How do you respond considerately when your mom's dementia progresses to babbling about nonsensical things and imaginary visitors and suitors? - AgingCare.com

How do you respond considerately when your mom's dementia progresses to babbling about nonsensical things and imaginary visitors and suitors?

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I've been posting for a while, Mom is 94 with progressing dementia and chronic congestive heart failure. She is now on hospice, not be cause of imminent death but because she is failing and she isn't going to get better. I got used to the short term memory deficit and learned how to compensate with her for it - then started the long term memory deficit. She is now progressing babbling about nonsensical things, staring at the ceiling and talking to people and talking about imaginery suitors (who by the way have lots of money :)). She offered to find me some too - no sweat! Ok, I can play along, but it is getting harder to know how to answer her or deal with this phase. I Know that it is affecting me emotionally since it is getting harder and harder to connect with her and often she doesn't understand what I am saying to her. When I need to get through to her for practical reasons, she babbles on about other things. It is disconcerting. I understand it is the progression of the disease (and she is sweet), but sometimes I get tired and don't hve the patience to deal with it or even know what to say to her. I know it is her reality, though it is not reality. All the thoughtful posts on everyone's experiences have been helpful over this past year. Guess I need to hear from the rest of us in the same boat or who have been there. Peace and prayers for all!.

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Your mom isn't in this world anymore so to be with her you have to go into her world. You won't be able to keep up with her or follow her train of thought but that's okay. Just jump from one thought to the next with her. If she's telling a story and then stops in the middle to comment about something totally unrelated go with her. Like GardenArtist said, don't challenge her or try to correct her, just be with her wherever she is. She's not expecting you to keep up your end of the conversation so you can say anything like, "I don't know" or "that's nice" or anything else noncommittal.

And it works both ways. If you want to tell her about something funny that happened or you have some news about a family member just tell her as you would anyone else, but again, she's not in your world so don't expect an appropriate response or any response at all. You don't need to try to reorient her to explain who or what you're talking about. This is a lesson in futility. And by the time you get her reoriented and tell your story she'll be confused again so just talk.
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Pretend you're both actresses in a play and act out some fictitious scenarios in response to her questions/statements. The most important thing not to do is challenge or correct her.
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Touch can be a way of connecting when words don't work.
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trying2doitright, my mother does nonsensical talking sometimes. I just listen. Silence can be a good answer, maybe with an occasional question thrown in. It is wearing, so I know how you're feeling. Often I figure out something that is important for me to do, like taking something out to thaw for dinner -- whatever is right for the moment. That puts a break in a conversation, whether it be confusing or negative in any way. It is a non-confrontational way to distract the conversation.
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