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How to Answer a Direct Question

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Suzanna1969, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. Suzanna1969

    Suzanna1969 Registered User

    Mar 28, 2015
    346
    Essex
    I have read many threads asking what to do if a loved one we are caring for asks for a long-dead parent or loved one - humour them, say they will be back soon, they are at work etc.

    But my Mum keeps asking my Dad if her father (who died of a broken heart a year after my Nanna died in 1980) is dead? She asks as if she assumes he is and just wants confirmation.

    Dad is following the guidelines but is not sure what to say if he is asked a yes or no question outright and quite frankly neither am I, especially as I am no longer sure if Mum even knows who I am most of the time. She only asks my Dad these things, when I am there she treats me like a friendly visitor most of the time.

    So what do I tell my Dad he should say? He is 88 and dealing with Vascular Parkinsonism so has enough of his own problems to deal with and also has Minor Cognitive Impairment so the solution has to be simple!
     
  2. BR_ANA

    BR_ANA Registered User

    Jun 27, 2012
    1,084
    Brazil
    Have you read about compassionate communication
    http://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/showpost.php?p=413710

    When my mother asked me about her parents I just hugged her and said that we were traveling and would met them soon and that I missed them too

    Then I usually gave a hug.
     
  3. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,853
    Female
    Scotland
    How does she respond to being fobbed off? Is she happy with a vague answer? Is it possible as you say that she knows the truth but wants it clarified. Perhaps she would be happier knowing that her parents are dead and together in the hereafter ( wherever that is!). I know all the arguments about love lies and if it works then great but some people want a straight(ish) answer
     
  4. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    1,164
    Whatever you answer, make it as close to the truth as possible.
    That way you don't have to try and remember the "correct" answer, and if someone else answers, their reply is close to what you say.

    Bod
     
  5. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,531
    Female
    South coast
    If you think that she knows and is just seeking confirmation, then I would try answering her honestly and gently and see what happens. If she becomes distressed, then next time she asks you will know that you need love lies and distraction, but if you are right then she might take it quite well.
     
  6. Mrsbusy

    Mrsbusy Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    356
    Has your Dad ever asked her where does she think they are? Or maybe I don't know you tell me? See what answer you get from her as I think she is looking for clarification rather than an answer. Maybe he could say if he has to tell her they are dead, I'm afraid they are in a better place, with my parents too. It may soften the blow.

    Hard to give an answer when you don't know the person and how fragile they are.
     

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