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When to tell partner

Bronzestraw

Registered User
Jan 5, 2015
5
Nottingham
My wife suffers from depression and severe anxiety. She has been diagnosed with Alzheimers and is in the early stages. She is not yet aware of the diagnosis. When is the best time to tell her?
 

pamann

Registered User
Oct 28, 2013
2,635
Kent
Hello Bronzestraw Welcome to talking point, when my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimers he did not know what Alzheimers was, before he had it he would have known, all l told him was that he has memory loss, and he has accepted that as he knows he can not remember very much only many years ago, talks about his teenage yrs, he is now 75. How long has your wife had memory loss? Would she understand what Alzheimers is, if not l would not frighten her. Keep posting here you will get plenty of advice, lots of lovely people at all stages with their loved ones, take great care ♡♡♡
 

esmeralda

Registered User
Nov 27, 2014
3,074
Devon
I'm not sure I can give you any advice on that Bronzestraw. Would it not be better for the doctor to tell her then he or she is in a better position to discuss her fears and worries and any treatment which is available.
This is a very difficult time for you both. I hope you get the support you need. It is out there and you may have a joined up service where you live but be aware that sometimes you have to find it for yourself. Starting to post on TP is a brilliant start. There is such a wealth of experience, support and kindness.
Es
 

pony-mad

Registered User
May 23, 2014
1,073
Mid-Wales
My husband was there when the consultant confirmed the diagnosis of Alzheimer's but either forgot or chose to forget very soon after. He also suffers from anxiety and depression, so i never referred to the diagnosis; only occasionally and very gently referring to a few problems with his memory. I know he knew there was something amiss, but as he chose not to acknowledge it I felt that to do so would be wrong.
I don't know if I was right, but it is too late now as his comprehension is so limited he wouldn't understand.
Coming to terms with such a life-changing diagnosis is horrible. You have my sympathy.
Stay strong and find someone you can talk to, and come here often for help and support!
 

Spamar

Registered User
Oct 5, 2013
7,156
Suffolk
OH knew his diagnosis, even gave talks on it. Then he grew to hate the terms dementia and Alzheimer's. I now call it your bad memory. He accepts this. I can't see any real need to say more. I'm assuming you do all the paperwork.
 

Tin

Registered User
May 18, 2014
4,825
UK
My mum was diagnosed with Pernicious Anaemia this time last year and then followed confirmation of Vascular Dementia. Gp and consultant have never discussed Dementia with her and on the few occasions I have tried she just got too upset. So I have stuck to Pernicious Anaemia. Her new gp has told me there would be no point to telling her now and I agree, her memory is so bad, but she does understand whats being said to her in the moment.
 

truth24

Registered User
Oct 13, 2013
5,725
North Somerset
My husband and I never discussed it openly. At the beginning we both knew he had problems but his GP kept telling him it was his age. It took about 3 years for him to be referred to the Mem Clinic and by then medication was not an option. He had deteriorated tremendously and we were referred back to his GP at the time, who was totally unhelpful. As others have said, we talked about memory/health problems until it became too much and the subject wasn't discussed at all. I think he was too frightened by what was happening and just didn't want to know.

Sent from my GT-N5110
 

Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
4,771
Salford
My wife suffers from depression and severe anxiety. She has been diagnosed with Alzheimers and is in the early stages. She is not yet aware of the diagnosis. When is the best time to tell her?
Given your situation maybe never, how would it help someone with either depression or severe anxiety to be given yet more bad news. If you did tell her there is nothing she could do to help either you or herself, I can only see it could make her situation worse than it is.
My wife was told she had AZ (quite bluntly by a consultant) and it caused a huge amount of upset and achieved nothing. Since then it's all been forgotten and only comes up when some insensitive healthcare professional throws it in to the conversation.
We are of course all different and it maybe easy for others to discuss it and I envy then but if I was to mention it to my wife she'd probably punch me, accuse me of being a liar and go into a fit of depression for days or longer, just my experience.
K
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,309
Kent
My husband suffered depression and anxiety. I never mentioned Alzheimer`s to him, we just spoke about severe memory loss.

