1. jack29

    jack29 Registered User

    Mar 8, 2008
    71
    Dad who has dementia and other health problems has just spent his forth week in hospital. Move to a nursing home has been postponed due to a chest infection.
    My question is how to answer Dad when he asks about people that have passed away...today he asked why his Brother Tom had not been to visit him...my uncle died in 1993. Is it best to tell Dad the truth or not?..today I told him Uncle Tom had died several years ago and he just went really quiet for about 15mins.I am sure he will ask me about him again...should I tell the truth when he asks?:confused:
    Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. x-lauren-x

    x-lauren-x Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    125
    Hiya- my uncle is very much the same, he will ask a lot about people who have died and ask why they have not been to visit- sometimes hes annoyed because he thinks they have forgotten about him. I made him a scrapbook with pictures of everyone he had know- past and present- as he flicks through the book it does seem to jog his memory that these people are no longer alive and he does seem to understand.
    I made the book out of bright hollographic card so it was really bright and obvious but with pictures with captions so it explained who everyone is. I wrote sadly missed/dearly missed etc under the people who had died so that when my uncle asked we could say no, sorry they have died but weve got a picture here of them doing... or with you.. or with someone else etc this did seem to lighten the mood and gives you a good way to move on talking abotu other people who are alive or have recently been to visit.

    Hope that helps a bit - good luck with it,
    lv
    lauren xx
     
  3. Clive

    Clive Registered User

    Nov 7, 2004
    716
    Hi Jack

    I think it all depends on what memory retention your loved one has. For several years mum could only remember for a few minutes (and nothing that happened after 1940) so I would always give her a noncommittal answer, and continue the conversation by steering it onto another topic. There was no point in repeatedly telling mum the distressing news that her parents, brothers, sisters and husband had all died.

    In my opinion once a person has moderate AD and cannot retain information it really is kinder not to repeat information that they find hurtful, or cannot understand. That’s what I did.

    Best wishes

    Clive
     
  4. jack29

    jack29 Registered User

    Mar 8, 2008
    71
    Thanks Clive and Lauren for your views on this. I think they are both really good options...just dont want to upset dad with my reply.
     
  5. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,419
    Jack - I think a lot depends on the past relationship with the person in question. My mother wasn't overly enthused with her brother and sister so when she would ask if they were alive I would simply say they had died some years ago. She was occasionally thoughtful about that, but not overtly distressed. All I can say is - almost certainly you will have to do this multiple times, so if what you say the first time causes distress, you will, sadly, have many more opportunities to get it right.
     

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