For example, he is so disappointed that my brother never visits. My dad is in a nursing home and my brother lives in another country. I told him for a few weeks that it was impossible for my brother to visit and it finally registered. But once in a while he goes back to asking why my brother never visits. Should I go along with this? It makes him really sad that his son never comes to see him and when I tell him he is abroad he goes back to remembering even for a brief while. In a second case scenario he mentions a fight he had with his (deceased) friend. This imaginary fight upset my dad for months and even kept him up all night. Should I still go along with this? My dad has been able to admit he dreams a lot and can't distinguish what is real and what isn't. Is it ok to say that perhaps he dreamt it?
Do you have or could you borrow a globe? Bring it in to Dad and show him exactly where your brother is. Fly a toy airplane from there to where Dad is. Talk about how much a plane ticket costs. Don't just say, "he's abroad" but make a big (memorable?) deal out of it. Is brother interested in Dad? Just because he can't visit doesn't mean he can't be in contact. Pictures? Post cards of the local sites? Emails via you?
This is hard!
I think you are handling right talking about your brother. He doesn't remember where he is, only that he isn't there. Reminding him helps, if only for the moment. Often we have to say things over and over again when the memory goes.
The main one is, a few years ago, she went to a friend's husband's funeral (my ex took her) and because it was busy and she is old, they were ushered to a seat near the front - that part is true. She used to go green bowling but stopped going when she was having balance problems. She has now decided that nobody at the bowling is talking to her and she hasn't been invited back (it was her decision to stop going) because someone else who was at the funeral has told them that she was sitting in the 'wrong' seat, which should have been for family.
She also says the friend's daughter came to her door and told her not to visit her friend any more, which is also because of where she sat.
I have tried explaining that nobody would be bothered where she sat and even in the unlikely possibility that anyone would mention it, why would everyone at the bowling stop talking to her because of it, because it's really not important. I don't know how true the part about the daughter is, but from what I can work out, I think the friend was in hospital and maybe her daughter told Mum that she was too ill to have visitors (she has since passed away).
She just won't accept any of my reassurances and thinks they have all been talking about her and criticising her.
She brings this up regularly, I have tried just explaining that it's not important enough to other people for it to bother them, I've tried telling her I talked to one of the people at the bowling and they knew nothing about it, but it's still an ongoing issue with Mum.
I don't want to agree with her but it's getting frustrating going back over the same ground and knowing that it's still upsetting her.
It is hard to convince someone the sky is not blue. With the type of delusions that your father is experiencing, it is best not to aggravate the situation. I would try and change the subject. Sometimes it works. Redirect him to think of something positive or respond to a fond smell like fresh bread or a positive memory.
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