Advice Needed


Registered User
Jan 3, 2005
West Midlands
Hi I'm new to this site. Wonder if anyone can help: my father in law has alzheimers and is in full time care because his wife couldnt cope with him at home. They are both in their 70's. My mother in law is now in hospital, and we have just been called to the hospital because she is dying. My husband doesnt know what to tell his dad, and when the time comes what to do about taking him to the funeral. it is a very hard situation. Has anyone been in the same situation.



Registered User
Oct 23, 2003
West Sussex
Dear Teresa, so very sorry to hear of your Mum in law and your Father in law's circumstances. If your Father in Law is well enough and with it enough to understand, I would take him to see her, and to the funeral should it occur. This is a very difficult one to deal with. I had similar with my Mum when her cousin (more of a brother to her) died. I told her at home he had died, her reaction was that of anyone who had lost some one close, so I decided to include her when we attended the funeral. She was of course a little disorientated, but behaved well and we only stayed a little while afterwards. I would have felt wrong if I hadn't done this as she was always the one in the family who made sure people were cared for when ill and that the funerals were done according to their wishes. All you can do is try to judge where your Father in Law is at and act accordingly. If he really has no idea of what is going on or that he has a wife etc, it may be best to leave things be, but if he still knows and cares, all be it in his own way, I feel it would be disrespectful not to give him the chance to say good bye. I know this isn't really an answer, but it is all I can give you. Thinking of you, love She. XX


Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Dear Teresa, so sorry for your situation. I am with Sheila on this one.
Have not been in this situation, but Lionel's C.P.N. had exactly this occur last month. The wife, carer, died suddenly, husband completely disorientated by events, but C.P.N accompained him to the funeral, and whilst he did not seem to take it all in, somehow seemed more at peace the next day. Hope this helps. Connie


Dear Teresa

So sorry to hear about your sad situation and the dilemma you have in deciding what is the right thing to do.

I have just thrown this as a hypothesis to my partner, as there is a possibility we may find ourselves having to make such a decision one day. My mother is in a nursing home and very rarely aware of anything, doesn't know me any more. Dad, in his eighties and very infirm but not with AD, we look after in his own home.

My instinct initially, and emotionally, is that there would be little point in telling Mum of any illness of Dad's but that, yes, I would like to think she would attend my father's funeral.

My partner's immediate, and more practical answer, based on the knowledge of my mother's progression of AD, said No to both questions. His reasoning being that he could see no benefit to anybody and that it could possibly be cruel to remove Mum into what could be a very distressing situation as she is so unaware. A lot depends on the actual progression of your father in law's illness, so perhaps the nursing staff at the home may be in a better position to advise how they think Dad may cope.

The one thing on which we both agreed was that whatever the decision taken it would not be for people to judge; it would be taken in conjunction with people fully equipped with all the facts and with the AD sufferer's best interest and your own put first -whatever you decide to do will in the end be the right decision.

Kind wishes


Registered User
Jan 3, 2005
West Midlands
Thank you so much for your kind replies. It does help to know people who are in similar situations. I will show these replies to my husband and we will act accordingly. I will let you know how things go.

Kind regards



Registered User
Apr 4, 2004
My father died last June and my mother who has vascular dementia could not really take in what happened. She thought that it was her father who had died but did not seem too distressed - more concerned about immediate needs ' where's my tea etc ?'. She went to the funeral and to the 'do' afterwards and then my cousin took her back to the home where she was staying temporarily. The next day she said to the care worker 'd'you know, yesterday we had a visitor and we took her to a funeral ! What an odd thing to do !- still it was a very good friend of ours who had did so we had to go didn't we ?' Now she does not realise that my dad is dead and says he is 'just coming in his car, having a sleep in the next room etc'. I was glad she was at the funeral however as they adored each other - I made it quite a jolly affair - a celebration of the life of a wonderful man and he would have wanted her there so it was good she went .


Registered User
Dec 19, 2004
Dear Teresa,
This is a very hard one, one that i had to face myself just over four years ago. My mother was in a nursing home because my dad had become very ill whilst looking after at home, and had to go into hospital, he was diagnosed with cancer and given 18mths. When dads time came to leave us, mum, had no idea that her husband had passed away.
Myself, brothers and sister tried to explain as best we could but she didn't really understand what was happening. We all decided that in the interest of mum, that it was probabley for the best that we didn't take her to the funeral as she got very upset whenever we tried to take her out of the home.
We all felt that it would be far too distressing for her, and, she wouldn't have understood what was going on, the AD had gotten too much of a hold. We all visited mum after and once again tried to explain, but it didn't really sink in. It was so upsetting, we just did what we felt was the kindest thing for mum at that time. She was in her world, that in some ways was so unnaffected, and, so hard to reach we just felt we couldn't face it if she saw all of us so upset it might make her worse.
We made that decision for her, said our prayers for dad, and for mum and hoped that it was the right one.
My thoughts are with you at this very difficult time. Just listen to your heart , and know, that whatever you do will be all that you can , in such a sensative and emotional situation.
love louise xxx