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Memory care facility says, say no and change subject. My mom has dementia ... not Alzheimer's, but still about a 5.5 out of 7. Daddy died February 2014, while she was in the mid stage of about 3-3.5. It was terrible on her, because she would ask every few minutes where he was, and then someone would tell her he died, and her grief was immeasurable.

I tried caring for her in her own home, but it was impossible. His death sent her into a spiral into the next level of 4.5-5. We made the decision to move her to a wonderful memory care facility. That was the first place we heard of the new thinking: Let her be happy in her own reality. For the most part, her children honor that. We tell her he's on a trip, or at the bank, or shopping, and she is perfectly happy.

One of my siblings, however, never seems to want to give her that comfort. If my mom asks, where is your father? and maybe continues, he's dead, right? that particular sibling will agree and continue the conversation about his death, etc. She thinks it calms our mother, but then she leaves and our mother is left to her fractured thoughts, and it ends up agitating her or putting her in a state of panic and anxiety. What should be do?

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Oh, and another great suggestion I've seen is to tell you about the person she's asking for. Also to look at photo albums or pictures of them. If t your mom starts yelling for someone when corrected then she is likely telling you how much that "truth" hurt her, so try to play along or divert attention to another subject or reminiscing.
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Ann, I am with Sunnygirl1 on this one. Dee1963, maybe try looking at mom's repeated questions and seeking certain people from the perspective of what she may be wanting from interacting with them. Maybe ask her what she wants to tell them or do when she sees them. Just a thought from my reading. Can anyone with expertise in handling this give me an example? My mom also does this.
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AnnChristian, I'm not sure I could buy that my sister is really considering mom's feelings if she continued to go against what you, other siblings and the facility agree is best. I can't imagine what teaching she received in nursing that said you could reason with brain damage. It's absurd. I know you don't want to cause a rift in the family, but if I had POA, I'd have to insist that sister visit with other siblings only and that they and not sister respond to mom about dad's death.

She's acting irresponsibly, IMO. Who could put their mom through repeated anxiety spells over something mom can't control. The repeated questions by mom are likely because she doesn't remember previous responses. So every new announcement of dad's death is like it's the first time. I can't imagine anything more cruel. I would do anything in my power to make sister Cease and Desist her responses.
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My Mom keeps asking for her folks, who passed away 15 and 30 years ago, and sometimes asks for my brother who died 2 years ago. I say they're no home, or they're out or something. Sometimes she won't believe me and she'll start yelling for her mom or dad, and I'll repeat they're not there but I can help her with whatever she needs. But she knows deep down, so then she'll get this look on her face and say they're gone, aren't they? It's like a fresh sting every time you have to tell her they're gone. She gets real quiet and sad then. It's heartbreaking.
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It is a tough call. She may or may not "know" anything deep down, or remember any given answer from day to day. If she is high enough functioning cognitively and would tend to realize that if he is not there it either means he has died or has abandoned her, it would be less painful to know that he has died. But if not, your way makes as much sense if not more because otherwise she is going to hear about his death as if it was a new event every time she asks.

It seems possible that Sis, though a nurse, is not being all that realistic about Mom's dementia and might benefit from some updated dementia education, maybe the Teepa Snow thing or maybe just anything offered for nurses in your area, which hopefully she could attend even if she let her license non-renew. And just because she was in the healthcare biz, like I am, it doesn't exempt her form the sadness and the need for emotional support with parents aging, declining and dying.

My mom had vascular and my dad vascular/frontotemporal dementia. Mom decided for not very good reasons of her own she did not want to see him any more. He still cared a lot about her though. I would bring pictures back and forth and told Dad mom was not entirely well but was working on getting better and more mobile in therapy, implying that's why she was not able to visit. I did some therapeutic withholding of information with as little actual lying or fibbing as possible, as that seemed best to me - it kept hope alive and maybe a better quality of life...I'll never really know if it was "right" or if more disclosure would have been better.
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The issue is, she will always ask, there is a void, she knows it, and deep down, she knows the answer. Tell her you love her, and dad loves her too...this is hard. Take care....
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Well, that does make some sense, don't you think? She was taught how to do this and she wants to follow her teachings. Personally, I agree with the newer approach, but your sister is not an evil person to disagree. If you can find an article that explains the new approach well and perhaps refers to some respected experts, share it with Sis.

I guess I'd be glad that most of the family and the staff agree on how to keep Mom happy.
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Actually, this sister disagrees with the "let her be happy in her own world" concept. She was a nurse up until she let her license go about two years ago. What she was taught is how she believes it should be.
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Does this sister simply disagree with the "let her be happy in her own world" approach, or doesn't she understand it? If it is lack of understanding, then working on her education might improve things.

If family members simply have different ideas about what is the right thing to do, I don't know any way you can force them to do things your way.

I hope that your sister is open to new information and this can be resolved to your mother's benefit.
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I would agree with her whether she thinks he is dead or alive, but then I would redirect the conversation to happier thoughts. Ask your sister to read some books or watch some videos about dementia on you tube.
You can also ask the MD for a PRN med for anxiety events.
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