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Bouts of Severe Confusion

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by missie56, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. missie56

    missie56 Registered User

    Jan 30, 2015
    7
    Mum lives in sheltered accommodation and has vascular dementia. She has severe bouts of confusion often ringing me to find our where my step father is. He passed away last year. It is almost like the last six months since he passed away dont exist. She went round the building where she lives earlier this evening looking for him and the other residents told her to ring me. It is very distressing for her when I tell her that he has passed away. Just so hard day after day to keep having to tell her :(
     
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,716
    Female
    London
    I would be best if you could stop telling her distressing facts. Tell her love lies instead, that he will be back soon or is at work or whatever. Each time you remind her you are making her grieve all over again, and that won't help anyone.
     
  3. missie56

    missie56 Registered User

    Jan 30, 2015
    7
    I find that an interesting reponse. This is really hard as i have never dealt with anything like this before and of course i want the best for her. Could I have feedback from others as to whether this would be the right approach. I really want to do what is best for her :confused:
     
  4. RobinH

    RobinH Registered User

    Apr 9, 2012
    266
    London
    Bad News

    Hi

    I have to agree that to constantly give a person with dementia the same bad news time and time again is unneccessary torture. Normal grief has a beginning, a middle and an end, but because she can't remember any of that, you are putting her through the initial shock time and time again. It's a mistake most of us have made, and most of us have learned not to repeat. You don't always have to lie - sometimes a diversion or vague comment is enough - but absolutely, say what will make her suffering as little as possible.

    Robin
     
  5. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,302
    Cotswolds
    Hi missie :)

    I would agree with Beate's approach in general....but what would concern me is whether your mum is mostly alone when she is confused? Does she have any support on a regular basis? Ideally, I wouldn't want only to prevent her being distressed, it would be good to know she has positive experiences too :)

    You could look at the fact sheets on this site for information, or are there any short courses locally you could attend, to find out more?

    All the best, it sounds like you are doing a great job :)

    Lindy xx
     
  6. missie56

    missie56 Registered User

    Jan 30, 2015
    7
    Thanks for your responses and I see what you are ssying. I am taking her to the memory clinic tomorrow so will chat with the doctor too.
     
  7. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,296
    SW London
    Yes, many of us have found this the kindest way. When my FIL first started asking where MIL was (she had been dead several years) we didn't realise at first that he would never remember that she had died. He was dreadfully upset to be told the truth - he cried - only to forget and ask again later. So we started saying she had just gone to the shops, or to see Auntie So and So. And he'd be quite happy - and he never once remembered that we'd said much the same before.
    Later I used similar 'love lies' with my mother, when at over 90 she started asking about her parents, and wanting to go and see them.
     
  8. missie56

    missie56 Registered User

    Jan 30, 2015
    7
    #8 missie56, Feb 2, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
    We give mum as much support as we can. I have to work some days so makes it more difficult. She does get out and about as we have friends who take her out and I am very grateful to them. The confusion normally happens when she is tired in the evenings x x
     
  9. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,557
    Female
    South coast
    That sounds very much like sundowning, missie. Confusion often gets worse at a particular time of the day - usually afternoon/evening.
    Logic and reasoning wont work with dementia and I agree with everyone else that it is better to tell "love lies" to prevent agitation and distress.
     
  10. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,302
    Cotswolds
    My mum is in sheltered housing too, missie, and we live about half an hour's drive away, so yes, I know, it is difficult !! As I say, sounds like your mum gets good support :)

    Take care

    Lindy xx
     

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