Follow
Share

Mom has dementia and is in nursing home. My sister Joann passed away at age 48 and we were weren't sure if we should tell her about it. Sister's husband Anthony finally told mom that Joann died and was cremated. Mom cried about it then asked if she could see her now. She didn't understand that this happened several months ago. Yesterday she asked if we had talked to Joann lately because she had a dream that Anthony told her Joann died and was cremated. Should we re-confirm that Joann is gone or just let it go. Its just heartbreaking for us.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
My Mom is always asking where my father is, when is he coming to get her, etc. After telling her he died 5 years ago and upsetting her every time, I have taken up to telling her he's gone on a big fishing trip over to his favorite coastal town and that he will be back in a few days. Seems to work. Plus she doesn't cry. She won't remember the answer for 3 minutes anyway, why upset her? Come up with a likely story for why the relative is MIA and tell her that. By telling the truth, you are intentionally hurting her, for no gain because she won't remember what you said; it just makes her sad in the moment.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

You could say it in a calmer way, such as "Mary" went away for a while." Hopefully, since she has dementia, she won't remember to ask when "Mary" is returning.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thanks to all for your answers/comments to my question. I guess there really is no definitive answer - at least an easy one. But it is comforting to know that I am not alone in this journey and that every day hundreds of us are facing these types of issues with our aging parents. Hugs to all.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Firstly I'm sorry for your loss. I have no experience of this and am reluctant to advise you. I would only say something if she asks you directly and then just be very matter of fact if you can manage it, then change the subject. If you think you're going to get upset, then just say she's gone on a long trip and you don't know when she'll be back.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I'm not sure my dad kept remembering that my mom had passed away; know he started calling me her and I just let it go, though at the end, as they often do, he seemed to know again in the sense of wanting to go to her
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Very difficult question, and a judgment call. My dad died last August 23rd and mom saw his body laid out and attended the memorial service, including arrangements. The reality of his death drifts in and out, and she will repeatedly ask for confirmation. For her, because finances are a key issue in his death, she has a strong need to know. I feel that she becomes more anxious and upset in that surreal world of hallucination and memory loss. She is still trying to hang on to reality no matter how painful.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I would say, "mum, if you'd moved into a nursing home much sooner, this would not have happened". Sad but true, demented parents often outlive the child who is caring for them. I personally know of cases where that has happened.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mom asked about her brother who passed away years ago. And then would be upset when I told her he died; and become anxious. So when she talked about him, I'd just let her and when she asked if I'd seen him, I'd just say "no I haven't and I haven't heard from him"; lets go get an ice cream... and then she'd move on to another topic. I felt it was better to avoid the upset and not make her sad.

Depends on how bad the dementia is. If it is hurtful to you still, then by all means, don't tell her she died. You can always do so once you are up to it later and it doesn't matter anyway unless she is begging to see your sister and that makes her anxious.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

The truth! If she finds out later that you didn't tell her, she could, quite likely, be upset.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

She should be told. Over and over, if necessary. She deserves to know and to be allowed to grieve in her own way.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I think the person should be told that a loved one has died, once. I read somewhere where telling them over and over may upset them and they greave all over again. Now I know some that just say OK when reminded. It all depends on the person your dealing with how they respond.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I had to tell her many times over and over since Geri's death ... It's been a rough rough 2 years
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

We had to tell my mom with dementia my sister Geri died August 10 2013 it was a sudden death and it was a shock on all of us .. Mom cried
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

There really isn't a clear cut answer, is there? I feel like mom deserves to know what is going on and some things I have read about dementia is that at the end of the day people still want to have dignity and respect to hang onto. But at the end of the day "you don't know what you don't know." Its just such a sad place to be and we all want what is best for her. Thanks to all for your comments.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I've often wondered about this question regarding my Dad with dementia. If my Mom goes first, at his current stage I would have to tell him. But from then on I would avoid answering, divert his attention if possible, and only adress it if really pressed.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I'd say in the case of Our Elder's, especially Your Mom Who' suffers from dementia, and Is in a Care Home, It's best not to tell. I would only choose to tell the good news, and create happy memories. Your Mom does not kneed to hear the bad stuff.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I would have reconfirmed it in the instance you describe here. When I reconfirmed it, I'd add, "Momma, we told you about it when it happened. You've just forgotten. It was months ago." I wouldn't bring it up. If she asked about her in a matter-of-fact way, I'd try just say she was busy and doing great.

That's me . . . And I would tweak my behavior as I needed to depending on mom's response...the objective being to cause her the least pain as possible.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter