Margaret tells healthcare professionals her dad has dementia to help him get the best care and support
Margaret supports her parents who are in their nineties. Her dad has dementia and she attends medical appointments with her parents. She shares some of the challenges of letting others know about dementia, and why it can be helpful to do so.
Margaret explained how her mum avoided telling professionals about her dad’s dementia.
Mum was able to tell family about Dad’s dementia but she wouldn’t tell health care professionals. I’m not sure if she was embarrassed, or didn’t think it was relevant, or didn’t want to upset Dad – or maybe all of these!
Dad had an audiology appointment, and the consultant was addressing him directly. Mum didn’t say anything, so I said to the consultant quite quietly, ‘He has dementia’. The consultant immediately took this on board, spoke slowly and gently to Dad but addressed all of us at the same time. This was the first time I’d had to tell someone my Dad has dementia, and I’m not sure Mum would have said anything if I hadn’t been there”.
Margaret feels that her mum has got over her initial worries about telling healthcare professionals about her husband’s dementia and is now happy to let others know.
But now it’s not such an issue. Just recently she was talking to someone on the phone and she said ‘he can’t do this’ or ‘he can’t get there, he has dementia’. So, it was difficult to start with but she’s able to say that now.
It’s only fair to the professional too – if you want the best treatment from them, they need to understand the situation fully”.
To find tips and advice for telling others about your dementia diagnosis see Coming to terms with dementia – For Carers.
If you support someone with dementia and want to help them to tell others about their diagnosis see Coming to terms with dementia – For people with dementia.