Breaking the News — How to Tell the Family a Loved One Has Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia affect millions of seniors and their families across the country. When a loved one is diagnosed with the disease, it typically creates a scenario that changes everything about how life was once lived. The diagnosis can send shockwaves through the entire family as people come to terms with what the disease may do to the person they care so much about.
If you are the person responsible for caring for a loved one who has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, you are probably also responsible for spreading the word among loved ones and other family members. Unfortunately, being charged with letting people know about the diagnosis is incredibly difficult. It’s not easy news to share, and with it comes the realization that life is unlikely to ever be the same.
Are you hesitating to tell family members about a loved one’s diagnosis? Are you wondering how you can break the news and make it easier to digest?
We have some tips for you.
Telling Your Loved One
First of all, it will probably be your responsibility to inform your loved one of their diagnosis. This is no easy task. Sure, it might be tempting — and it may seem easier — to withhold the information and avoid the pain of telling them, but that ignores the individual’s right to know.
When it’s time to tell them, consider doing so with the help of a physician or caregiver who will be present. Also, be sure to get the timing right. Plan a time when there is ample room for asking questions and coming to terms with the diagnosis.
It might also be helpful to schedule a family conference so that everyone can be informed at the same time. However, this scenario may not be ideal if you want your loved one to understand his or her diagnosis before you break the news to others.
Let your loved one know that you’re there for them and that there is help in the form of local resources and support groups.
When it comes to telling family members, friends and loved ones about the diagnosis, keep these things in mind:
- Be honest — Alzheimer’s is tough to deal with, but it’s the reality. Give it to people honestly and without sugar coating the news.
- Be prepared with educational materials and the ability to answer questions
- Inform family members that support groups and other resources are available to them, if needed; encourage them to reach out during this difficult time
- Understand that for some people, news of the diagnosis is just too much to take, so they may become less present; don’t take this as a rejection. Instead, welcome them back to the fold once they’ve had a chance to process the diagnosis.
- Take extra care to be conscious, honest and present when telling grandchildren and other youngsters.
More Help for Alzheimer’s Care
When it comes to outstanding Alzheimer’s care and helping family members understand the situation, having a compassionate caregiver available can make a world of difference. Always Best Care is here for you and your family! Call us today at 1 (855) 470-CARE (2273) to schedule your absolutely FREE care consultation.