1. Our next Q&A session is on the topic of Christmas and dementia.This time we want our Q&A to involve our resident experts, you! Share tips and advice on navigating Christmas here in this thread.

    Pop by and post your questions or if you prefer you can email your question to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

Mum has forgotten my dad died 11 years ago

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by ElaineBT, Sep 30, 2015.

  1. ElaineBT

    ElaineBT Registered User

    Sep 30, 2015
    Hello all, this is my first post. Mum has had both Alzheimer's and Vascular dementia for a number of years. Just recently she has started to ask where my dad is, and she thinks he has gone off with another woman, but in reality he died 11 years ago. This has lasted several months now. We have been skirting round her questions, but I really don't know the best way to handle it. Should I tell her each time that dad died? Or go along with her current thinking, which is obviously causing her a lot of distress too. Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide.
  2. dottyd

    dottyd Registered User

    Jan 22, 2011
    Go withher current thinking. My mum doesn't remember being married. He died 18 years ago. They were married 47 ears and very happily too.

    It's very sad.
  3. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    Brixham Devon
    As your Mum is distressed thinking your Dad has gone off with another woman I'm not sure that is the way to go. Definitely don't tell her that he has died-well IMO. Could you say that he is working away?

    A very sad situation so I hope it can be resolved soon

    Take care

    Lyn T XX
  4. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Mum had this too.
    I think skirting around the issue and distraction is the way to go. If I told mum that dad had died she was devestated, but the thought that he was having an affair was upsetting her too. I said things like "Oh no, Im sure hes not having an affair" and suggested that maybe he was working long hours. On one occasion she said that she hoped he wouldnt be bringing his fancy piece home and expect her to make them all dinner!! On this occasion I could say with complete honesty that it was never going to happen.
    She has now stopped worrying about this as she has now forgotten that she had been married.
  5. Suzanna1969

    Suzanna1969 Registered User

    Mar 28, 2015
    Would she accept that he is working away, on a course or visiting his family? Or just doing overtime maybe?

    I dread my Mum not recognising my Dad, I hope it doesn't happen, although obviously that will mean something else worse has....
  6. ElaineBT

    ElaineBT Registered User

    Sep 30, 2015
    Thank you all so much for your kind responses and good ideas. We always felt telling her the truth was not a good idea, it is good to get it confirmed. We will definitely say he is working away and continue to sidestep difficult questions. Thank you all again, it has been really useful.

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  7. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    #7 Witzend, Oct 1, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015
    When my FIL first started asking where his wife (dead 10 years) was, it naturally came as a shock, and we began by gently explaining that she had died. But he would be terribly upset - he would cry - only to forget and ask again shortly afterwards.

    So we started saying she had just gone to the shops, or to see Auntie So and So, etc. (anything that would be familiar from way back) and he'd be quite happy. I wasn't a bit happy about this at first - I was terribly worried that he'd remember what we'd said before and accuse us of lying to him, but he never did, and I'd do the same again in similar circs.

    Could your dad be 'off watching the football', or gone fishing, or gone to see his old mother, or anything else he often used to do?

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.