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Motherinlaw recent loss of husband of 70 years confusion, disorientated, hallucinatin

Jenjune

Registered User
Jul 19, 2015
4
Mum has had memory lapse noticeable for sometime. Dad admitted to hospital 7 weeks ago. Acute delirium uti. 5th week mum went to stay at sons, during which exhibited disorientation, confusion and hallucinating, not seen before. End of weeks stay collected by other son returned and a visit to hospital to see dad. Same day on return to normal home, retirement complex, unable to orientate, settled. Dad died overnight. Mum told am. Over the past week, mum continues to have confusion, disorientation and hallucinations. Seen gp. Family members providing support daily, however home flat is still as was before dad admitted to hospital. Concerned not to have interferred or change anything. No reference points within home that anything changef, dads belongings exactly left in place. Continues to be confused (thinking on day time and date clock) although face to face more responsive with some momentary wanders, hallucinations. Advice suggestions please, funeral not for another 2 weeks.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,670
Kent
Hello Jenjune

It`s not at all surprising dad`s belongings are still in place. Many younger and fitter people keep the memory of departed partners in place. They bring comfort and these items help keep the presence of the departed in the home.
After a lifetime together I can`t see anything wrong in that.

The confusion and disorientation is more worrying and it`s right the GP has been informed and is on board.

If your mother is so confused she will hardly be able to reorganise her home and doing it for her may confuse her further.
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,073
Victoria, Australia
Sorry to hear about your father in law.

Maybe Mum doesn't have any real understanding of what has happened and if she is as disoriented as you think, I would have been surprised if she is capable of changing anything in her home.
 

nicoise

Registered User
Jun 29, 2010
1,806
I don't know how much Dad was doing for the two of them before he went to hospital, but it might be that he covered well for her lapses, and that her lack of abilities wasn't so noticeable prior to his illness because they worked as a team or he hid her failings.

Loss of your partner of 70 years would be incredibly stressful too, however, so she may well not be eating, drinking and sleeping enough to keep it all together mentally and physically, let alone with a decline of her own already noticed. Not to mention lonely....

Lots of TLC, and gentle looking after - there's no hurry to sort things out (Dad's clothes etc), nor to get her to acknowledge that she understands he has died.

But keep an eye that she too might have an underlying infection - eg, UTIs can be low grade but cause dreadful confusion nonetheless.
 

Jenjune

Registered User
Jul 19, 2015
4
It`s not at all surprising dad`s belongings are still in place. Many younger and fitter people keep the memory of departed partners in place. They bring comfort and these items help keep the presence of the departed in the home.
After a lifetime together I can`t see anything wrong in that.

The confusion and disorientation is more worrying and it`s right the GP has been informed and is on board.

If your mother is so confused she will hardly be able to reorganise her home and doing it for her may confuse her further.
Thank you.I wouldnt have expected mother to dispose of fathers belongings so early, its only a week. After 70 years must be like wearing a 2nd skin. However there are no reference points within the home that father has gone other than a handful of sympathy cards, I didnt know if this was exasabating the confusion, disorientation and regressing.
I think some of this day to day activity may have been masked by fathers presence.
It has been helpful that everone who replied not one person suggested changing anything,
 

Jenjune

Registered User
Jul 19, 2015
4
I don't know how much Dad was doing for the two of them before he went to hospital, but it might be that he covered well for her lapses, and that her lack of abilities wasn't so noticeable prior to his illness because they worked as a team or he hid her failings.

Loss of your partner of 70 years would be incredibly stressful too, however, so she may well not be eating, drinking and sleeping enough to keep it all together mentally and physically, let alone with a decline of her own already noticed. Not to mention lonely....

Lots of TLC, and gentle looking after - there's no hurry to sort things out (Dad's clothes etc), nor to get her to acknowledge that she understands he has died.

But keep an eye that she too might have an underlying infection - eg, UTIs can be low grade but cause dreadful confusion nonetheless.
Its only been a week. We supervise her meds 2 x day, ensure meals available and every comfort. Cant supervise sleep tho. We had a good day today asked to go shopping for something to wear for funeral. But now need to settle, getting very confused and agitated.