Keeping Dementia A Secret: Is It Ever OK?

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wherethelightgetsinKimberly Williams-Paisley’s book Where The Light Gets In details her mom Linda’s more than decade-long struggle with primary progressive aphasia, a form of frontotemporal dementia. Where The Light Gets In also shares the candid story of Linda’s family’s journey in serving as her caregivers. One of the biggest challenges Williams-Paisley discusses is that her mother wanted to keep her diagnosis of dementia a secret.

Many people want to keep dementia a secret. Williams-Paisley’s mom is currently in her early seventies and shame about dementia can be common in that age group, among patients and caregivers alike. Where The Light Gets In highlights the difficulty Linda’s family had getting help when they were guarding her secret. Caregivers who have been asked to keep dementia a secret will find this memoir validating and helpful.

Is it ever ok to keep dementia a secret? What are the consequences of keeping dementia a secret? While many caregivers want to protect the privacy of their loved ones, keeping dementia a secret indefinitely leads to additional stress for everyone. Be really cautious about promising a loved one that you will keep dementia a secret forever. Ultimately the more people that know about a dementia diagnosis, the more help the patient and caregiver will receive from friends, family, colleagues and neighbors who want to help.

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