How do I make my Mom understand that we are not getting another dog? - AgingCare.com

How do I make my Mom understand that we are not getting another dog?

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My elderly Mom with slight dementia lives with me. She has had 2 dogs in that time and both got very ill and had to be put down. The last one had accidents in the house and Mom fed her several times a day because unless I was home she would forget if she had fed her and forget to let her out. I have explained that we are not getting another dog because her memory is slipping and I don't want "accidents" all over my home, and I get my heart broken when we have to put them down. Her last dog just got put down a week ago and all she does is cry and whine because I won't let her have another dog. It is seriously like having a small child. I need suggestions.

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Do you know what type of condition your mom has that is causing the dementia? Of course, no one can predict the rate of progression with this, but, it may be that she does not dwell on the dog issue for long. Sometimes, with with dementia get focused and even obsessed with something and they can't let go. Eventually, it may dissipate though. My cousin was obsessed with her cat to a point that was not healthy. Later, she forgot that she had a cat and never mentions it now. Once she was obsessed with one of the staff members at her facility. She worried about him a lot. She asked where he was a lot. After a few months, she stopped doing that and she never mentions it now. So, I would try to view it as a temporary thing and hopefully, it will pass.
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I agree with your decision, they are TONS of work. Might I suggest a friend who has a dog come visit sometime? It might distract her from wanting one after a bit. Maybe you could take her to a dog park and she can play to her hearts content. Some possible ideas that may distract her from always asking why she can't have a pet. Just a thought :)
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Can she volunteer at an animal shelter?
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I think you are making a wise decision. Dogs require a lot of time and attention and that is in short supply when you are caretaking a person with dementia in your home.

If her memory will allow it, I might have to fib about it. Have you considered that the reason she keeps repeatedly asking about the dog is that she forgets the answer. She may continue to ask, since she has forgotten what you said. So, I might give her some reason the dog hasn't arrived. I know some people might disagree, but, there is never going to be a reason that she will understand and accept, so why not just keep her happy, believing that one day she will get one. Eventually, she will not remember about it. I know that's sad, but, I"m not sure of any other option. Maybe, you'll get others.

You can always get her one of those lifelike dogs that actually moves like it's breathing. It comes with its own little bed and looks very lifelike. They are called Perfect Petzz. You can find them online. They are very cute and worth a try if you think she would accept it. They come in cats and dogs.
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