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Registered User
Jan 7, 2016
Hi I just heard my Mother's younger sister just passed in Canada . She was her baby sister we took her to see her 3 1/2 years ago as we knew probably last chance. Mum's mixed dementia quite advanced. Although she does know names of those who meant most and I suspect she will know who I mean. Question is do I tell her . Many Thanks in advance


Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
I have to admit to more white lies. My Mum's best friend died (she had also moved a distance away) and I did not say a word, I knew she would be upset and so I just didn't and she rarely mentioned her in later days so looking back I'm pleased I just let it pass. I felt she had enough to deal with without grieving :)


Registered User
Jan 7, 2016
Thanks Fizzie... Feels so weird. Not to tell was my immediate reaction. Think it just feels so strange not to tell. I suppose I worry that she'll mention her one day... Stupid probably. Thanks for your thoughts on subject X

Amy in the US

Registered User
Feb 28, 2015
Hi, veri, and welcome to TP. I am sorry to hear about the death of your aunt, and of course your dilemma with telling your mum.

I've not yet been through this with my mother (73, moderately advanced Alzheimer's, no short term memory) but know it's coming with some relatives who haven't been in good health. I probably will not tell my mother when it happens; my primary goal with dealing with my mother's dementia is to avoid as much upset, stress, and anxiety as possible.

I do think there's an art form to love lies or white lies. If your mother should ask about her sister, you might say, I haven't heard anything new lately, she was fine the last I saw her, or something similar. I have seen reports here on TP of the person with dementia not remembering someone was dead, being reminded of it, and being incredibly upset on hearing that "news," so my tendency would be to avoid the situation, but whatever works best for you and your mother. When in doubt, I'd go with your gut instinct.

It's not a stupid question or concern; it seems perfectly reasonable to me.

Best wishes to you.


Registered User
Sep 7, 2012
I suppose only you can know really....sorry, not much help that, is it?

My Mam was the oldest of seven, her next youngest brother died and her second youngest sister :)confused: confused myself there!) anyway...
I knew my Mam was able to cope, she was a pragmatic person and wouldn't fall apart or be distressed so even in her mid/ later stages of dementia she attended their funeral.

When she asked about them, I felt she was seeking to retrieve the memory she had of their funeral and so we talked through their funeral and it prompted many, many happy chats about Mam's childhood days and their parents.

So, it was right for my Mam but only you can know if other methods need to be used for your dear Mum.