Follow
Share

My mother-in-law has been dead for 40 years; my father-in-law dead for 20 years. I took him to the cemetery to show him and he grieved all over again. Then, three days later he asked the same question.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
sandwich42plus One of the cutest/sweetest things mom did in the hospital before us & hospice took her home was she grabbed the bottom hem of her hospital gown & said "I'm 7" Then she giggled. THEN she asked for a kitten. I told her we'ed have to ask Debra!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Somebody needs to start handing out "Caregiver Therapeutic Lying" hall pass. "This card gives the caregiver complete freedom to say anything necessary to make the patient feel safe."

My mom has bee asking if her parents are OK. They've been dead 25 years or more. I just say whatever it is she needs to hear to stay calm and feel loved.
The factually precise info does not matter. Being kind is everything.

I tell mom they are busy on the farm but said they love her very much and to do what the doctors say. This seems to make mom pleased (as she is able to be).
She doesn't question the farm work because that is what they did in life.
Or that grandad had to go to town to get a tire fixed or go to an auction. Or Grandma had to go to her sister's house and get some tomatoes. Whatever might probably be true if they were still here.

She asked me last time if they still live in the tree. I said "Oh - I don't know about that. Can you remind me?" The story was the farmhouse burned to the ground, a tree had fallen over it, and they decided to live in the tree on the burn site. That is 100% imaginary. So I told her that no, the house was rebuilt and they do not need to live in the tree. Everything is right back to normal. That seemed to go over OK.

The funny thing is that she almost never asks about my dad who died in 1986. They were married for 29 years and it's like that is all gone now. I don't bring it up or quiz her. I just find that interesting.

I heard that as people decline with dementia, they can start to go back in time and believe they are a child again. This would make sense with my mom and her interest in where her parents are. She told a nurse recently that she had been living in the nursing home since she was 3 years old and that her grandfather was paying for it.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Mom would say "Where's Daddy" or Where did Daddy go?" Our response would usually be something like "He went to the store. Remember he asked if you wanted to go and you said no?" She would say oh or shrug her shoulders or something. She would ask for her aunt, meaning my sister & we would just go with it. I had to determine each day if she knew I was her daughter or the Hey lady she would call for. If she thought I was the care giver & I called her Mom it would absolutely terrify her. It was hard at first lying to her but the responses from her were much calmer. You just have to find what works in your situation.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

My Mom sometimes thinks some people are still with us but they aren't. So far, I have been able to just be in conversation with her while she starts to come to the realization herself e.g. she'll say "they're all gone, aren't they?" and I say yes they are. So far, I have not had to go along with her misconception, but I do know that's the thing to do if you absolutely have to. Right now, I will sort of coax her, e.g. "well, no", pause pause- give her time, like someone waking up from a nap and they are shaking off a dream. When she asks questions, she's already working on getting her bearings. It's still sad though- just the fact that so many people are gone, including the sister she talked to daily for a number of years. She's part of the send-off committee, and she'll be greeted by the welcoming committee some day.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mother sometimes knows my husband has died, and sometimes forgets that. She is in a NH and has dementia. If she brings my husband up I at least know she recognizes which one of her daughters I am. If I think she is particularly alert I might say, "Yes, he really did like that! But you and I are both widows now." That happens less and less often. Mostly when she says "I suppose you have to go home and cook for Coy now," I just say, "Yes, I have to make supper."

When she forgets that my father is dead, then I definitely don't inform her. No point in causing more distress.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Thanks so much! My husband was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment but it seems to have progressed. I realize now by consistently telling him they're dead, it causes him grief and stress. I will heed your advice. I guess I was trying to bring him into reality--when, of course, he's beyond that now.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Nsmith, your profile doesn't say if your husband has Alzheimer's/Dementia, but if he does, that is very common for a person with such memory issues to ask for their parents.

From what I have read on these forums the best approach is like what Patrice had said above, tell your husband that his parents out of town or that they aren't home right now... you will find a little while later your husband would have forgotten that he had asked to visit his parents.

As you had noticed that your husband had grieved all over again when you took him to the cemetery, so it is best not to even mention again that either parent had passed away, or he will grieve each time you say something. I know it's hard not to say otherwise.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

If he gets upsets and grieves all over would it be possible for you to say they are out of town visiting someone? Maybe showing him pictures would help. This is a hard one, there is no right or wrong answer just what works for you.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.