My First Post!


Registered User
Jun 25, 2008
Hi everyone,
I've just registered as my Mum was diagnosed in March and I feel I am swimming against the tide.She is apparently still in early stages, but things seem to be changing fast....
Specifically, on Monday night Mum told me she had had a visit from her mother.(Mum is 83 and her own mother died 37 years ago!)From what I have read, you are not supposed to contradict the speaker by saying "she couldn't have, she's dead", but what exactly are you supoosed to say? Any advice on how to handle this one would be much appreciated!!

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hello Bobby

what exactly are you supoosed to say? Any advice on how to handle this one would be much appreciated
Just go along with what your mother says if you can. If she says her mother has visited, ask how she was, did she look well and then try to distract her by asking if she`d like a cup of tea, or something else.....anything you can think of.

I know it`s difficult for you but there`s no harm in pretending if it makes life easier for your mother.

Take care and keep posting. You will be well supported.

Love xx


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
but what exactly are you supoosed to say?
I'd be trying "Im so sorry I missed her. How is she? Did she say when she is coming next?"

Sometimes these things are triggered by other things. My Mum [who did not have dementia] was on medication and was not supposed to have alcohol. However, she was fond of a Bailey's and at night would see her own Mum sitting at the end of her bed, even though she was long gone. I think she may have had Bailey's so she could meet her Mum again...;)

If things are changing rapidly, check other things first - possible UTI [Urinary Tract Infection], medication or lack of medication, constipation, dehydration etc.

Always best to knock the obvious things off the list first.

You might start to keep a diary of things that happen like this, so you can look back and perhaps see something developing.


Registered User
Nov 16, 2007
East Midlands
Hello Bobby,

Welcome to TP...

Grannie G and Bruce have given you good advice!

Would like to add that my own mum is almost 81..and tells me about "dreams" which seem real when she is talking to her mum..who died 25 years ago..and my dad..who died almost 5 years ago...The difference I suppose is that she does realise that they are no longer with us.
She (as far as we know..) does not have AD. However as the oldest member of her family to survive she often tells me that she misses the company of people who were part of the "thread of her life"..her equals in age...and the world now is not one she wishes to is alien to her.

Perhaps when AD is present..along with old age..trying to make sense of everything is too much like hard our loved ones retreat to a time and place where they feel secure..

I don't know..I'm always searching for reasons and answers..

You will learn with your mum the best way to deal with it for both of you..white lies don't long as your mum is happy...

TP is a good place to come to...:)

Love gigi xx

fearful fiona

Registered User
Apr 19, 2007
Hello Bobby

Nice to meet you on TP. My Mum thinks my Dad is still alive, he died in February and I told her several times and she just forgot and got distressed each time I told her as it was news to hear. So now I go along with her thinking he's alive. She even thinks he's in the home with her. Today when I saw her, she was as confused as ever and thought she was on holiday in France and said that it was difficult for Dad because he was struggling with his French!

I think whatever doesn't upset your Mum is right for her. It is very easy to be "economical with the truth".

Good luck.


Registered User
Jun 25, 2008
Thank you so much for your replies. So much of what you said has made me smile. It is just so good to have so many caring people about who understand what you are going through. A problem shared ..... and all that.


Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Hello Bobby, we have to learn to enter their world.

Easier for me, as my partner is in a care home now, with virtually no communication. I am a very regular visitor so most residents know me.

One gentleman has appointed me his 'second-in-command'. He thinks he is running a factory. I simply ask him if he has any special requests/orders for me each day, and look suitably rebuked when he tells me off.

Another lady thinks I am her daughter, at about 16 years of age (I am almost 70). She chides me for going into mens rooms, and thinks I should stop 'making eyes' at Lionel.

It is sad to see, and yet they are not always unhappy in their own world.


Registered User
Nov 28, 2005

I know that we are supposed to go along with our loved one - not necessarily admitting their relative is dead.

My husband often wants to phone his Mum or Dad, wonders about past aunts and uncles. I quietly explain that as he is 79 they would be 100+ - so he then says 'oh they are dead then'. :eek:

He accepts it, does not get upset but will repeat the same thing several times within a day.

I do think we each have to tackle the problem as it suits. Obviously if my husband reacted badly then I would fob him off with an easy answer.

As Connie says we have to enter their world.

I do hope you can find support here on TP.

Love Jan


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
Would like to add that my own mum is almost 81..and tells me about "dreams" which seem real when she is talking to her mum..who died 25 years ago..and my dad..who died almost 5 years ago...The difference I suppose is that she does realise that they are no longer with us
Strange you should say about dreams as my mother use to tell me about her dreams that where very vivaed to , also relishing that they no longer with us .

Ask her how the dream made her feel , if sad just acknowledge her sadness, then add a positive

you must miss your mum , Or miss dad like I do , how lovely lucky that ( s)he spoke to you what did she say? also about your father. what was dad wearing? she may end up telling you a story about they past together , that make her feel happy to remember.

My mother dreams also where about my father who pass away 6 years ago , also her mother & her sister in law who also pass away .

If you find its distressing her as sometime my mother would just go quite , so I just change the subject to lighten her mood .

I believe its just a way they brain possessing they grief / logic in a way they cannot do it in everyday life anymore , because of what the brain damage is doing to they brain so it all come out in dream hallucination . just my theory
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Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
Hi Bobby,
My mother kept asking for her mother for a long time. I would simply say "She's fine - the same as always". Since your grandmother is visiting (so to speak) , you can always say "Oh that's nice. Must have been a nice visit" and change the subject.

You can try telling your mother the truth but be prepared for a flood of tears. When I told my mother originally that her mother was dead (and had been for 31 years at that point), she cried & cried & asked why no one had told her. This despite the fact that my mother & I were the only ones with my grandmother when she died. So I prefer to go with the flow & all my dead relatives. Now of course she doesn't ask anymore.


Registered User
Sep 16, 2005

I find it amusing that spirits from the past seem to like sitting at the end of the bed...thats where the ones that visited Dad used to like to sit too!:rolleyes: