1. SmogTheCat

    SmogTheCat Registered User

    Sep 1, 2005
    hello again!
    During last 20 days Antonietta seems to be quiet in nursing home but she is always very confused.
    If you say something that sounds wrong for her, she becomes nervous...

    She started asking us when she willl come back home. Sometimes she starting crying telling us: I want to go back home.

    We told her she need a long cure and she must be patient... but.. is this a good answer or we can say something better?

    Today we talked to a nurse and she assure us Antonietta is quiet and not cry when she is alone. She says it is a normal reaction for people.

    Antonietta is my grandmother. I visit her with my Mum (her doughter). Since 10 days sometimes Anrtonietta asks me: "How are your parents?" "whay they don't come to visit me?" "How is your family?".
    At the first question I answer "they are fine" but.... waht can I say to other questions?

    Today grandfhater came to visit her. She was very happy but.... sometimes she introduce him to other people saying "this is my husband" and somtimes he is my Dad" and other times.... "he was my husband but now he is my Dad".

    Is it normal???

    Thanks, SmogTheCat
  2. KarenC

    KarenC Registered User

    Jun 2, 2005
    Los Angeles, USA
    Hi SmogTheCat,

    I think "putting off" answers like "you need a long cure before you can go home" are as good as any. It isn't easy when you feel like you are lying, but probably nothing would be gained by telling your grandmother she is there forever; it would just make her more unhappy. Probably the best thing is let her talk about how she feels, about missing home, etc., for a bit, then try to get her onto something more cheerful.

    Getting family relationships confused seems pretty common, like not knowing if your grandfather is her husband or her father. When my mom was still able to talk on the telephone (earlier days at the dementia home) I called, and I could hear in the background she was asking the staff person "Is it my mother?" and then when she was talking to me on the phone she said "My husband is here beside me" although my father has never been at that place.

    Does your grandmother ask "Why don't your parents come to visit me?" while your mother is there? Or is it on occasions when you visit alone or your mother is not in the room? Does she not recognize your mother as her daughter any more? Maybe you can reassure her that they do come to see her -- not to be trying to "correct" her but to reassure her they care about her, like "Well, Mama came to see you yesterday and was so glad to see you looking well."

    How is your grandfather doing with the situation, by the way?

  3. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    Hi SmogTheCat,

    "Is it normal???"
    - all the behaviours you mention are normal in dementia world.

    I agree with Karen's advice, that "putting off" answers are kindest to your Grandmother, e.g. "Well, Mama came to see you yesterday and was so glad to see you looking well."

    You might also want to add that your parents will be coming to see her again soon, so that if she is not remembering their last visit, at least she can look forward to their next.

    Best wishes,
  4. SmogTheCat

    SmogTheCat Registered User

    Sep 1, 2005
    My Mus is there with me! This is the "problem". For example 5 minutes before she says to others "they are my doughter and my granddoughter. They're here for visiting me. I'm happy". And then she ask me about my parents and why they don't come to visit her...
    The first time, after some seconds without speaking and guessing what we can answer her my Mum said "Mum... I'm your daugher.. do you remember me? I'm here!" and she replied: "oh you. I know!" then watching me she added "but why they don't come to visit me?"

    Grandfather is a person who doesn't like speaking and he doen't like let others to understand what he feels.
    He seems worried about his wife situation, but he desn't say any words.
    When he comes to visiting her they sit together, hand by hand and sometimes they kisses. At the tea time, nurse offers tea to him and they drink tea togheter.
  5. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hello SmogtheCat

    I am sorry that the situation is still causing you pain.

    It may be that you will simply have to do as I have done with my wife. You have to accept that they may no longer recognise you as a child, husband, grandchild, etc - those are, after all only words. The important thing is that YOU know who THEY are.

    What you have to do is say to yourself that Grandma may not know who somebody is, but that person is going to keep visiting her because she will know at least that someone who cares is with her, giving her their full attention for a period of time - in a way that care staff can't do.

    It is not possible to know just what level of understanding our loved ones still have. Inside theirselves, they may know exactly who people are, but they just can't coordinate what they say to make that clear. Or they may be seeking reassurance.

    Whatever, do try and get past the words, and the pain of not being recognised as there is nothing you can do to make her realise who your Mum, or someone else is.

    But she is your grandmother, your Mum's mother and your Grandpa's wife. That doesn't change.

    Best wishes
  6. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    #6 Lynne, Nov 20, 2005
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2005
    Hello SmogtheCat,

    I'm sorry your Grandmama's memory loss is making you sad, but it may be something you just come to accept as the way things are. A few ideas occurred to me when I read your post - I hope they are not too impractical.

    Perhaps you (each & all family visitors to your Grandmama) could get into the habit of "introducing yourself", informally, to your G'ma when you arrive; something like "Hello G'Ma, here's your Granddaughter Maria to see you again", or ".. your grown up daughter Rosa to see you again". This may help to keep names alive for her

    Perhaps you could introduce a "Visitors book" or diary for her, to keep where visitors can look at it, and make a written entry when they visit? When you are there, you each could 'sign in' and make some little note ("G'ma wearing her pretty blue dress today", or "We walked in the garden in the sunshine today", anything which might be appropriate.) Not only will it be a record of who comes, but it may give you something to talk about with her, like "Oh, I see cousin Sue/Mrs. Smith/the Doctor came to see you this morning. How is she? Is her leg better? Does she/he still have that old Fiat car/ginger cat/smelly old dog/red coat she always wears? If her answers do not make sense, no matter, that's not the point of the exercise. Also, she can show her 'visitors book' to other people, so you could provide some photographs (marked with the person's name) and stick them in it for her.

    Ref. your Grandpapa not talking about his feelings, perhaps you could talk to him about how you are feeling? Even if he doesn't open up to you in return, it may comfort him to know that other family members care deeply about what has happened, and will continue to care about them both. He may be feeling very guilty about his wife having to leave the family home and be looked after by others; he may be feeling that he has failed to live up to his own expectations of "the head of the house", but be unable to put those feelings into words. Many elderly people are very proud, and just can't bring themselves to talk about such things.

    Even if you don't feel able to talk with him like that, things are still VERY much better than when you first posted here, and G'ma was throwing things at him, and they (both) were in danger of being hurt, or hurting each other.

    It's very sad, but you can't make the world perfect for your G'ma again; but remember that her 'world' is shrinking, so just focus on little things, as you might for a sick child.

    God Bless

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