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It's upsetting them.

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It probably depends on the person too. If it’s upsetting her then i would think it’s not wise. My father with dementia loves watching the news every night but he’s been doing this for years. He may get the details wrong but he loves to talk to me about what he’s heard. I think he thinks it’s exciting. He had mentioned we were in another civil war. Not sure what they said exactly on the news but I just smiled and said oh yeah?
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Reply to Martz06
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I have a brother who used a distorted version of Christianity to keep my late father in a constant state of anxiety from the "other". The "other" was anyone of a different religion, race, or members of the family who did not agree with my brother's political persuasion. The steady drumbeat of my brother's influence on my father brainwashed him. There was no benefit, financial or otherwise, for my brother's actions He succeeded in making sure my father's last years were informed by intolerance and fear rather than ones of peace and love.

My brother's selfish influence over my father earned him the disdain of his siblings. Whatever satisfaction he derived from his dark influence over our dad was at the cost of a relationship with the rest of the family.
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Reply to Sasha17
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Ohmy! To me, this dilemma is one of the least thorny I've ever read here! Can't you deny the 'grandchild' access to grandfather? If the 44 y/o grandkid doesn't have the reasoning, empathy or physiological understanding, then SOMEONE needs to 'protect' grandfather. Protecting our elders in our care, both emotionally and physically, as exhausting as well all know it is, is our primary purpose--NOT figuring out some (likely impossible) way for a 2nd degree relative, to 'get it'. Don't hand the phone over when he calls, put him on notice he's not a beneficial presence, and don't let him into the house. Not easy. But here we all are, with all this 'not easy' stuff, and we're here to support each other. With love, support, and respect.
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Countrymouse Feb 17, 2021
I think the grandparent may object very strongly to that solution. The grandparent may be very fond of his/her controversial descendant and find their conversations stimulating. A little moderation is all it needs.
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Imho, since the grandchild is a forty four year old man, perhaps he can read the book, "The 36 Hour Day."
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Reply to Llamalover47
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*** Additional info provided by the OP ***

The "grandchild" is a 44 year old man.

The OP lives with LO and is the primary caregiver.

"I just see the worried look on her (grandmother's) face after he (adult grandchild) shares his information with her. She loves her grandkids and worries about them."
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Reply to Geaton777
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Llamalover47 Feb 16, 2021
Geaton: Thank you.
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Talk calmly to grandchild and explain about Alzheimer's. Get literature from society and give it to him. Tell him it is great that he has a good relationship and visits. Can his Mum / Dad talk to him too. He sounds like a lovely young man who cares. He probably just needs encouragement to keep conversations positive.
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Reply to trudy6234
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Davenport Feb 16, 2021
Yikes! I am a 'bleeding heart', but I think it's NOT incumbent of the caretaker to 'talk calmly' to a 44 year old to explain about Alzheimers. Said caretaker has MORE and important things on their plate than to coddle an ignorant 40 y/o.
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I would take the grandchild aside and explain that his actions are upsetting his grandparent and to stop it.
If he wants to help them then go on the internet and look up pleasant stories from when the grandparent was younger ( a child, a teen and an adult ) and read then together and then ask the grandparent what it was like during that time. I find elder love that.
As well, get on the internet and look up information about dementia for him to read. Then they will understand.
If the grandchild refuses to cooperate then inform them they can no longer visit.
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Reply to Christservant
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I would encourage your grandchild to educate themselves about dementia. The sooner they understand what is really happening, the better. Once they have a basic understanding, they need to be asked to be cautious with bad news, because the emotion stays longer than the memory. I sometimes try to imagine what it feels like to have my mother's dying brain. To me, the hardest thing would be feeling sad or anxious and not remembering why
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Davenport Feb 16, 2021
I was my mom's primary caretaker for 6 years. During that time, my younger and older sisters didn't want to hear any of 'it'. They weren't interested in educating themselves about dementia or Alzheimer's. They occasionally wrote to say I was overreacting and hysterical when I tried to communicate our mom's progressing condition. Reminds me of O/Pr's 44 y/o adult 'grandchild'. IF I had the benefit of hindsight, I would have been more direct with them, and asked them straightforwardly, to learn the basics of Alzheimer's and dementia. I did, however, just stop communicating with them. : (
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I was going to ask how old this grandchild was but MaddieMae refers to the grandchild being 44 years old! Is the grandchild your own child? The age of the grandchild and your relationship to him/her would make a big difference in how you might guide the interaction with your parent.
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Reply to RedVanAnnie
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In my opinion, if the adult grandchild has been told that he is upsetting his grandparent by discussing certain stressful topics, and regardless continues to do it, then he shouldn't be allowed to visit. This is very insensitive behaviour and I personally wouldn't tolerate it.
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Reply to mamadak
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First, be glad that the grandchild is visiting. He/she may not know what to talk about. Maybe some suggested conversation topics.
Show pictures from the phone...grandchildren, pets, scenery. My 92 year old mother enjoys this. Maybe watch an interactive game show together.
Mom and I play Wheel of Fortune together. There are some old game shows, that are easier to play. Talk about their work. Ask questions about the past, Grandma, what did you do to your fried chicken to make it taste so good?
Best wishes.
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Reply to Chickie1
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I would be thrilled that the grandchild takes time to visit his grandparents and make conversation with them. That is pretty unusual these days. My mom’s grandchildren don’t even visit or call.
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Reply to VickiRuff
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Davenport Feb 16, 2021
I wouldn't be thrilled if a grandchild, or ANYONE took time to visit, but didn't have the sensitivity to know what topics were upsetting or saddening to the person being visited.
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Since the grandchild is 44yo and doesn't believe you about which topics are appropriate to discuss with a person with dementia, providing expert advice from the Alzheimer's Association (AA) might be helpful. Contact your local AA or the national hotline for advice. They've helped me out with some difficult situations. You may be able to arrange a call with said grandchild and the AA to discuss the topic. Some people just don't accept that family members really do have knowledge greater than their own.

