My Mom recently passed away and my Dad doesn't remember and is constantly asking for her. Any advice?

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My Mom and Dad have been living with me for two years. My dad is still with me and constantly asks for "that woman" I ask if he means his wife Palmie and he says yes. I told him what happened and he cries. He did attend her wake and funeral but does not remember. He is constantly asking for her. He will something happened and again I will tell him and he cries as if it is the first time I tell him. I don't know what to day it is so upsetting for him and for myself. Any advise. I do believe he knows something is wrong but forgets what. His dementia has progressed a great deal since my mom passed in February. He is 94yrs old.

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Hi Lou,
I'm so sorry. This is one of the worst things to deal with. In a nutshell, I recommend that people tell the spouse one time about the death and if possible take him or her to the funeral (you did this already). After that, as is said above, make something up and go for distraction. You may want to read this article:

https://www.agingcare.com/articles/telling-someone-with-dementia-their-spouse-died-133806.htm

Take care,
Carol
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I agree with Jessie,
Just make something up. When my mom kept looking for my dad I just told her that he was at work, at the store, etc. I do the same thing when she asks about going to see her parents (I tell her that they are on vacation). It's so much better than seeing them cry all over again.
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For those of us who were taught not to lie, this is a hard thing to do, but remember his reality is different from yours. It's ok to tell him things like "She's gone to the store", or is" visiting relatives", because the chances are, he will forget what you told him anyway. This way he won't grieve for her over and over.
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I go through this every day with my mother, at first I felt uncomfortable like I was lying, but as I have been now two years at this I realize it is what it is like so many other things with her alzheimers. I don't try to understand, figure out, rationalize, make sense of anything anymore, I just go with the flow and have learned distraction works best. I just tell mom dad is resting. It is best to just allay fears and make the person comfortable, they forget and ask again, this is part of the disease and like anything else in life you learn how to roll with it.
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My mother also asks about her mother who died at age 93 in 1976. What I do is send my grandmother on various trips. She is currently in Hot Springs, AK with her sister-in-law. Sometimes she goes to Colorado with my Aunt and Uncle (also deceased.) What I do is take family stories from the past and that becomes a credible explanation to my mother. I even quote my grandmother, "Land sakes, your aunt was in such a hurry to leave on this trip, I clean forgot to tell your mother!" This is very comforting to my mother and keeps her happy.

JulesInCA,
As far as getting your mom to the doc, yes, she does need medication for anxiety. What I suggest is you make the appointment but don't tell your mom and ahead of time fax in a letter explaining what is going on with her and detailing the symptoms you have observed. Then on the day of the appointment, tell your mom YOU have a doctors appointment and need her to come along for moral support. Be sure to give another copy of the letter to the receptionist when your mom doesn't know what you are doing (usually easy to do that with mom seated in the waiting room and you signing in at the window.)

You are now to the point where you are going to have to begin parenting your parent. This is a difficult transition, but you CAN do it. I want to recommend a book that I believe will help you:

"Elder Rage...or Take My Father, Please. How to survive caring for aging parents"
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The best answer could be: "she is resting..." - you are not feeling guilty lying...
But, if he is asking for explanation of how she is resting, you should choose if you want him to suffer (tell the truth!) or you want him just to calm down and move on (keep saying something comforting!)
Remember that sometimes truth can hurt. It might make your dad to go through "delirium" which should be avoided in his condition.
So, vacation, shopping, napping.... anything he will be OK with!
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Lou, I am so sorry to read about your mother. I know you miss her a lot and it probably hurts you to have to tell your father again. ((((Hugs)))) Each of us have to feel our way through what is best for our parent. Perhaps you could tell him that she has gone shopping or on a trip, instead of telling the truth. The small lies might feel bad to us, but they can be the kindest way to answer. It is too sad to see them have to start the grief over again each time. If the fibbing bothers you, you can think that you mother is indeed shopping or on a trip on the other side.
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This can be heartbreaking, and happens over and over for all. My mother who is down well into the dementia problems left a great example for me to follow. She would tell my grandma when she called out for grandpa or asked mom to get him or where is he, That he was out putting the team of horses away, or bringing in wood, or helping the boys with chores. It usually satisfied her, but she reacted the same if mom said "mom, he died 19 years ago.". She would say "and you didn't tell me?". My mother spoke of a niece with advanced Alzheimer's the other day and commented "it's the most heartbreaking disease there is". Well, for those who have it are are dealing with family members with it it certainly is!
God bless you and I saw other very good ideas on here, perhaps some will help you.
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My mother has dementia also and will ask for my father or where is he. I used to tell her that he passed away 17 years ago, now I say he is at work. When she mentions that she has not heard from one of her friends (that also have died) I tell her that I will call them when I get home to see what they have been up to. My mother realizes that something is different with her thinking process and we just tell her that she has a memory problem and that her Dr. is trying to figure out why. No use in long explanations dementia patients can not comprehend a whole lot anyways. Long as you provide safe and loving care for your father just try to distract, change the subject or tell him that she is out running errands. It is hard to watch our parents get like this, we all get by doing the best we can.
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We've experienced a similar situation with a friend from our church. The couple moved into assisted living. People would go to visit but the wife always said that he was "out" or sleeping, or at a meeting. By the time all the friends figured it out, he had passed away and few had gotten to actually see him. At the funeral it was clear that the wife was in a dire mental state as she wasn't sure why she was at the memorial. Now, people go to visit her but she doesn't know them. The staff at the AL are experienced in this and if she asks for her husband they tell her he is taking a nap, or playing cards, or went to the day room to watch a movie. That settles her down and they know that she doesn't remember anything long enough to think to go and look for him. You are not lying - a purposeful distortion of the truth to someone who has a right to know. You are providing safe mental care for an elderly loved one who is no longer fully in touch with day to day reality and you are lovingly providing a safe mental and physical location.
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