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I keep telling her they have their own houses and are grown but then 10 minutes later she is looking for them again.

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My 101 1/2 year old mom is suffering from delirium after a UTI. At first all her crazy talk was driving me crazy. Then I realized she is living currently in her own made up world. Now I just go along with her. If she asks where someone is I just make something up, like at the store or gone to work. Once you realize their brain cannot function like a normal brain it makes it easier to handle all the nonsense conversation.
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Reply to SueNWPa
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My mom is long gone, but when she was still able to walk and we were out in the wintertime, she kept asking me every two minutes "where is your hat"? Instead of getting angry, I made a game out of it (for my own sanity) and began to come up with different little creative things to say in response. It became challenging to see how many different answers I could come up with during our strolls. You can say to yourself that you're not actually responding, you're just talking out loud and she can hear you. See how creative you can become. My mom used to make up stories about things she'd imagine. I'd create different endings in my mind and see if I could match her endings. It's a serious thing, but you can ease your concerns by helping yourself this way. One thing that was rather difficult though was that over and over again she would ask for her brother who had already passed away. At first, we'd tell her that he died and every time, she would respond as though she was hearing it for the first time. Dreadful reactions. You cannot allow them to suffer that pain over and over again, so you muct find other things to say. Sometimes, even changing the subject even helps. In your case, you can simply tell you mom the children are tending to chores, perhaps even chores she might have assigned them in the past. Hope this helps bot you and Lockett2166.
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Reply to Shardee
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I seem to be a little late in viewing all of these but here is my take on this.  Since she apparently has dementia and won't remember what is being said 10 minutes from when she asked the last time.  Maybe stretch the truth a little and tell her that they had some errands to run and they will be back later.  (do not specify what later means.......it can mean any time).  Let her know that they will get in touch with her as soon as they get back.  Then maybe get her involved at looking some pictures, etc.  it may or may not work, but it might help temporarily.  wishing you luck
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Reply to wolflover451
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Imho, you should kindly state something akin to "they love you so much" that ATTEMPTS (a broken mind may not receive this) to let her know that you both are still talking about the same people. If you are not aware of the book, "The 36 Hour Day," you may want to read it.

CountryMouse: Your response was genius as always.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Here is the answer I just gave someone dealing with a relative with dementia

Just remember: first in last out.
What that means is that folks with Alzheimer or dementia remember their childhood and forget much of anything past that.

Have things around that remind her of her childhood. Sit and listen to stories of her past and ask questions.

It calms her down and makes her feel secure and loved.

I have worked with seniors for years.

A very strong suggestion is to have a name tag with contact information sewed into the back of her shirt. Many times seniors wander and are lost.

A good nurse would look there first for contact information.

Just relax and follow these instructions and you should be okay.
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Reply to Christservant
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I have a general question for those people who keep their elderly at home? How do you keep your sanity and peace in your life with their behavior and constantly asking the same things over and over again? I personally would go insane and explode. I simply could not handle it? And how do you accept you have to watch them 24.7? How do you handle it and not lose it? Please explain.
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Reply to Lockett2166
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chill47 Aug 7, 2020
Think of it this way, it isn't any different than raising your child (except our LO are older). There will be times that they will get on your last nerve and you might raise your voice and scold them, but then reality hits and it reminds you, they are not in control of their disease, the disease is in control. It does take a lot of patience and sacrifice, because your life is no longer the same, everything revolves around your LO needs. I find myself praying constantly and asking for forgiveness when I scold my husband, and ask for the strength to continue this journey. Being a caregiver is not for everyone. We are all human, we get exhausted, frustrated and wish we could fix their broken brains.
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Below is a response from "IsThisReallyReasl". About giving your Mom a baby doll. When I placed my husband in assisted living, and visited him, they had a large "living room' where the patients sat for long hours just staring into space. The facility had several newborn baby dolls, and several women held these babies, cuddled them, dressed them, etc. The ladies looked so comfortable with a baby on their shoulder.
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Reply to JoAnne80
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Best to answer with a short statement like, they are in school. Get into her world. No explanation, she can not comprehend that. Same questions will be asked over and over again. Answer the same each time. I reason with myself it’s like 10 different people walking into the room asking the same question and I answer it the same. That way it helps my sanity. Went through it with my mom years ago and now with my husband. They don’t mean to do it. It is just how their brain is now.
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Reply to Marylepete
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My mother is 75 and have dementia. If she asking for her children it good for her to see her children. Some time if we can't get everybody together at one time we have to be creative and convincing, let her know they are at work and will be over later.  Or call up your sister, brother, niece, nephew or grandchildren and let her talk with them.  But yes the family need to visit as often as they can.
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Reply to GloriaBess
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Like some have said - go into her reality. We learned so much about my MIL earlier life that she never shared with us other wise. Your loved one is also working through possible issues in their past life. (i.e. my MIL always mentioned an Uncle who lived with her as a child then after talking in her reality she never mentioned him again).
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Reply to Jarsting
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Have you tried giving her a life size baby doll to mother?