If the expert advice doesn't work, then I would calmly tell the grandchild that their behavior is cruel to their grandparent and that you will no longer abide by their behavior. This means going forward only supervised visits with arrangements made in advance or no more visits with grandparent.

Whatever you do, remain calm and composed.
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Reply to MaddieMae
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Is it upsetting them or you just think it's upsetting them?

You should ask them.

My 96 yr old Dad has dementia and I have mentioned to him on occasions regarding the Covid and why his Caregivers wear masks, ect.

He usually forgets everything withing 5 minutes anyway.

BUT, if it really is upsetting them, let them know.

You might have a camera installed so you will have proof it upsets them and I'm sure the Grands will adjusts their talks once they see it really does upset their Grandfather
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Reply to bevthegreat
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I would be happy the kid is still visiting. Maybe the kid is extremely worried about the state of our country and the world. There are lots of great suggestions here. I would want to keep the kid coming to visit and interact. The conversations are concerning to you. Do the topics stay with the loved one with dementia? Or is it a passing worry and they move on?

so many elders are left out of their grandkids lives because the young people don’t want to see the decline.

this too shall pass.
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Reply to Peglywegly
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Upsetting the grandparent, or adding to your workload because the grandparent will then insist on attempting to solve the troubles of the world? - not that it can't be both, of course.

First, praise the grandchild for respecting his grandparent's status as an experienced - nay, venerable - elder. The grandchild refuses to address his respected elder as though the elder were a half-witted child. This is the basis of an admirable attitude.

Encourage the discussion of unlimited topics. There is... gosh, everything to choose from. Culture. Travel. Grandparent's insight into events which were current and are now historical. Art. Advice from grandparent as to ethical issues the grandchild might be facing. Such discussion is socially and intellectually stimulating and is most desirable.

