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I am clueless as to how to answer my mom when she demands to know where the kids are. There are no children in the home or in our lives - it's just Mom and I. She gets VERY upset when I don't respond correctly (I.e., telling her where they are).
She does the same thing about her brothers, demanding to know when they left, where did they go, etc. Her brothers have both passed away.
I just don't seem to say the right thing, whether the truth or a story. No answer is the right one.
I'd appreciate any input and ideas.
Thank you!

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beautiful , martha .. i kind of split the difference with mom sometimes . she wanted to know when the crew of men cutting holes thru the walls were going to leave . i didnt dispute the men but i told her they werent cutting holes thru the walls . she knew she wasnt right so i tried to keep her feet near the ground without harshin on her buzz ..
kinda like jeanne said , you haveta wing it a little .. i think hallucinations are harder on the carer ( s ) sometimes than the patient . i honestly think in a few years we may give them phsilocybin . theylle still trip but it will be happy and colorful .. not kidding . scientists in the usa have been playing with this concept for extreme end of life medication .. i think ill put together a little bag of comfort meds for myself . " na , im good lady but ill need some beers when i start peaking " ..
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When I was working at SNF for Activity at Memory Care ( 50 patient), about 60% of patients were starting acting out around 4 or 5pm that we call Sundown syndrome. Asking me every evening "Please take me home,or have to go home taking care of my kids or husband" If I do right kind of answers they will get very upset... so I have to make up story... like "oh your children just call and they are coming over to see you or let's go outside with your best friend to patio and wait? My Job to keep them occupy with other then telling them real life stories... almost every patients are very sweet and kind at AM, PM come they do change their behavior quiet often... Can you tell your Mom " Okay Mom I would take you to see your brother tomorrow or whoever want see parson... help me making our Dinner now? To do this have to be nice tone of your voice.... I know it is not easy to dealt with, Please take care of yourself and you are doing best you could!
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I play 'make believe' with my mom every single day. It is just her and I in the house and she will ask me before I enter a room..."Is that man still in there?"
I tell her "No he's left for the day". She says Ok and goes on about her business.
My mom sets a dinner table with 4 settings for her and the 3 kids...sometimes she puts food on the plates...sometimes she doesn't. I don't say a word...eventually she will either put them in the refrigerator or in the trash.
She asks me where the baby is...and I tell her the nanny has it or it's sleeping.
She calls my brother 'dad'.
She asks me how my mother is doing. I tell her she should call her sometime...she'd love to hear from her.
She calls the cat a dog too...who cares?
Really...is it that important to make someone with dementia feel bad because they have an altered reality? Why?
I NEVER tell my mother that her brain is messed up or playing tricks on her...in her mind...these things are VERY real.
I want my mom's dignity intact...I want her to live out the rest of her days in peace...and I'm just fine with having pleasant conversation about whatever she wants to talk about...it's acting for me and reality for her...and I love her and she loves me (no matter who I might be on any given day).
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Such is dementia.

Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't. ;)

Good luck, Jules!!
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I've asked which kids she is asking about and she can never say. I have told her before that it's a school day; sometimes that works, sometimes it inflames her.
I appreciate all of your helpful ideas!
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It is really hard to know how to deal with dementia. And what is a good response one time might backfired another time.

Have you asked, "Which kids are you wondering about?" That may give you a clue to how to respond if you recognize the names. "They have gym after school on Mondays," or "they went to the library to finish their homework" or "they went home to eat dinner." Come up with something plausible for the particular kids she is thinking of.

Similarly, if you can catch any clue as to what time period your mom is occupying at the moment, come up with something plausible about her brothers. If she is thinking of them as little children saying "They are at work," would be upsetting, as would referring to their wives. I've used an redirect approach ... "You and your brother really have been good friends, haven't you? What was the silliest prank you ever did on each other?"

Do your best. Don't beat yourself up for "wrong" answers. Mom may sense that there is something inherently wrong with her question but not know why, and she might not be satisfied with any answer.
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Give her the answer that placates her. They went to a movie. They went fishing, they are on vacation. Try to avoid arguments.
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What would happen if you said, "Oh, they're staying overnight at a friend's house." Her brothers? "I'm not sure, I think they're coming to visit tomorrow though."

If you can't tell her the truth, and you can't lie because it doesn't help? You're stuck.

I've had some success telling mom, when she comes out with something outlandish, that her brain is tricking her. Not always, though.
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