How do I answer my 90-year-old mom when she tells me one of my brothers is not her son?


I said he is and she said don't say that again. She has 9 kids and many grandkids...keeps asking who they are...from pictures...where is dad? I say heaven. Don't know how to answer.

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Are there any consequences to her saying one is not her son? I mean she is not asking a lawyer to remove him from her will, right? If it (or something similar) comes up again, just go along with her. "Hmmm ... well, do you know who he is? ... That's OK. It doesn't matter. Look, I think this one is your cousin, isn't it?"

If she is happy with the answer that Dad is in heaven, it is OK to keep telling her that. But if it upsets her, try a different approach. "It is a nice bright sunny day on a weekend. That is when he likes to fish, right?" or "I think he is still on that business trip." Just something that would be typical of Dad's whereabouts in earlier days.

At this point in her dementia it is not useful to teach her "the truth," but to keep her comfortable and happy with her memories.
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