How can we help when my mother in law is scared because she doesn't know the man (her husband) living with her?

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My mother in law's memory has gotten worse in the past few months to the point that she sometimes does not remember her husband. This scares her. In these instances she does still remember my husband and our phone number. We are grateful when she does this as it gives us a chance to reassure her and even get in the car and come over. Fortunately my father in law is still very sharp but it is painful for him to go through this. He adores her and would do anything for her but feels helpless during these times.

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He has to realize she is unable to change her thought/memories. It may be time for them to have separate beds, he can reassure her that he's looking out for her until her husband comes home. Contact your local Alzheimer's association for dementia education and tips on dealing with dementia behaviors.
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What a horrible situation for both of them!

I can't think of a thing that would help. God bless you all.
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So sad. Grandpa would wake up and not know who was in the bed with him and call us panicking. Granny and him had been married 60 years and he couldn't recognize her. Now mom has the same cruel disease.
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She will need medication for now to keep her from becoming violent. Please watch over dad, this situation can jeopardize his health. As an in-law you must tread very lightly and let them come to a difficult decision on their own.
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Dementia is such a cruel disease. It just flattens anyone in it's path. Not only does your mom become frightened that there's a strange man in her house but then she has to be told that the strange man is her husband of many years and that they built a life together. I don't know which is worse: the strange man or being told that I've forgotten 30 years of my life.

Maybe your father-in-law would benefit from a community like this one online? Does he use a computer?

Does your FIL keep photos at the ready to remind his wife of who he is? Showing her pictures of her family may help calm her. I would suggest pictures that span over years. Some from when they were younger, some when they had a young family, some when the kids were grown, and some with grandchildren. This may help calm her and help her remember at the same time. Until the next time.
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