My granny just adored her baby and spent many contented hours taking care of her baby.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Think of it as a computer glitch that the same thought plays over and over and over in her brain. A comfortable answer will help with her anxiety. Then, try to divert her attention to another subject of something else.
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Reply to Taarna
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I tell her the babies are at my daughters, playing with the dog
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Reply to FloridaDD
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My mother was always hearing a baby cry and would go looking for it. I t was very real to her. I would just tell her I didn't hear a baby crying, but she kept looking. This was day and night. It was that real to her. I have often wondered who the baby was, she never said.
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Reply to Isabelsdaughter
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Go with her.
Follow her lead.
Questions will only make her anxious.
Put some joy into your responses.
Dont let it get to you.
I have been caring for a 92 year old loved one.
Take the moment, look at them with a smile and make something up that will make her smile.
Oh gosh Mom, you know Linda is staying at that silly friend of hers for a sleep over!!!
Never ever correct them.
Doesnt work.
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Reply to beeje7623
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A brief answer, and change the subject. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
It can be more confusing to her when you try to explain the kids are grown and in their own homes. A simple answer like "they'll be back tomorrow" might work. Long, complex answers add to confusion.
I've found sometimes an answer sticks better if written on a paper and given to her, as long as she is still able to read. Answer briefly, write in large letters with a bold pen like a sharpie, and have her hold it.
Distraction might help break that train of thought. Folding a basket of small towels, sorting things like poker chips or coins, or looking at a book or calendar of lovely pictures.
Lastly, a doll, teddy bear or stuffed animal can be a companion and need the care she wants to give.
BEST of luck to you.
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Reply to swanalaka
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She has shirt term memory and can't remember so keeps asking over again. Nothing you can do about it. Just give a shorter answer because you'll be repeating it. You may try putting all the kids pictures in a collage like the size if an 8 × 10 coated in lamanent with a plastic frame, no glass and maybe her being able to look at the picture whenever she wants will help and tell her they are at their home and they will visit or call
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Reply to bevthegreat
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I have learned that therapeutic fibs are very helpful. She cannot remember your last answer, so you can say that her kids are in school and will be back in a few hours. Same question, same response.
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Reply to Worriedspouse
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She frets because her kids are not home yet as if they were coming from school maybe. In her past 4:00 was the time spouses came home from work and children were home from school. This could be a part of sun downing, a difficult time for our elders with dementia. Showing her pictures of her grown children with their own families may help. I made a special memory book for my 91 year old aunt that she really enjoys looking at and remembering who belongs with who.
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Reply to InFamilyService
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Yes exactly - this can be done by asking her questions that encourage her to tell you about them. When she is going through this, who does she think you are? - not to worry if she is still connected with you being her child and whatever age you are, that's quite possible because you're with her in the moment; but the absent ones she may be thinking are on their way home from school, late for dinner, and so on.

Example: she's worried that Joanie isn't home yet. You look at your watch, and say "well, it's ten past four - what time would you expect to see her, usually?"

"She should be home by now."
"Okay, where is she coming from?"
"From school, she really should be home."
"It's Wednesday today - doesn't she sometimes go to clubs?"

Anyway: without lying or contradicting, you aim to develop the conversation so that you can *gradually* bring her back if not to the present day, then at least to a memory that's reassuring, such as that Joanie always has swimming club and stays overnight with a friend mid-week. Meanwhile, you've dished up dinner and now it's time to eat and that will distract her, with a bit of luck.

And, yes, I'm afraid the task is more or less endless. See Teepa Snow for how not to let it drive you to drink.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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It's best to let her reality be yours. If she thinks the kids are still children, tell her they're playing with their friends or at school. Letting her guide the conversation helps keep her from getting upset and to feel more control.
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Reply to MJ1929
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