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My mum's fear of dying


Registered User
May 25, 2011
Greater London
:confused: Hello everyone ...back on the forum for some hints. My mum has 13 years Alzheimer's. We celebrated her 80th birthday together early this month. She has good and bad days, can be aggressive if confused with a question or a given environment but is not violent. She can say bad words at times out of the blue but never for very long and can loose track all of a sudden of who is with her. Including myself. However she still knows who I am, knows my name and very recently has told me "I love you" a few times (she never used to express it so clearly before, as she would use indirect ways of expressing her love to me: she is a very reserved person as far as personal feelings are concerned). She has been in a nursing home for the past year and is not doing bad at all. However for the past couple of months and during my 10 days' recent visit, my mum has kept repeating "I am going to die/I am afraid of dying" throughout her daily days by intervals. When I am visiting, I check whether she is thirsty or in need of a sweet, sometimes it works, some other times no real effect. The staff has told me that she is afraid of the dark (she has sundown syndrome) and have recently been leaving the television screen and the bathroom light on when she goes to bed. She also recently extends and bends her legs mechanically and gently, and during my last visit, she raised and lowered her back when resting on the bed. She can do both for an hour in one go and I let her do it as she seems to relax with the movements (she kind of smiles while doing that). What I do is I sit next to her and read, not moving too much, after switching on the television or the music. Theses "spontaneous" exercises happen after lunch when she rests in her bedroom. So my question is whether anyone of you is familiar with this type of behaviour and how do you react ? My main concern is her "new " fear of dying which I have not yet been able to address correctly as a new symptom from mum and I am short of ideas how to respond to it to alleviate her anguish. Thank you all in advance for sharing with me any "tips" you may have from your own experiences.:)


Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
That is upsetting for you. My husband has never mentioned dying but does want to go to church pretty much every day. I take this as confusion as to what day it is eg Tuesday instead of Sunday but maybe at the back of his mind is a feeling of mortality.

So I am not sure whether less religion or more religion is a good thing.

Would it help your Mum if you suggested she tell you her story and you sit beside her and write down what she says. It maybe she is losing a sense of self. Talking about herself might make her feel more alive.