Tough Questions From Seniors With Alzheimer’s

How do I tell my mother who has dementia that a relative is dying or has passed away?

You should first consider if knowing that will actually benefit your mom.

What would she do with that information? Would she remember if you told her the truth? Or would she get upset, forget about it, and later, ask and get upset all over again?

Depending on where someone is in the disease, giving them upsetting news may not be good for them or you. If they’re still able to process and retain that information, you might want to tell them.

But if their short-term memory is poor and they get easily upset or scared, it will probably be better to avoid the subject or even tell a fib. That helps you avoid hurting them with information they won’t be able fully understand.

Another thing to think about is if sharing this news is really for them or if it’s more for yourself. For many, it can be about easing the guilt of “withholding” information.

But when someone has dementia, you shouldn’t feel guilty about not giving them news that will only upset or scare them.

They won’t have the ability to work through their feelings like you would, so not telling them is actually kinder and more appropriate for the situation.

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5 Responses to Tough Questions From Seniors With Alzheimer’s

  1. Thank you, it’s very interesting


  2. The fact that they don’t know a patient/client has Alzheimer’s until they die and they can study the nerves is concerning to me that we diagnose folks with it. But I also understand the corporate side of healthcare.

    Liked by 1 person

    • msw blog says:

      There are many assessment tools that can determine if an indidiviual may have Alzheimer’s. One of the most common ones is the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) which is designed as a rapid screening instrument for mild cognitive dysfunction. It assesses different cognitive domains: attention and concentration, executive functions, memory, language, visuoconstructional skills, conceptual thinking, calculations, orientation, and should only be performed by a certified provider. What stuns me about this is no one has discovered a cure or a clear understanding of what causes this terrible disease.

      Liked by 1 person

      • And even that test is not sound. You are NOT confirmed with the disease process until you are dead and they test you afterwards. You give the diagnosis to get treated and the hospital can bill. I use to do cost reporting for Baptist in Memphis many moons ago. It’s all about coding. Even in Mental Health thus the reason for so many disorder. It’s all a business.

        Liked by 1 person

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