Alzheimer’s Patients Not Always Told of Their Diagnosis

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Not Sharing Alzheimers Diagnosis with Patient

While deciding not to inform a loved one of his or her Alzheimer’s diagnosis was once usual practice, today most San Antonio Alzheimer’s care experts — along with the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America — believe that you should be honest with a family member who has the disease.

The Power of Truth

Many people are concerned that telling their loved one about the diagnosis will provoke a painful emotional reaction. However, while this may be true, the reality is that most people have an inkling that something is wrong before they are ever told they have Alzheimer’s disease, according to research published by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

In addition, doctors caution that while you may feel you are protecting your loved one by withholding the diagnosis, doing so can damage the trust he or she feels in you as a caregiver — as well as the confidence he or she feels for the doctor. As a matter of personal autonomy, your family member has the right to know about his or her health problems and make decisions about treatment to the extent they are able to do so.

Having the Conversation

Although most experts advise that you should tell your loved one that he or she has Alzheimer’s, the decision about when and how to do is not an easy one. Consulting a family therapist or social worker who is experienced in elder care in San Antonio may help smooth the conversation and ease the impact of the news on your family member’s health and well being.

Experts agree, however, that it’s important to be clear and direct, helping your loved one to understand that they have Alzheimer’s disease and that, while there is no cure, treatments exist that can help preserve their cognitive function and quality of life for as long as possible. He or she has a right to understand what’s happening to them, and why.

Getting Help with Care

An Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be overwhelming for families, especially when the health of a beloved parent is in question. Yet, as unfamiliar as this journey may be, it’s important to know that you are not alone. There are many resources available to families coping with Alzheimer’s diagnosis including social workers, support groups and in-home care services like Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care San Antonio families can trust.

Home Care Assistance is a trusted provider of Alzheimer’s and dementia care in San Antonio, offering highly trained caregivers, flexible care schedules and a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee with all care services. To learn more about your care options or to begin planning for long-term care, call 210-495-6300 and request a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a friendly Care Manager.


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