1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

    Sam, our Knowledge Officer (Legal and Welfare Rights) is our expert on this topic. She will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 26 June between 3:30 - 4:30 pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. Axtabis

    Axtabis Registered User

    Jun 24, 2010
    22
    My mum, who has dementia had a sister in Italy who died at the weekend. She has not had much telephone contact with her in the past year. Basically, I think I am going to tell her as it is her right to know. However, I am worried that she will forget and then ask about her again and forget etc each time getting distressed or upset.
    does anyone out there have experience of such matters. Mum has lived in uk for 40 years and although we used to go back to see her mum and sister etc a lot, this became less and less. What I mean to say is that her sister in Italy was not a big part of her day to day life. My aunt was 89 and had been ill for a while.

    thanks in advance for any input.

    ax xx
     
  2. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,665
    Salford
    Hard one to call, as you say you might tell her and she'll forget. After you've told her once if she asks again (obviously having forgotten her sister has died) then I wouldn't keep telling her over and over, each time you tell her it's like she's hearing it for the first time. It could though be something she might obsess about, things do sometimes stick in the mind and become an obsession. Personally I wouldn't tell her I no longer tell my wife about people passing away, other people may feel differently. If something doesn't benefit my wife then I don't do it and her knowing her that her sister has died isn't a benefit is my thinking.
    K
     
  3. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    15,985
    Toronto, Canada
    My mother's parents both died in 1970. In 2001, my mother thought they were alive. I was so surprised (this was at the beginning of my journey) that I told her they were dead. Floods of tears. I never again told her so. When she would ask about them (and the asking comes and goes over time), I would say they were fine, same as always. When a sister then a brother died, I didn't tell her. She never asked.

    I go with the premised that I want to keep my mother as happy as possible. I did not tell her any distressing news.

    If you really feel you need to tell her, my thought would be to tell her once only and afterwards lie. Because if you tell her over and over, she will most likely be hearing it for the first time each time and be distressed.
     
  4. garnuft

    garnuft Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    6,589
    Sadly there's also the chance that, like my darling little Mam, dementia can have so distorted her brain and emotions that she won't give a jot.

    Mam's nearest brother and sister, along with a number of brother and sister-in-laws and friends (one of the perils of living into your 80's, I suppose) died during her battle with dementia, she never turned a hair.

    I found this to be the ONLY postive thing in my Mam's struggle with dementia.
     
  5. Beetroot

    Beetroot Registered User

    Aug 19, 2015
    363
    A former neighbour had dementia - eventually it got so bad she went to live with her daughterr. I used to pop in on her most days. One day she said, "Is Gilbert (her husband who'd died a couple of years before) dead?" "Yes". I was waiting for grief, but instead she said, "Oh, I thought that's why he hadn't been sitting in his chair." Then she asked questions about where the funeral had been held, what it was like, the flowers and had she gone and had I gone. And that was that. Subject changed. We had that same conversation every night for ten days and it was never thereafter mentioned again.

    With step ma in law, who had very bad dementia both her childrend died before she did, but she wasn't told. There was no need to as she couldn't remember who had been to see her and she recognised no-one as being themselves.

    The strange one was an aunt of my husband's. She (E) and my mother in law (D), the odler by a few years, were very close, but old age and physical infirmity ma in law's part and dementia and mental infirmity on auntie's part kept them separate for a good few years, but until the last year or so of D's life, they spoke regularly on the phone. E would however talk about D with her family who visted her in a CH. E wasn't told when D died, but a day after that she said to her daughter in law, quite out of the blue,"D was wearing a lovely dress yesterday" and she never mentioned D again.
     
  6. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    426
    Hi Axtabis,

    Sorry to hear your aunt passed. It's up to you, but my opinion is that when someone has dementia the "right to know" issue is different. I think it is only applicable to people who are in their right state of mind. Many dementia sufferers can't cope with that kind of news, and I think it's far better and kinder not to tell them. They either forget, get really upset, or it doesn't register.

    Best of luck with whatever choice you make.

    LS
     
  7. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,282
    SW London
    It's funny how reactions vary. We were new to it all and very startled when FIL first started asking where MIL (dead 10 years by then) was. We explained very gently that she had died, but he was terribly upset - he cried - only to forget and ask again. So we soon learned to say she'd just gone to the shops, or to see Auntie so and so, and he'd be quite happy.

    My folks were very happily married for 48 years and my mother was devastated when the old man died, although she bore it very well. After she developed dementia, around ten years later, she never once asked where he was, or mentioned him at all, though she often asked about her parents. Once or twice I showed her a photo and asked whether she remembered him. 'Oh, yes,' she said, but very vaguely, as if through a fog. 'Did he die?' And I said yes, I'm afraid he did,' but there was no reaction at all and she never mentioned him again. I did find it strange, since he had been such a huge part of her life for so long and she was never properly happy again after he died.
    I suppose it was a blessing in many ways that she wasn't asking for him, or worrying about where he was.
     
  8. Axtabis

    Axtabis Registered User

    Jun 24, 2010
    22
    thank you

    thank you very much for your useful advice.
    Ax
     
  9. Axtabis

    Axtabis Registered User

    Jun 24, 2010
    22
    thank you

    thank you very much for your useful advice.
    Ax
     
  10. Axtabis

    Axtabis Registered User

    Jun 24, 2010
    22
    thank you

    thank you very much for your useful advice.
    Ax
     
  11. Axtabis

    Axtabis Registered User

    Jun 24, 2010
    22
    thank you


    thank you very much for your useful advice.
    Ax
     
  12. Axtabis

    Axtabis Registered User

    Jun 24, 2010
    22
    thank you


    thank you very much for your useful advice.
    Ax
     

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