My grandmother thinks my Dad (her son) is her boyfriend. What do we do?

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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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