Just, please, lay off subjects which are insoluble and lead to nightmares - war, Covid, global warming. Grandson has the whole of his life to tackle these, but grandparent can only despair. It isn't fair.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Unless the grandparent is distressed to the point of having behavior problems, let go of this. You can always help to change the focus of conversations.
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Reply to Taarna
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What is the grandparent's reaction? Does it have a "lasting negative effect" or does the grandparent "get over it fairly quickly? What was the grandparent and grandchild relationship before dementia? Did they discuss world events? Is the grandchild visits important to the grandparent -- because if you push the issue the grandchild could stop or decrease visits? You have to let go you can't control the content of other people's relationship with the grandparent?
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Reply to MsRandall
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You might be able to get through to this grandchild if he or she is not too self centered. It sounds like they are scaring their grandparents possibly without realizing it. But at least give it a shot.
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Reply to Isabelsdaughter
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MsRandall Feb 16, 2021
Where did you get the idea that the grandchild was scaring the grandparent? There is nothing in the posting that says that
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If you are short on time, skip to the ***********

My best friend's mom had early-onset Alzheimers. My friend was frustrated that her mom, a very intelligent, lively, independent woman, asked the same simple questions over, and over, and over again. She'd get mad at her mom and start yelling at her. Even though she seemed to forget, it was obvious that she was upset at the time. She was made to feel ashamed and seemed to withdraw from her daughter. Who exactly knows how often parts of those memories would surface in her mind and sadden her?

We were at a park one afternoon with the whole family. My friend tended to her kids at the swings while I chatted it up with her mom on a bench beside the pond. I'd tell her about my kids. She asked the same questions during each story..... Who are we talking about? How old is he? What is his name? I never once got frustrated by her questions. In fact, I began to start my stories with..... My son, Tristan, he's 9 years old...... My 4 year old son, Ryan..... I'd keep the stories short so she could get through the whole thing before the information faded away. My friend looked on from the playground and saw just how happy her mom was. Smiling and laughing. She now understood that keeping her mom happy and engaged was the best thing she could do for her. Those last few months were precious to them both. That was almost 10 years ago and my friend still tells me how much that day meant to them. And how grateful she was to realize that she could still reach her mom and make what was left of their time joyful.

*****************************

As for this grandchild, he/she is doing no good by bringing up bad news. It is cruel, yes CRUEL, to subject this grandparent to negative, troublesome information that has little to do with his/her life in what time there is left.

My suggestion is, regardless of age, sit this kid down and have it consider what this person is going through. The confusion alone can be paralyzing. This grandparent should not be subjected to news and current events that will only upset him/her, fostering a feeling of helplessness due to the inablity to protect the family. Even if the conversation seems to be quickly forgotten. Make it understood that if one has nothing nice or uplifting to say, one should say nothing at all. And if this grandchild cannot hold to that, visitation WILL end until his/her behavior changes. However, if the grandparent asks for this grandchild, a quick hello, a hug and a kiss can be accommodated.

It isn't hard to distract and raise someone's spirits. If you don't have your own light-hearted story, make one up. Talk about the fat squirrel you saw hanging from the bird feeder that fell and ran away; the toddler at the store with lollipop goop all over it's face; the idiot guy on YouTube who did something stupid and now sings in the girls' choir.

Enjoy and cherish the time you have. Make new memories you can share with your family long after this loved one has passed. I wish you and your family all the best during this difficult time.

Per https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/symptoms-and-diagnosis/symptoms/memory-loss-in-dementia#:~:text=Memory%20and%20emotions&text=People's%20emotional%20memory%20is%20affected,recall%20other%20details%20about%20it.

Memory and emotions
People's emotional memory is affected much later on in dementia. Before this happens, people can often remember how they felt about something, even if they can't recall other details about it.
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Reply to MicheleinMD
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Tell the grandchild that this is upsetting the grandparent and tell the grandchild to STOP it.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Even if they didn't have Dementia his conversation could be upsetting. I would ask him/her to please talk about brighter things. That his/her conversations are upsetting. That it causes anxiety over something they can do nothing about. Anxiety is not good for them.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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How often does the grandchild see his grandparent? I'm guessing they are only trying to make conversation with their grandparent, don't you think? The nice thing with dementia,(if there is anything nice about it) is that the person with it, probably won't remember the conversations after a short while anyway, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. Just be grateful that this grandchild still wants to spend time with their grandparent.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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How old is the grandchild? Does the grandchild live with the grandparent?
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Reply to Geaton777
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perplexed59 Feb 13, 2021
44 years old. No I live my mom and I'm the primary caregiver. I just see the worried look on her face after he shares his information with her. she loves her grandkids and worries about them.
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