lost touch with grandma


Registered User
Jan 23, 2007
I've only just started finding out about alzheimers, maybe because of guilt.

My grandma was originally diagnosed as a paranoid pschizophrenic because of the changes in her behaviour and demeanor in general. She got institutionalised and we went to visit every week. I was only young and didn't understand it at the time, but I think it was diagnosed wrong and it was actually the early stages of dementia that were the causing the change.

Anyway, she was taken out of the hospital and sent home but it was clear she still wasn't ok. She got diagnosed with alzheimers, and at some point dad decided the kids shouldn't see her anymore because we would find it distressing. I was the oldest of the kids at 16, but for some reason didn't think to question it and I haven't seen her since.

I'm now 22 and wondering where she is. My dad and his brother and sister used to go visit once a week, but it got too difficult for them to see her. I know she's still alive but daren't ask my dad about it because he gets upset. Is there any way I can find out about her or how she is without having to ask my dad?

I've also had a look at the alzheimers society website and wondered how I go about volunteering so I could maybe help other people whose families gave up on them.

cheers x


Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
Are you sure it would be impossible to ask your father? (Perhaps he'd be relieved?) Are your uncle and aunt or any other relations still around and could you ask them? I've a feeling you need to try asking your closest relations first, even if it is painful for them and for you.



Registered User
Dec 27, 2004
I Think Your Dad Owes You The Answers You Seek , The More Time Goes By The Facts Are Lost . I Also Had A Relative,(cousin) Who Was Left Alone In 1958 . His Mother Died ,maybe When He Was Around Forty,he Was Mentaly Disabled From Birth , In Those Days, Mum And Her Sisters Were Not So Close ,and We Had No Phones Or Cars Back Then , However This Does Not Excuse The Fact That He Was Abandoned, I Was Around 12 At That Time , As I Grew Older I Wondered Where He Had Been Put . Much Later There Was A Mental Hospital That Had A Very Bad Press For The Way They Treated There Patents,my Older Sister Seems To Think That Is Where He Was Put , But He Probably Was By Then Long Dead , So Yes .a Nagging Guilt That This Was Allowed To Happen.there Maybe Other Ways Of Finding Out ,sure Someone Will Soon Reply.

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Hi, Jod, firstly don't be so hard on yourself .... (same to Angela) ... it is not for you to feel any guilt about what adults did or didn't do in the past .....

Next I'd ask that you are not so hard on your dad ..... as parents (now as generations before) we all try to make the best judgements ... and don't always get it right ... and sometimes burying things from the past seems to be the best way to cope with it all ...... then time goes on ... and perhaps we realise that wasn't the best judgement after all .... have to say I absolutely agree with Lila ... you might find that your dad is actually relieved to get some of the past out into the open ... perhaps not - only you can be the judge of that ..... I think we have to remember that what was 'social stigma' (about allsorts, including any form of mental illness) only a few years ago let alone a generation or more ago has changed ....

On practical terms ....., if you 'simply' want to locate your grandma, with or without your dad's help, first step is to jot down everything you were told as fact / hearsay (when, who by , any addresses etc .....) and start to build a picture ...... so you know which bits of the jigsaw you are looking for ...... there are, of course, lots of confidentiality issues to negotiate .....

Sorry if I'm wrong, but I suspect it may go a little deeper ...... but lots of people here to help and listen .... you certainly should not be shouldering any guilt.....

Love, Karen, x


Registered User
Jul 2, 2006
Newport, Gwent
Hi Jod

Karen is right, this is not your guilt, or anybody else's for that matter, just the way things are, decisions are made, or just a case that time slips by.

I would ask your dad...........I wouldnt go steaming in though, maybe when the opportunity arises when conversations are about his childhood etc., you could slip in 'I wonder where grandma is', as Karen said, he maybe, now you are older., be pleased to talk about her, and understand your need to find out what happened to her, but be prepared, she may by now have little or no level of understanding 6years is a long time, and your dad, for whatever his reasons, may want to leave the past in the past.

I'm sure one of the mods will be along shortly to give advice about being a volunteer.

Good luck in your quest, but be careful you may just unearth painful memories!