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New and not coping ...question


Registered User
Jul 4, 2013
Hiya and thanku for all the replies to my previous post. My question is do u tell the person you are caring for they have dementia if they are unaware or is it cruel to let them know. My mum is unaware but very unhappy with her memory and being unable to do what she has been able to before. She knows something's wrong and constantly cries saying she's stupid or silly cow is her favourite . Would her knowing make it easier to cope with or terrify her . Any advice please xxx thanku in advance


Registered User
Apr 5, 2010
I wouldn't tell her as such. I would say she has some memory issues and that the Dr is giving her some tablets to help. If she is this upset thinking there maybe something wrong with how much worse will she be if you tell her she has 'dementia'? It may frighten her into thinking she will be 'taken away'.

Worse case she will forget you have told her she has dementia and just remember you said something that upset her. That feeling that you were mean to her may continue and make caring more difficult.


Registered User
Jun 8, 2012
It's a very individual thing and it's a very hard decision to make. Mum did and does not want to hear the "D" or "A" word. I warned the doctors that she got angry if anyone said she had it.

So rather than lie the doctor described vascular dementia without actually using the words that would hurt her so much. She knows her heart attacks have meant that she struggles to supply oxygen to her brain which has now damaged her brain vessels and that's why she forgets stuff.

She was happy with that, she has an explanation as to what is happening to her and we didn't have to use the "D" or "A" word.

It worked for us is all I can say.


Registered User
Mar 4, 2013
Auckland...... New Zealand
This is what we are yet to decide.
Mum has had tests recently, as well as a brain CT scan and a memory test.
She has a follow up appt in a few weeks with the Geriatrician to discuss meds.

In the past 2 years, Mum has been diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia ( no treatment at this stage) and earlier this year had surgery for early stage bowel cancer. She also is on meds for bowel & bladder spasms. Something she has had for many years.
I think to tell her now she has Alzheimers would probably top it off, and she would react quite badly.
I'd rather she be told that her memory issues are due to her Leukemia and anaesthetic from her surgery.