What If My Parent Asks If They Have Dementia? Should I Tell Them?

Oct 23, 2023 | Caregivers

Dementia can cause several types of cognitive problems, but memory loss is the most common. If your parent’s been diagnosed with dementia, they may remember a lot of things in the early stages, but will forget things about themself and others as the disease progresses – including the fact that they have dementia.

If Your Parent Has Forgotten That They Have Dementia, Should You Keep Reminding Them?

It’s understandable to want to protect someone you love, but it’s better to be honest – if they ask. If they don’t ask, it’s usually better to avoid reminding them. 

What if My Parent Doesn’t Respond Well To Being Reminded That They Have Dementia?

If you do remind your parent that they have dementia, and they become agitated or aggressive as a result, shift the conversation. Making things personal can ease your parent’s agitation and guide them to other thoughts and feelings – try asking them how they’re feeling today. Be sure to show them you care about what’s going on in their life and reassure them that everything is ok.

And if they don’t respond well to a reminder, it might be time to reconsider how you answer their questions in the future. Emotions can run high in someone with dementia, especially if they’re feeling confused, paranoid or otherwise upset. It’s better to keep them feeling calm, happy and safe.

Never Stop Celebrating Life

We believe in celebrating life. People with dementia may not always remember everything, but they still have feelings, needs and wants. Some moments might be scary or confusing, but we all can do what we can to make sure they have as many happy, uplifting and fun moments as possible.

Related: Fun Activities for Someone With Dementia in Round Rock and Austin

At Sundara, we celebrate our residents’ life moments, both big and small. You’ll find us throwing birthday parties, sharing meals, hosting game nights, exercising together and more.

Ready to see the Sundara Difference?

Schedule your visit today.