new diagnosis


Registered User
Feb 23, 2004
this is the first time i have used this service and am desperate for some reassurance. my dad has been increasingly forgetful for the last 2 years and culminated in virtually unable to function properly when my mum was hospitalised last september. i had to live with dad and encourage/guide him through the activities of daily life. when mum came home he didn't improve too much and i asked him to go to the drs with me re his 'forgetfulness'. as a nurse i was very aware of what this could be and his g.p agreed.
last week we went to the pyschiatrist and i was shocked when my dad didn't know the year, how many children he had and had to count his sisters on his fingers. we are now waiting for a brain scan but we are almost certain that its a.d.
i'm very upset about this and have been honest with both mum and dad about the future progress of dads life and this was compounded when the dr said he wasn't able to drive anymore. this to a man of 76 who has been driving since 15 and worked on transport all his life!
my mum is registered disabled due to severe arthritis and they live 1 hours drive away from me. we have discussed them moving to be near me and they are happy with that but my 3 brothers are not happy. 2 of them live 1 hour away also but 1 lives in town. my problem is that mum wants to be near me as i will be the primary carer when dad progresses and my brothers think i'm pushing things too fast.

am i right to move them both now whilst dad can resettle and help mum to settle? i think to wait until dad gets worse will make hime even more disorientated and cinfused then.

any advice on how i can communicate with my brothers better?

how do i come to terms with this when helping everyone else deal with this?

will my dad become physically aggressive towards my mum, as he was when they were younger?

help and advice appreciated and desperately needed!!


Registered User
Feb 5, 2004
I think you are right to want to move your mum and dad - not least because if you are the primary care-giver you would soon be utterly exhausted if they lived an hour away. However, everyone's different, so any advice I can give only comes from my experience...

I would say - don't try and do everything at once. Your world has just turned upside down a bit and a move might be easier while your dad is still quite well, but you and all your family are coming to terms with the diagnosis right now and you have enough worries about that without pushing for a move immediately. Maybe you could be quietly looking into possibilities for a move, finding out about sheltered housing if that's an option, sorting out any financial worries and getting things ready? That way in a month or so, you would be able to present your brothers with all this information, show them how much easier things would be and discuss it with them then.

I would find out what kind of help your parents can get from social services, Age Concern, GPs etc where they are in the mean time. You're a nurse, so these kind of things will probably be very familiar to you. Perhaps your brothers are feeling helpless - is there a subtle way that you can delegate some tasks to them? That way they might feel more involved - and maybe begin to realise how much will need to be done in future. One thing at a time, would be my advice. Don't wear yourself out and don't isolate yourself from other people who will be able to help you bear the burden.

Oh, and if you haven't done so already - look into getting an Enduring Power of Attorney made up for your dad. It will make things much much easier in the long run.

I'm afraid I don't know about aggression - my mum gets very frustrated and can react angrily to people now even though she was always extremely gentle before the illness. I think it's hard to predict how people will react.

It's a long hard road you're beginning on, but you're not alone. There are people on this board who will have gone through many of the things you are going through. Best wishes.



Registered User
Feb 23, 2004

thank you kareng for replying. it makes sense what you said but sometimes it needs to come from someone else to make me realise it.

its good to know that there is support out there and i will definitely be using it on the long road ahead.

thanks for the advice re my brothers but due to family communication problems (putting it politely) that info giving tip won't work. tried it before in another situation and it blew up in my face. may just keep my head down and avoid them for a while (coward!).

good to hear from you, looking forward to hearing from others and yourself again.


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
I agree absolutely about one step at a time!

You may have to accept that other members of the family can't cope with the situation. Not with any issues of caring, but simply the fact of someone close having Alzheimer's.

Bizarre. My wife's family dropped her like hot coals and never even ask after her, leaving me alone to cope, until she went into a care home.

This made me mad as anything, not only because of the massive responsibility, but also because Jan deserved better from her sisters and neices. Then I thought, well it is their loss, because I have had the privilege of helping someone who is so fantastically brave and stoic in coping with a disintegrating world.

Regarding agression, I wouldn't necessarily expect past behaviour to be repeated - though it may be. Jan never said a bad swear word in the 35 years I had known her, then, to get my attention once [and only once], she used an awful one when trying to get my attention one day. The point? New behaviours may appear, not necessarily ones that have been around before.

Advice: ask people on these forums - between them they have a wealth of practical knowledge that often the medical folk don't have.

Good luck!


Registered User
Dec 5, 2003
Hi Petal,

I have to agree with Brucie on that one. My Mum cares for my Nan who is in the middle stages of Dementia, and lives with us.
When my Nan first began to become dependent on us, my Mum's brother was very willing to give his opinion on what he thought we (not he!) should do about it and has, since then, had absolutely nothing to do with my Nan, apart from the occasional visit (usually to use our PC as they don't own one). My Mum is now left entirely on her own to care for my Nan whilst her brother (who has taken early retirement and is off on holidays all year) is living the life of riley.

I think you have to do what will work best for you and your Mum in the long run as YOU are to be the primary carer. You must look after your needs, as I'm sure you're aware there are hard times ahead - sorry to sound so negative, it's just hard to remain positive at times.

Good luck whatever you decide to do


Scary Mary

Registered User
Feb 23, 2004
Hi Petal,

I would move now while things are still good I wish we had!

Sounds sad on the brother’s front. How about writing to them? It is difficult for someone to get angry and walk out when it’s a letter (or email). They may be afraid of the situation and if you can make them understand it may help.

On the aggression side my mother in law has been nasty but not physically aggressive. Could not say if past behaviour would make it more likely for it to happen again.

Good luck



Registered User
Feb 6, 2004

Hi and welcome, hope you find this forum as useful as I do. With regards moving, when my husband was diagnosed two and half years ago I was naturally devastated my daughters live away, one 3hours drive the other 11/2 hours, the house we live in is big with huge garden so my first thought was to downsize and move near them but I also need to keep working so needed to keep my job here, but the one thing that did influence my decision to stay was the consultant who asked me how long we had lived here and when I said 26 years she said that as everything was familiar a nd long term in his memory I may be better off staying (at that point he would still walk to the village shop and potter in the garden etc) Now that all that has gone we are still in the same house with the same big garden and oh dear its nearly garden season again- I feel weary at the thought!! It is difficult to decide but one thing I would say is don't rush to do things as the illness is traumatic to deal with and moving as well is very traumatic. Good luck with your decision