What to say to Dad about deceased wife

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Banana2004, May 5, 2016.

  1. Banana2004

    Banana2004 Registered User

    May 5, 2016
    3
    My Dad was diagnosed with Dementia with Lewy Bodies just over a year ago. My Mum passed away after a short illness in March just after Dad had moved into a nursing home due to worsening dementia and other health issues. We kept Dad informed about Mum's death and he managed the funeral. But in recent weeks, he repeatedly asks how Mum is and more upsettingly why she never visits him. He really gets very low about this as he really cannot understand why, saying it is very hurtful and 'does she not care anymore?'. It is really heartbreaking. It would have been their 60th wedding anniversary in August and they were so close. My brother has said a couple of times 'sorry Dad, she died, remember?' and says that he suddenly remembers. But lately he says not that Mum, Mum no.2. So not sure if he recognizes his Mum is dead but not ours.... I try & reassure him she always cared and attempt to change the subject, but this is getting harder.
    Anyone experiencing this and have any advice?
    Many thanks
     
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,872
    Female
    South coast
    Hello banana and welcome to Talking Point.
    I wonder if your dad thinks he has re-married? Mum is a widow and she too kept complaining that her husband was out all the time - she thought he must have a "fancy piece" and worried terribly that he would leave her. This was a common theme and one day I referred to him by name and got the scathing reply "no, not him - thats the one that died!!"
    After that I came up with an endless litany of things that might be keeping him away "Im sure he will be back soon - hes out shopping/working late/taking the car to the garage/visiting a friend etc etc until she stopped. Not easy though.
    The only time I could speak with complete truthfulness was when she worried that he would bring the fancy piece home and she (mum) would have to cook dinner for them all! I was able to say with utter conviction that it was never going to happen :rolleyes:
     
  3. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,828
    Male
    North Manchester
  4. Rheme

    Rheme Registered User

    Nov 23, 2013
    159
    England
    #4 Rheme, May 5, 2016
    Last edited: May 5, 2016
    I'm in a similar situation with my mum. Dad passed over two years ago and mum is in a nursing home with dementia and a whole host of other health issues. Mum cannot remember that dad has passed and I tell her that I am going to see dad to make sure he is okay and eating properly and that he loves her to bits and I give her a daily kiss from dad.

    I also tell her that dad has been to see her but she was asleep but he held her hand and told her how much he loves her and talked to her about their life together.

    It is really hard telling white lies to her but is the kindest way as she will not cope with continually being told that dad died. I also tell her that I tell dad how much she loves and misses him.

    No-one tells you how to deal with this but having tried telling her the truth and experiencing the hurt it caused her decided it was best to take the course of action I do as I causes her the least stress.

    Hope this helps and good luck.
     
  5. doodle1

    doodle1 Registered User

    May 11, 2012
    241
    Hiya
    Am in the same situation . My dad died a couple of weeks ago and. Although mum went to the funeral she sometimes asks where he is etc? I now answer in very short sentences saying things like" he's not here" I don't repeat the whole truth as its too stressful for her every time. I would find a short soothing answer and change the conversation direction .
    It's hard but love lies do help.
     
  6. grumpy otter

    grumpy otter Registered User

    Apr 26, 2016
    21
    I think this is one of the hardest things about dealing with dementia. My brother and sister both died many years ago but my Mom sometimes forgets they are gone and wonders why they haven't come to see her. And when she talks like this, in addition to making me worry about how to tell her or not, it just makes me sad to remember my dear older siblings who were gone way too soon.

    I play it by ear--depending on what clues about where she is and her mood. If she is fairly cheerful, I might say "Oh, I think you were having a dream about them because they've been gone a long time." If the mood is bad, I might lie and say they'll be coming
    tomorrow.

    The small good in all this is she won't remember what I've said at all, so if one strategy you try doesn't work, you can just try something different. If you find something that works, you can sue it over and over.
     
  7. Banana2004

    Banana2004 Registered User

    May 5, 2016
    3
    Thank you

    Thank you all so much for your really supportive comments - they mean so much to me. It really is a cruel illness and it is comforting to hear from others who are in the same boat. I will try all of the above and see what works best, but as has been said, their effectiveness may fluctuate as much as the disease! This really does force you to go with the flow! Thanks again to everyone. Really glad I joined the forum.
     
  8. Bill Owen

    Bill Owen Registered User

    Feb 17, 2014
    182
    BRIDGEND
    Hi im bill

    hi my wife pass away last month she to had lewy bodie. This is not good it will be a very hard road .so be strong just to look after him .has this not him its the diesssss ,so be strong for him
    .its not gooing to there for him .
     

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