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Posted by Carol on October 30, 2000 at 01:06:45:

In Reply to: Re: bearing bad news posted by JT on October 12, 2000 at 12:00:18:

: : : : How are you supposed to tell someone you love that they might have alzheimer's? Without offending that person or upsetting the family members? Anyone please give me some advice.

: : : It's never a good feeling to be the one to deliver bad news. Now as far as alzheimer's, there is no real easy way to approach it, espcially because alzheimer's carries certain amount of stigma. Plus who wants to hear that they may be getting dementia? But being straight forward with it is the least painful way, I think. If these are people you love and vice versa, they'll find a way to see that you mean well.

: : Straight forward is good but only if the person wants to face up to it and talk about it. Just bringing up the subject out of nowhere is a bad idea. You should instead look for opportunities when your comments of concern is appropriate; such as when that person mentions that he/she keeps forgetting things. And try not to use labels like alzheimer's or dementia, save it for the doctors. Rather try conveying that the problems of memory is not their fault but the fault of a disease. Showing that you are there to understand and support them is more important than pointing it out. Best wishes.

: My Dad is failing and showing all the signs of alzheimer's and i have an appointment set up for him
: but each time we discuss it, he says he is not ready to go. My brother who deals with him and his wife
: more regularly than i feels that we should just take him whether he wants to go or not and this causes
: me a lot of both angst and pain as we struggle to try to maintain our father's dignity but we both want what
: is best for him. Really i am just scared and want some sign that what we are doing is right. I am sure there
: are lots of stories like mine and hearing that we are not alone with this would really help..

This worked for me. For a few months, I documented significant incidents of memory loss (date/occasion)---made an appointment for myself with our Internist (Dr.-any) showed and discussed them. The Dr. then strongly urged, which I did, for my husband to see him on pretext of follow up 'blood work' (which was not done at that time). My husband then, during his appt. with said Dr., 'agreed' that our Dr. was REALLY looking out for his good health and wanted him to see a specialist (Neurologist) which he did----and the whole initial 'fears' were smoothed over by the physicians. The first step is the most difficult, but the professionals will get you through this. Keep the faith!

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