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My grandmother has frontal lobe degeneration. Her short term memory is gone and her long term memories are almost gone. The most disturbing thing as of late is that she thinks my dad is her boyfriend. He looks like his dad and has the same name so it's kind of understandable. How do we handle this while upsetting her as little as possible?

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In that case, I could have suggested giving her a set of handcuffs and reading 50 Shades of Gray to her.
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It helps to have a good sense of humor when dealing with dementia for sure!
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Oh h*ll no! I lived the dream! My MIL thought her son was her husband. I could cope with that until she tried running her hands up his thigh at the dinner table in front of me while sitting there in her robe with nothing else on underneath and her legs spread. TRUST ME. IT GETS WORSE! NOTHING helped. When the part of the brain that deteriorates so impulse control is gone, there is nothing you can really do. Worse, she didn't remember why she disliked me (because I married her only son, her only child, and she wasn't queen anymore) but she remembered she didn't like me and she took every chance she could get--she was smart enough not to kick or hit me when her son was in the room--but as soon as he left, look out! Unless you're into ol' weirdo porn flicks, the only thing you can do is get away from her. And we couldn't do that until she died. And people wonder why I don't miss her. She lived to be 98. She was like this the last four years of her life. Those were VERY long years.
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Agree with grandma! It hurts nothing for her to believe this and actually calms her knowing that a loved one is nearby (it may not be the same person she has in mind, but she knows it is someone who loves her dearly). No harm, no foul, only good vibes here, not incestuous ones.
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Hi Beth, I went thru this with my Mom and at times it paid off well. Just remember "the customer is always right" and agree with everything she says. I learned that in an alz support meeting. We took my Mom during this stage to the rockettes and she got up and half time and was leaving, she was done, wanted to go now! I was scared! Then my husband came walking down the aisle with his snacks and she said "omg you are here" and took his arm and held his hand through the rest of the performance. This stage will pass but it gives them comfort and they forget about it very soon anyway. We agreed with everything my mom said. This was a very long time ago for us but now sometimes when my husband gets home she is so smily and alert and tries to answer everything he asks her (she is non verbal mostly) and puts her arm up to hold his hand. We think its precious. She used to go crazy looking for her husband in her sundown phases and I said he is on the way home, she took that!! I even got to saying he was in the bathroom and she believed that too.(he died over 10 years ago) Her memory was that bad at that time. Good luck, dont fret, its ooookay.
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Beth - this is another part of the cruel disease. My mother on and off thinks that I am her husband. I try to change the subject and move on. That hasn't always worked, of course. So at times, I have had to quietly explain her confusion to her. It would be very nice if changing the subject and misdirection would work all the time. It hasn't in my case. So I have had to use a combination of tactics.
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I2understand has the answer, play along. No One is getting hurt. In her mind he is the boyfriend. you can not convince her other wise. My mom didn't know my dad, she considered him her dad at times, and that we girls, my sisters and her were all sisters. The other day she told someone her husband was Gary Cooper...LOL
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I agree to just let her believe what she wants, because there is nothing that can change her belief. It's just how you handle it that is at issue. I would let it go.

How long has she had this belief? I know that my cousin, who as significant dementia, goes through phases of mistaking people for other people. For a few weeks, she thought one of her female roommates was an old male friend It didn't hurt anything, so I didn't correct her. It would do no good. She stopped believing that after a few weeks. Now she believes another lady in the Memory Care unit is a man, but she's not. She's a lady, but I don't correct her. She will usually change her mind eventually. So, your mom may as well.
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Go with it.. Does it really affect that much? I have seen far more problems children that were abused and have to relive those years. Men that want to have sex with everyone and touch non stop and have no control of this behavior. People that get extremely abusive and have to be medicated just to get personal care.
Allow her to live her wonderful happy past and go with it. It would be wonderful to have more of these towns cities as in the Netherlands. But in this country it's money. Children want to be left huge estates, and want the welfare system to pay for all. I would love to see more of these towns... Do you know how many people in nursing homes that have relationship and marry it does happen and they have those rights.
Music and dancing old memories just enjoy it.. It can be hard but they can't change this behavior... It's hard on the spouse that feels lost and that they are no longer important but they can try to just act as friends with them...Get the other person spouse involved in other things. Get them into senior group so he's not forgotten.
Let you and your Dad go with it, it's making here happy to live in the past.. Does it really matter.. Make her happy in her past..
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Does she have favorite songs? Maybe hum a few bars, see if that clears her mind. Especially hymn tunes or Mass parts or sung prayers. Good luck.
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My grandmother's sister remarried at 85; if the mind is still there, it can be a very good thing. I remember a widowed friend of my folks, whose health was going downhill after she was widowed in her 70's. Then a widower from our church, one of the folks who was helping take care of her, married her--and she perked up and lived about 20 years more. There is a couple in our church--both widowed--who got married when she was 63 and he was 91--fifteen years ago! I saw them in church on Christmas eve; he's slowed down quite a lot but still gets around and is still pretty much all there mentally.
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It "might" be helpful to have old photos of her and your grandfather when they were young, as well as a photo of your husband when he was young.

