Letting people know about my Dad ...

Solitaire248

New member
Apr 17, 2018
2
Hi all,

My Dad has Alzheimer's and recently moved in with me half the time and my sister the other half, so we can look after him as he wasn't caring for himself when he was on his own.

As part of everything we've been sorting out for him, one of the things I wanted to do was to let his friends and family know that he's moved house and that he has Alzheimer's.

I have all of the Christmas cards he was send last year & his address book. So I planned to send a note out to everyone who had sent him a card and anyone else I can identify that he knows (he can't remember of course).

Do you think this wording is ok ....

" Dear xxx
I'm writing to let you know that Dad (insert name) has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and has moved into my house half the time and my sister's the other half. He is safe and well but doesn't recall any memories of things that happen to him during the day and also has forgotten a lot of things from his past.
If you'd like to keep in touch then you can contact him at my address and phone number (inserted here)"

Do you think this sounds ok? I'm worried it could sound too harsh or shock people who haven't seen him recently.
Anything else you think I should include or reword?

Many thanks,
Jane
 

nellbelles

Volunteer Host
Nov 6, 2008
8,552
leicester
Hi @Solitaire248 welcome to TP

To me it sounds fine, yes it will be a shock for many but there is no easy way to break news like this.
I could be wrong but I suspect some of the people will not respond to you or keep in touch with your Dad, I hope I’m wrong on that score.
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
60,437
Dundee
I think that sounds perfect. Not too harsh at all. Dementia is harsh and I think it helps to be up front.
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,150
Hi all,

My Dad has Alzheimer's and recently moved in with me half the time and my sister the other half, so we can look after him as he wasn't caring for himself when he was on his own.

As part of everything we've been sorting out for him, one of the things I wanted to do was to let his friends and family know that he's moved house and that he has Alzheimer's.

I have all of the Christmas cards he was send last year & his address book. So I planned to send a note out to everyone who had sent him a card and anyone else I can identify that he knows (he can't remember of course).

Do you think this wording is ok ....

" Dear xxx
I'm writing to let you know that Dad (insert name) has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and has moved into my house half the time and my sister's the other half. He is safe and well but doesn't recall any memories of things that happen to him during the day and also has forgotten a lot of things from his past.
If you'd like to keep in touch then you can contact him at my address and phone number (inserted here)"

Do you think this sounds ok? I'm worried it could sound too harsh or shock people who haven't seen him recently.
Anything else you think I should include or reword?

Many thanks,
Jane
I did something similar to this with my mother-in-law because when she used to write cards no one could simply understand her writing due to her deteriorating illness. What we did is like yourself we sent out a note with any cards or letters that she wanted to send out saying what was happening to her and that if anyone needed to contact her it should be done through me. In addition in the letter I put that my mother-in-law did not accept the diagnosis which she doesn't and as far as she's concerned there was nothing wrong with her. We asked anyone who made contact to bear that in mind and therefore not to distress her by mentioning the dementia. Yes I'm sure it came as a shock to many people but it was the only way to deal with it. We didn't tell my mother-in-law either that we've put these notes inside her cards because that would have caused an aggressive outburst. As a result of that it quickly became apparent that many people simply didn't contact her again or us to make any sort of arrangements to see or contact her. I also put in the note that it may be the last time that anyone would hear from my mother-in-law or received her cards because of her deteriorating illness and I thanked them for their support in the past. So far only two out of the 10 people we contacted have acknowledged the note
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
5,076
N Ireland
Hello @Solitaire248, a welcome to TP from me too.

When my wife was diagnosed she didn't want anybody to know but I felt telling people would enable support from close friends and family so we went ahead. I was right about the close friends, who now look out for my wife on the rare occasions they see her alone. When it came to family the response was similar to that experienced by Rosettastone57 in that some children/siblings were supportive, some made no mention of the issue and a couple even broke all contact. Be prepared for a mixed response but don't let any that fall by the wayside get under your skin.
 

Soobee

Registered User
Aug 22, 2009
2,734
South
I wrote a note to say that mum had dementia and had moved into a nursing home but she still loved to receive letters, please send them to me and I would read them to her. This resulted in only one response. Three of her friends went to see her in the nursing home and kept in contact.
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,008
Scotland
I let close friends know in a similar way. His friend from Inverness couldn't grasp how bad it was and phoned - John had no idea who he was and rambled matey nonsense. His friend had catastrophic brain damage himself but with physical rather than mental outcome.

Your letter sounds fine to me.
 

SKD

Registered User
I think that is fine - the news will always be hard for some. My Mum was resistant to the idea of anyone knowing but I was concerned that friends would phone and not understand why the conversation was so fragmented and not make allowances. We sent out a note with Mum's Christmas cards and I did have three responses from distant family and friends a couple of whom have since stayed in touch. When Mum moves to residential care I will send out another update. Fortunately our family grapevine works well due to the help of my Mum's sister in law who has been faithfully visiting Mum over the past 18 months.
 

pipd

Registered User
Apr 12, 2015
78
Leigh on Sea Essex
I did something similar with my mums friends and family and added that she'd still love to get an occasional letter and card from them as sometimes she could remember them and it would bring her great pleasure to receive any communications via the post. It helped with the loneliness she would sometimes feel.
 

maryjoan

Registered User
Mar 25, 2017
1,394
South of the Border
I did something similar with my mums friends and family and added that she'd still love to get an occasional letter and card from them as sometimes she could remember them and it would bring her great pleasure to receive any communications via the post. It helped with the loneliness she would sometimes feel.
pipd's response seems ideal to me - I am sure our PWD love to get cards etc, and I have found with my partner that there are still 'little windows' when he can appreciate these things......