One day he asked what was wrong with him. I told him he had Alzheimer`s . He was shocked , but in some weird way relieved to have a label for his illness. He knew about Alzheimer`s because my mother had it and he shared the responsibility for her care with me. By the time he knew he had it, he didn`t realise the implications.

It really does depend on the individual. The parents of many special needs children I worked with were also often relieved to have a diagnosis and a label.
 

Scarlett123

Registered User
Apr 30, 2013
3,802
Essex
Like others, my husband referred to His Bad Memory. Then one day, a couple of years ago, he announced to the many customers in Boots that he had Alzheimer's. But in his mind, this was similar to announcing that he had a toothache.

There's no right or wrong time to give illnesses a label. I think it's more a case of acceptance of an illness. But many sufferers are in complete denial.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,553
South coast
Mum was present when the consultant said that she had Alzheimers, but she gave no response at all - it was as if he was talking about something that didnt apply to her at all.
I honestly think that she has no awareness that there is anything wrong with her at all, so I will never remind her that she has Alzheimers and just agree when she tells me how lucky she is to have her health
 

BR_ANA

Registered User
Jun 27, 2012
1,079
Brazil
My mom just knew she had memory problems. It was easier for her to accept scans and treatment.
 

Rageddy Anne

Registered User
Feb 21, 2013
5,984
Cotswolds
My husband was bluntly told he had Alzheimers by his Psychiatric consultant, along with advice to attend meetings and talks organised by a Memory Team. We were swamped with advice and information, all of which he dismissed, saying it had nothing to do with him at this stage, as all he had was some memory difficulties.

But if a person can't remember he or she has Alzheimers, or it would upset them, what's the point of trying to remind them?

If possible, do try to arrange finances etc as soon as you can, as we didn't and it can be more difficult later on. Things like shared bank accounts would be better changed to seperate ones.
 

Chuggalug

Registered User
Mar 24, 2014
8,007
Norfolk
My wife suffers from depression and severe anxiety. She has been diagnosed with Alzheimers and is in the early stages. She is not yet aware of the diagnosis. When is the best time to tell her?
Phew, that's a tough one. Bet you wish/hope the telling doesn't fall on you. I know how I'd feel.

Maybe, because of the depression, not saying anything unless she asks might be an option?
 

chick1962

Registered User
Apr 3, 2014
11,282
near Folkestone
My husband was told by mental health, just like that! It was a huge shock to us and we both cried. Since then he has told his family and friends about it quite openly. Sometimes it's so sad that he is so aware of it but he says he will never give up fighting it. We are 4 years into our journey and even though short term memory is going, writing and reading is fairly difficult and word finding at times impossible, he is still holding up well and we enjoy every day and try and make the best of them


Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
 

esmeralda

Registered User
Nov 27, 2014
3,074
Devon
My husband was bluntly told he had Alzheimers by his Psychiatric consultant, along with advice to attend meetings and talks organised by a Memory Team. We were swamped with advice and information, all of which he dismissed, saying it had nothing to do with him at this stage, as all he had was some memory difficulties.

But if a person can't remember he or she has Alzheimers, or it would upset them, what's the point of trying to remind them?

If possible, do try to arrange finances etc as soon as you can, as we didn't and it can be more difficult later on. Things like shared bank accounts would be better changed to seperate ones.
I've been horrified as well by the blunt 'You have dementia and there's nothing can be done about it' approach by our GP and the consultant. There muust be a better more compassionate way to do it. Although nothing can be done for vascular dementia there are drug treatments for Alzheimers - have any of these been offered?
Good advice about finances Raggedy Anne, also do you have Lasting Power of Attorney?I did this myself using the government website and provided you don't have complicated trust funds or stuff I found it quite straightforward and way cheaper than using a solicitor. Wills are important to update too. Best of luck.
Es
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