And/or perhaps have your dad bring back memories that just the two of them had (that wouldn't involve your grandfather) - like childhood past times...games, rhymes, stories.

I'm sure it's upsetting and frustrating, but at least you can see she is trying to make mental connections with her current reality (which is not so good) with what she remembers of the past.

It's a tribute to both grandparents that she misses your grandfather so much. We don't see love like that much nowadays. That may not help you in the short term, but it's still very sweet. She can't help that she's confused.
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vja1951, I'm glad you had a good marriage but I'm not sure how your comments relate to my post or why you wasted 1s and 0s telling me not to seek advice for my family.
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I was almost 70 and my second husband was 93 when we married. His mind was sharp. He got around fairly well. We went to church, lunch at the sr apartment where he lived. My children loved him. His kids didn't like me. I had him on hospice care the last few months of his life. He was 101 when he died. His mind still sharp. Older people can marry and live good lives. Verna
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How old is her son? Let him handle the situation.
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I recently read of a facility in the Netherlands that is set up with areas that are staged for past eras of time, and they encourage their residents to "live" in whatever era they are comfortable in each day. I recall a cousin of my dad's whose husband was a classic case; the last time we saw them he called me by my mom's same, my daughter by mine, and kept looking around for my dad. He obviously knew who we were, just a generation off. HIs wife told me that there were days he thought they weren't married yet. He lived in a VA facility and they were very good to him; found an unused office for him to hang out in and think he was still working.
It's a losing battle to try to keep an ALZ patient in the present; if they are happy reliving the past, it's like Pam said, take the opportunity to get some family history before it's gone for good.
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My dad has called us by his late wife's name. Sometimes he even calls us by one of her kid's names from a previous marriage. At first we were offended, because we thought he did it on purpose, but came to understand that he gets confused. He proposed to a lady at the NH after 5 weeks, but she declined and said she will not marry again. He is 86yrs and she 74yrs. We just laugh.
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You will be never be able to convince your grandmother that she is mistaking your Dad for her boyfriend. Humour her and go along with it. You are not lying, just allowing her to think what she knows (or thinks) is right. If your Dad feels uncomfortable about it, perhaps changing the topic could help. All the best.
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When I was 12 and my Great Grandmother was passing and thought I was my Father at my age. From across the hospital bed Dad gave me a pleading look. Im now 53 and think of the moment that I little "Jerry Ledru" is one of my proudest moments. Go with it your Father will be proud of you.
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While I understand that it disturbs you, it's also rather sweet. And, no, I'm not from West Virginia. :: smile :: I don't smile glibly. There are far worse things to be concerned about.

I don't know if this site supports outside links, but here we go: youtube/watch?v=zifeVbK8b-g If it doesn't work, go to youtube and search for Elvis Costello (artist) and Veronica (song)
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my grandmother did the same so my husband bought her candy and flowers when she was in a bad mood and he was able to have her do things that she refuses to do juat go with it.sex was never on her mind she just wanted to feel like a woman it is not a big deal. good luck
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Humor her.
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You gently change the subject. "He does look like xxx? Where did you meet him? What was your hair like then? Did you have a Marcelle? (fluffy hair of the 1940's) Did you do the Jitterbug? What movie did you go to?
You can get a lot of family history while leading her to happier times.
"OMG cloth diapers! How did you?" "How did you make formula?"
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