My mother thinks that her mother is alive, but she isn't. Should I play along and allow her to think what she wants or should I correct her? - AgingCare.com

My mother thinks that her mother is alive, but she isn't. Should I play along and allow her to think what she wants or should I correct her?

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I've put this off for so long but I'm at the point I need some direction. I've read various posts and have gotten some interesting ideas, but I have some questions I can't seem to find answers to. To begin with, I have some questions about how to respond to someone if they don't remember something right, etc. If your mother thinks her mother is still alive but isn't, do you play along and allow her to think what she thinks or do you correct her? What if she thinks she can walk out the door and try and find her? My grandmother lived in Scotland, and died before I even met her, but something is making my mom think she's down the road. She's walked out of the house several times and is eventually going to get lost. What about if she thinks that someone in the family is taking her things and stealing from her? It's so hard not to get angry and hurt and try to convince her how unreasonable she's being, and to defend the kids, whom she's blaming, when she's hiding her things and then can't remember where she put them. Thanks for any leading direction on this issue.

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I can totally empathise with you as I have this problem several times a day, every day. I posed the question here several weeks ago and got some warm resposes to overall general care and coping but no one actually addressed this issue. To date I usually take the honest approach and deal with her reactions, which range from crying to anger to loss and many more. On occasion I deflect, but oddly enough this is one topic that once in her head she can rarely let go of. I wish I knew what professionsals advise but I am faily certain it is a matter of what one is comfortable with in the moment. I wish you luck in finding what works for you and am anxious to see what others say as well.
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Correcting or playing along won't work, if she wants to see her mom, have the family photos handy You might take selected ones out of the albums, and engage her in talking about them - let her hold them and decide what order to put them in.

As far as being confused and thinking someone is taking her things, put your own emotions aside & find out what it is she is looking for and why - - if you start into a cycle of defending the kids, you will deprive everyone including yourself of finding a way around the problems. Get her a big box, usually you can find pretty ones covered in fabric at this time of the year - let the kids help her. Realize that it must be terrifying having things 'disappear' due to faulty memory. It is not easy to let go of first reactions, or your own feelings you will be happier if you can step away from your feelings and just deal with her reality as her reality - she will probably be a bit happier too.

Strife and disagreements are like sand in machinery - eventually everything grinds to a halt and nobody is happy. Be kind to yourself by letting go and trying new ways of relating to her. You sound as if you are a very caring person, I know how hard it is. I hope some of this helps, you may have to experiment but with a bit of luck hopefully you will find ways to make it easier for all while you care for her.
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