My husband just got up from a nap looking for his father. (He passed away 41 years ago.). He asked where he was, I said he is in heaven, did he die? Did I do wrong, he is very distraught and I come upon things like this and I don't know what is the right thing to do! Can someone shed some light right now so I can comfort him? Thank you

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I joined my mother for a beading activity at her nursing home. As soon as she saw me she said, "When are they coming back?"
"Who do you mean, Ma?"
"Your Dad. He is fishing with buddies. I don't know when when they are coming home."
"I haven't heard when they'll be back, either. But I sure hope they bring a lot of fish! I sure used to like the little sunnies you'd fry up for us, with your homemade tarter sauce!"

Soon other ladies were chiming in about their favorite way to prepare fish, etc.

Telling Mom that Dad was never coming back because he died 12 years ago would have served no purpose whatsoever, except to disturb her greatly.

But don't be hard on yourself. Dealing with dementia delusions is not exactly something we learned in high school, right? It is great that you are reaching out for help in this very challenging situation. Next time you can get into your husband's reality for a few minutes, and then distract him with another topic or snack, etc.
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Yes, we call it therapeutic lying. Dad is at a meeting (church, fraternal org., work whatever.) Stating what we know is true to someone with dementia causes them to relive the loss --- over and OVER. I used to tell my Mom that her brothers were at a soccer game. Again?? --  she would ask as it was their passion! : - ))
For the moment, try to distract him for now. A favorite snack or a walk or a TV show or music? Anything to get him off the loop of the lost parent. The positive side of dementia? He will eventually forget this conversation and the next time you can try the story telling.

You might want to check out the alzheimer's organization's website for additional suggestions  --
alz dot org
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