• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can be found in our area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

distressing

kimmynelly

Registered User
Dec 9, 2015
2
Today mum called to ask if I knew where dad was as he hadn't been home . I went to her house she asked again I then told her as sensitively as possible that he had passed away 8 years ago . It was like she had heard it for first time it was heartbreaking . Mum was diagnosed with early onset dementia alzeihmers type earler this year . She has suffered I'll health for a few years but have never had to deal with an episode like this. What is the best way to adress this again without causing so much upset for us both
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
12,040
London
From this superb article: http://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/show...ionate-Communication-with-the-Memory-Impaired

"Ethical dilemmas may occur. If, for instance, the patient thinks a dead spouse is alive, and truthful reminders will create sadness, what should you do? To avoid distress, try these ways of kindness: 1) distract to another topic, or 2) start a fun activity, or 3) reminisce about their spouse, “I was just thinking about ______. How did you two meet?” You might even try, “He’s gone for a while. Let’s take our walk now.”
 

Cat27

Volunteer Moderator
Feb 27, 2015
11,644
Merseyside
Welcome to TP Kimmy:)

Things like I've not seen him recently or he'll be back soon & a change of subject may work.
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,289
SW London
It can be such a shock when this sort of thing happens for the first time. When my FIL first asked where his wife (dead ten years) was, like you, we explained gently that she had died long ago. But he was terribly upset - he cried - only to forget and ask again not long afterwards.

After this had happened once or twice we realised that he was never going to remember, so we started saying she had just gone to the shops, or to see Auntie so and so, or Mrs X down the road. (someone she would have been in the habit of visiting) . I was very worried at first that he'd remember what we had said before and accuse us of lying to him, but he never did and the fibs kept him quite happy.

The often-recommended distraction never worked with my FIL, so that was never an option.
 

Pear trees

Registered User
Jan 25, 2015
441
We have the exact opposite with my mother who has totally forgotten everything about both of her late husbands, and even about me and my brother and our families. She never allowed any photos in her home except of herself before dementia and would only talk about herself. She always was self centred and selfish. She had absolutely no interest in her grandchildren and great grandchildren before then as well. I can only talk to her about her and her day, which is very limited, and have been accused of ignoring her if I even mention my daughter and grandchildren in passing.
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,289
SW London
We have the exact opposite with my mother who has totally forgotten everything about both of her late husbands, and even about me and my brother and our families. She never allowed any photos in her home except of herself before dementia and would only talk about herself. She always was self centred and selfish. She had absolutely no interest in her grandchildren and great grandchildren before then as well. I can only talk to her about her and her day, which is very limited, and have been accused of ignoring her if I even mention my daughter and grandchildren in passing.
Funny how people vary - my mother was quite different from my FIL. My folks were happily married for nearly 50 years and my mother was devastated when my father died, although she coped very well at the time. But the whole time she had dementia, which was probably about 15 years in all, she never once asked where he was - I don't think she ever even mentioned him. If I ever showed her a photo, the most she ever said was an extremely vague, 'Oh, yes - did he die?' But I was so grateful that she was not distressed and asking where he was.
She was never interested in hearing about any of the family, either, once dementia took a hold.
 

MrsTerryN

Registered User
Dec 17, 2012
769
Dad has been dead 18 months. Mum was talking on the phone to a friend (thank goodness mum has one) and wondered where dad was. The friend said oh he died. Mum apparently just said oh yes he did.
 

nellen

Registered User
Mar 17, 2009
96
Derbyshire
I go between going along with things when Im asked where they are it really does depend on the day the situation and mums mood. My dad died in 2001 and Mum rarely mentions him until recently - she's started asking me where he is, or why he died then bursts into tears and then it starts up again five minutes later. It's very hard going and I find it stressful My brother died very suddenly 5 years ago and mum will run through the names of her four children as if he's still alive then she'll sometimes remember he died and cry.
My aunt with mixed dementia lost her husband a few months ago and she'll tells me he's got another woman that he's left her for, she's also convinced a lady in her care home is after him so I told her to keep an eye on her but to say nothing , that seems to satisfy her - but I just hope you doesn't have a fight with this woman over her husband :)
 

kimmynelly

Registered User
Dec 9, 2015
2
Thank you

Thank you for responses. It is good to know that we are not the only ones dealing with these situations. Glad I joined this forum as there doesn't seem to be a rule book out there !!!
 

tryingmybest

Registered User
May 22, 2015
644
Feeling Blue Today

So sorry I posted in the wrong place. I am so sad for you. This is always a difficult on to cope with and Im sending you and your mum
virtual hugs. Ive now removed my post and relisted in the correct place. xx
 
Last edited:

fizzie

Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
2,727
hello tryingmybest :)

I am sorry you have had such a very difficult time over the last months - both you and your mum xxx I am really uplifted by hearing about the kind of care you are giving to your Mum and the times that you are enjoying together - she is so lucky to have such a kind and loving daughter and you are lucky too to have such a lovely warm relationship with your mum.

The months that have gone by must have been so stressful for you - not least protecting your mum from all those officials.

I think it is a shame too that your Mum is being forced to see your sister when she really doesn't want - perhaps others will have experienced this and have some useful advice.

Meanwhile thank you for posting and sharing and I shall look forward to your future posts too as you make this sometimes bumpy journey with your mum xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
 

tryingmybest

Registered User
May 22, 2015
644
ooops Fizzie I posted my new thread in the wrong place so have removed it. I don't know if you want to remove yours and copy it and paste it in correct place/ Feel awful I did it wrong!! xx


hello tryingmybest :)

I am sorry you have had such a very difficult time over the last months - both you and your mum xxx I am really uplifted by hearing about the kind of care you are giving to your Mum and the times that you are enjoying together - she is so lucky to have such a kind and loving daughter and you are lucky too to have such a lovely warm relationship with your mum.

The months that have gone by must have been so stressful for you - not least protecting your mum from all those officials.

I think it is a shame too that your Mum is being forced to see your sister when she really doesn't want - perhaps others will have experienced this and have some useful advice.

Meanwhile thank you for posting and sharing and I shall look forward to your future posts too as you make this sometimes bumpy journey with your mum xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
 

fizzie

Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
2,727
hahaha i wouldn't worry 'tryingmybest' i'm always doing things 'wrong' - join the club xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
 

fizzie

Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
2,727
I don't know a) how to remove it and b) where the right place is
so sorry everyone it will have to stay !!