Having the Conversation about the Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

You’ve recently been told by a doctor that your mother has Alzheimer’s. She doesn’t know yet. What is the best way to tell her about the life-changing diagnosis?

Before informing your mother (or any close loved one) about an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, it is important to take some time to plan your approach and to anticipate the other person’s reaction.

Choose your setting carefully. You know your mother best. Would she prefer a one-on-one conversation or would she find it helpful for you, the caregiver (if applicable) and the doctor to be present. If you fear that your mother might direct anger at you, ask her doctor to deliver the Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Don’t be surprised if she already suspects she has Alzheimer’s.

These are some tips based on other’s experiences having the Alzheimer’s conversation with a loved one:

·         Typical reactions are confusion, anger, and denial. If they occur, don’t try to argue with or convince your mother — further detailed discussion likely will not be helpful at that point in time.

·         Watch for signs of sadness, anger, frustration, or anxiety, and provide as much support as you can or call a therapist to help her deal with the situation, if she agrees to it.

·         Talk about questions she should ask her doctor including those about    symptoms, medications, and upcoming lifestyle changes.

·         Finally, reassure her that you, the doctor, and other caregivers will continue to provide help and support.

Do you have a loved one who is suffering from Alzheimer’s?Persons with Alzheimer’s and their families face special legal and financial needs. At The Fairfax and Fredericksburg Elder Law Firms of Evan H. Farr, P.C. we are dedicated to easing the financial and emotional burden on those suffering from dementia and their loved ones. If you have a loved one who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, we can help you prepare for your future financial and long-term care needs. We help protect the family’s hard-earned assets while maintaining your loved one’s comfort, dignity, and quality of life by ensuring eligibility for critical government benefits. Call us today at 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for a complimentary consultation.

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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.