My elderly friend sent her demented companion back to her childhood home in another country where her relatives could care for her. The companion often asks when she can return to the U.S. This is not possible because there is no one here who can care for her. When her U.S. friends send her emails, that triggers her to beg to come back. Is it better for them not to write so that she won't be reminded of her loss?

Diana, regarding dementia and "going home". Your dear friend thought by sending her companion back to the companion's childhood home would work. Sadly the companion is probably wondering where are her parents, her siblings [if she had any], and her childhood friends. And her room at home isn't the same as when she was a child.

I remember my Mom wanting to "go home". It took me a bit of a while to realize that Mom was talking about the home she grew up in. I had to start using "therapeutic fibs" when she asked to see her parents, and her siblings. Mom was 98 at the time. The fibs always worked because half hour later Mom would forget she had asked about her immediate family.

Have her U.S. friend keep writing as eventually her companion will forget who she is :( And tell your U.S. friend about helpful "therapeutic fibs". She can always tell her companion that the house is being remodeled and it's a mess right now.... that there was a water pipe burst, water everywhere, etc.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to freqflyer
Diana5230 May 25, 2019
I think sending her back to Indonesia was the best possible solution because she has her sister and her aunt to care for her in her childhood home. She didn't have a lot of close friends in NY (she was something of a loner). Without relatives to care for her, she would have had to go into a nursing home--much more expensive and less comfortable. She just underestimates her abilities and wishes to continue her life without assistance which is not possible. I have found out that she does play her favorite sport, ping pong, which she enjoys quite a bit. But thank you for the distraction and "therapeutic fibs" advice!
No, it's better that they send her lots of interesting and engaging news and her relatives ask her lots of questions about the wonderful time she had in the US.

For the begging to come back issue, the relatives can also use indefinite delaying tactics - we'll have to see what the doctors say, perhaps when your leg/eye/hip replacement is better - and distraction techniques - Niece is bringing her babies to see you this weekend.

What is the other country? Is it Anglophone or are there also language issues? Is there a very marked difference in living standards?
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Countrymouse
Diana5230 May 24, 2019
From what I understand, the demented lady is mildly depressed and somewhat resigned to her present situation. She doesn't seem to think much about her life in the U.S. She also seems to think that she can live alone and handle all of her financial and household affairs without assistance. She was proudly independent most of her life.
I think that distraction would work.
However, I fear that asking lots of questions would confuse her and end up making her more distressed as she starts yearning for her previous life. Her relatives feel quite sorry for her. She did like sports. I wonder if she could participate where she is (in Southeast Asia).

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