept, on the other we don't want to upset her and would like to reassure her that she doesn't have Alzheimer's. I'm saying things like "You're borderline, mum, and the drugs might make sure you stay that way". That seems to work.

Personally, I'm not convinced she won't experience the worst of Alzheimer's. She may be 90, but one of her grannies died at 93, and that was pre-NHS or antibiotics! There is every reason to think mum might reach her century.

My brother got a call from the Alzheimer's Society in Sussex, but he explained that Mum is moving to near me and if we want help we'll contact the AS near me.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
9,175
Yorkshire
Hi Moorcroft
I think you're handling it just right, myself
If that's what your mum wants to hear and it will keep her content and taking the tablets, then it's just fine.

The actual diagnosis is just a 'means' for you to access support for her as and when she needs it. Do contact the local AS after the move - best to make useful contacts as soon as you can.

Best wishes
 

Bod

Registered User
Aug 30, 2013
1,271
Hi Moorcroft
I think you're handling it just right, myself
If that's what your mum wants to hear and it will keep her content and taking the tablets, then it's just fine.

The actual diagnosis is just a 'means' for you to access support for her as and when she needs it. Do contact the local AS after the move - best to make useful contacts as soon as you can.

Best wishes
+1 from me too!
Your doing all the right things, just keep her taking the medication, the reason why doesn't really matter.

Bod
 

Moorcroft

Registered User
Nov 4, 2015
70
Thanks for the support. If I'm doing the right thing it is because of the advice I get on this forum. I'm finding in invaluable.
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
A lot of people just say the meds are to help their memory, if the A or D words are going to be too upsetting. As they will be, TBH, to most people.

I think you are right not to assume that your mother may not have too long with the disease. My mother was diagnosed at maybe 83, finally went into a care home at 89, and died last summer at 97. Her large family was generally long lived, but even so none of them had made it past 90.