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Should we remind mum she has Alzheimer's?


Registered User
Oct 5, 2013
I prefer an easy life, thank you very much! OH is so very sure he is right and, as such, will occasionally get violent to prove his point. I find it difficult enough to cope with now rather than bring even more problems on myself. Just my opinion, of course.


Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
SW London
For me. Tell me the truth wether I get it or not. Anything else smells like self serving marginalization.

That may be all very well in some cases, but if the person does not believe there is anything wrong with them, because they can never remember that they can't remember anything, then it is likely that the truth is only going to make them angry, and have them accuse you of lying to them for your own ends.
Or else make them very upset. Or both.

For these very reasons we soon stopped trying to remind our mother that she had Alzheimer's. It achieved nothing, except to upset her.


Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
South Staffordshire
With my husband when he was continually asking questions I would delay answering the odd ones by saying ' you know I can't remember, give me a minute or two and it will come back". Gave me a break and hopefully made him feel better that he was not the only one who had problems remembering.

He would tell anyone he had dementia that caused his memory problem but the word Alzheimers, which he had, was never mentioned.


Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
Victoria, Australia
We use the term Alzheimer's at times though the necessity for it doesn't arise very often. OH "knows" that he has it at a cognitive level but is in total denial emotionally.

If there were only one person involved in this scenario, always being truthful might be philosophically the way to go. But this disease is never about just one individual. Others have to undertake the responsibility of care which in many cases demands huge sacrifices. They have a truth as well as a need to be nurtured and a right to be able to survive this illness.


Registered User
Dec 10, 2013
It's not a bad memory .... It's .....

Agree with many people on here in that I’ve found it pointless to remind my mother that she has Alzheimer’s or dementia because she point blank denies it. It’s annoying when the doctor writes to her mentioning the A word because she doesn’t think that the letters relate to her and so she disregards them. I do think the doctors could be more sensitive in their correspondence, though I guess they think they are being cruel to be kind.

On the occasions when it has sunk in it has caused a lot of upset but then half an hour later she has forgotten all about it. And of course you have to ask yourself whether it is worth going through it all again.

What she does accept though is that she has memory problems – in fact at the weekend she told me cheerfully that instead of a ‘memory’ she had a ‘forgetory’ ! So I’ve found it is easier all round just to keep saying ‘memory problems’ rather than Alzheimer’s.

After dreadful few months Mum has responded to some anxiety medication so she is calmer, less aggressive, less paranoid but memory, functioning etc still pretty compromised. Took her out shopping on Saturday and she told me that "whatever it is, it feels like an animal curling itself all round my insides and pulling me down and I'm not forgetting things, I'm just weary of remembering". I thought this was so descriptive, insightful and a beautiful way to explain memory loss. I too have decided not to mention any A or D words ...... Although brain scan still awaited to confirm all observational evidence so not quite sure which may be present.


Registered User
Jan 14, 2015
Fife Scotland
I think this is a decision I have to figure out for myself but wonder if anyone has any advice please?
Mum was diagnosed with Alzheimers just under a year ago. She lives at home independently and functions well, house is clean, personal hygiene good etc. She has lost most of her confidence now though.
She thinks no-one knows she has 'memory problems' which is what we call it.
She moans continually about how other friends have it easy because they have husbands (dad died 18 years ago). Any attempt to remind her gently about things she has forgot are met with extreme tetchiness and a tirade of 'woe is me' moans.
Her diagnosis is the 'elephant in the room' and I can't make up my mind whether she realises that is what she has.
Should I gather all my courage and remind her ??
Like I say no-one can really help but I feel frustrated, alone (despite having close family) and not coping well with her moods.:confused:
Can I just say how this mirrors me I am at end of my own wits


Registered User
Jan 14, 2015
Hi, this so much reflects my situation. Mum lives independently, refuses help, however the house is not clean (unfortunately). She keeps saying, others don't have these problems, why should she have issues. Monday evening, for better or worse, I did have the Alzheimer's conversation. I stated that there is no rime nor reason, it is unfair, there are problems with your memory, the doctors have prescribed medication to assist, and we must work together to make the best of the situation. the world is not perfect, we have to make the best of what we have... (not sure it made any difference in the long term, but at the time it did register)


Registered User
Aug 22, 2016
Referring to dementia...

I have long wished that the word "dementia" could be replaced by the term "Memory Loss Syndrome" (Syndrome because we know that for many people it isn't only the memory that's affected.) When my mother was first prescribed Aricept she read the information leaflet and was upset to find that it said that it was for people with dementia. "I haven't got dementia", she said. I said, "Well, you do, in a clinical sense; in that your memory doesn't work as well as it used to (which she knew, then...not sure if she still knows it). She said "But it sounds as if I am demented and I am not!". And she was right....


Registered User
Aug 22, 2016

I too absolutely hate the use and misuse of the word Dementia,
it is not a disease itself. It's a collection of symptoms that result from damage to the brain caused by different diseases, such as Alzheimer's.
I see some other replies likening the stigma to the use of the word Cancer or the C word, but cancer is a Disease, Dementia is a condition.
I would be much more comfortable if the word Dementia was not used. Its just wrong.
Would you refer to someone with a Brain Tumour as having a headache?