My mother just passed; I was wondering if my siblings and I should tell my father since he has Dementia and Parkinson's?

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They've been married for 63 yrs. Everyday he asks where she is. I found him crying and asked him what was wrong. He said, "I know something happened to my wife. I think she's dead". We always tell him that she's at the store. She was the only person who could calm him down.

Answers 1 to 10 of 19
I would tell him if I were you. To provide an example of what I went through: my mother had passed away a year before and my grandmother, who had dementia and was in a nursing home, asked during one of my visits "how's your mom?". Startled, I said something like "Oh, she's OK". She later somehow found out from my late father who visited...and she told me on a subsequent visit "I'm sorry about your mom". Again, shocked I was...considering I couldn't carry on a conversation with my grandmother...she would only blurt out a somewhat coherent question from time to time...so...clearly a lot more was going on in her mind than even I was aware of. Moral of the story...we're quick to dismiss those with dementia but they are often far from being completely "out of it" and are more aware of their surroundings, situations etc than we realize. Therefore, I'd tell your Father so that you avoid further awkward situations like this. He may come to a sense of peace as well. Hope it helps. I wish you the best.
I think I would tell also. I told my Mom when Dad passed, and we made arrangements for her to come to the funeral. She didn't behave herself entirely appropriately, BUT its one of the few decisions I don't second guess or regret. It sounds like your Dad already kind of knows, somehow...maybe he knows that if she could come see him, she would, and she's been "away" too long. If they had a loving relationship it may kinder for him to know she has passed on rather than to think she stopped loving him, or worry about what terrible thing is keeping her still alive but unable to visit. Being able to talk about it even in the simplest terms and grieve openly may help him, and then you do not have to hide your grief either. You could always ask his doctor also if he thinks there is any increased medical risk to hearing this bad news. I am so sorry for your loss...may God bless you and yours at this tough, tough time...
its so difficult- but i would definately tell him-
its HOW u tell him ,what u say- the same theory as with a child- not more info than they need- simple, clear,-everyone is so different-and hears things thru their own perceptions., their own ablitly.
he still has feelings,still needs to express and let go, and on some level he knows,
but reality seems to be so cruel -as we age-
maybe he would need something calming before actually talking /telling him.
asking his dr. makes sense-u dont want him to physically breakdown- but
depending on how the brain is connecting things,and the stage of his mental apacity,hopefully the dr can help decide.
when my dad passed, mom would say - where is your father-is he angry?he works so hard-and i would say,he isnt here-well he is here- but not where we are-
she would say things like i miss him, but he is busy, but i know she knew on some level, that he had passed. one day she just said- dad isnt here anymore is he?
i said no, but hes with marlene(my sister) and nanny and pops(grandparents) and i mentioned a few other people that had also passed- it took a while- but i feel it was thebest way for her. i also said he was around us too- she understood that- sometimes people with dementia and alz. can see a lot deeper than we can- sometimes they see and talk with peoplw in their lives who already passed- i know that may not
be everyones belief- but thinks like that happen-
just a thought-
i would tell him, gently, and like i said- its how u tell him- your body movenments,tone of voice- they are so sensitive-just cant always verbalize it,but they feel....im sorry for your loss, sending hugs-love,k
oh i forgot to say that its ok if he cries, u too-
gets rid of negitive energy -thru tears-
but it is so sad, and difficult, and i hate this disease-i hate this painful punishment
i feel is thrown on my mom
sorry-just needed to vent a bit myself- thanks-
love this site!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!k

Top Answer
My grandmother was in the late stages of dementia when her husband died, and my aunt and uncle told her that he died, but she would forget. She would ask again the next day or so, and they would tell her again. After telling her a few times and watching her start grieving all over again, they decided to just say that he was not at home. She eventually stopped asking about him. It is so hard to decide what is right for your situation.
msleeth- oh i agree with you 100%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
there is much more going on!!!!!!!!u just have to know how to read it--
not insult them,be aggressive,show ignorance and talk above them as if they dont know a thing!!!!oh im so glad u said that!!!!!karen- millions of hugs to you!!!you, are an aware person- its so sad that more dont realize this!!!l
I guess it would depend on his dementia progression? I would assume from his comment about thinking his wife is dead, he isn't fully unaware. I would tell him. He needs validation, and you'll feel better knowing she's not at the store :) Wish you well and sorry for your loss :(((
I must agree with what has been said. I would seriously discuss this matter with your father's doctor. Just as a thought, and if your father wouldn't mind going to his doctor's office, maybe your father could receive a shot to keep him calm while receiving the news. When a husband and wife grow strong together, and even when children grow strong with their parents, it is mysterious and incredible how they know what each other is thinking or feeling. Wedding fowls between couples normally state, "Until death do us part". He has a very strong feeling that something has happened to his wife. He needs to be informed that his wife has passed over into the new world. It is going to be just as hard for you to deliver the message as it is going to be for your father to accept it. They will be reunited once again. Your mother will be waiting for your father with open arms. If I am coming across a little strong, I do apologize. We children must accept and do what we need to do for our parents in a very appreciative and loving way. Always know that no matter what may be said or done, God hears you and will always be with you. My prayers and thoughts are with you.
I am blessed to still have both my parents, both 83 years old. Mom has Parkinson's and dementia and has lost the ability to speak. She has been on home hospice for 15 months now. She recently lost her youngest sister, 63, and we decided it would be best to tell her. The evening after the services Dad and I were on either side of her bed, told her very gently and gave her the program from the service with my aunt's picture. We then prayed for my aunt over my mom and after an initial crying spell mom's OCD kicked in and she was just mesmerized by the program and refused to give it up. I know that mom understood and then just seemed to file it away for thought later. She has had crying spells on and off, but we never know if that is for her sister or just her own depression. It's so hard to know what's right to do in these situations, but we felt better telling mom than her finding out from someone else. Hugs to all caring for someone. It's NOT a thankless job!!!
This is very hard, I know but I would really encourage you to tell him. He will be sad and that is to be expected, he will may also have trouble remembering what happened and may ask you repeatedly where is my wife... I think this is just hard. Be prepared for him to be very upset and cry with him, let him know you are there for him. take care and God bless...

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