She doesn't remember that she lives with us. Should we just stop trying to remind her? - AgingCare.com

She doesn't remember that she lives with us. Should we just stop trying to remind her?

Follow
Share

My husband's mother moved in with us Nov. 2016- more than a year and a half ago. She has dementia and NO short-term memory. To this day she still thinks that she's visiting. When we tell her that she lives with us she is accepting of it. She says since she doesn't want to live alone, she would rather live here than with her daughter or other son. After that there are constant questions about her house (sold last year) and where her stuff is (in storage here in town). She won't remember that she has drawers full of clothes and at least 9 pairs of shoes here. Should we just stop trying to remind her? What about when she says that she can't go somewhere because she didn't bring the proper clothing? Or when she asks if she brought her dog to our house? I'm getting really tired of correcting her, and I understand that I'm not really supposed to so things will be easier on everyone, but this seems like a no-win situation. Any suggestions?

6

Answers

Show:
I would tell her whatever you think she can handle at the moment.
im honest about some things with my mom, but even after im honest, she will get it mixed up.
a good lady friend of my moms at the assisted living passed away on 7/4. my mom has been eating meals with her since 2011. my mom has been asking me what happened to her and I have told her the truth, that she passed away. my mom seemed to accept that. I think shes going to stop asking about it soon. :/
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to wally003
Report

Thanks, everyone for your responses. I guess my main problem with this whole thing is the repetitiveness. I should be used to it by now. I'll try everything that has been suggested.

BTW, her dog is very much alive and lives with us, too. Most of the time she remembers that her dog is here. (She is completely obsessed with her and usually just wonders where she is if she isn't in her line of sight. I get to hear "Where's Robin?" about 72 times a day.)

Occasionally she will ask direct questions like if she sold her house. Should I be upfront with her then? I feel like she unconsciously knows. Like it's in there somewhere but isn't accessible. The analogy that my husband made was a road blocked by a fallen tree.

I'm glad I found this site. This disease isn't easy to deal with, but it's nice to know that there are others going through the same thing who can help. Thanks, again.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Stelas
Report

bicycler is absolutely right. You don't have to correct her and it's s a waste of time to anyway as you've discovered.

Divert her attention. When she begins to ask the same question jump in there with something else like, "I just got the most beautiful cantaloupes from the grocery. How about a slice or two?" Or any number of a thousand other diversions you can come up with. Start thinking some up in your mind now so you'll have them on deck when you need them.

When she frets about the proper clothing take an outfit out for her. When she wonders where her dog is (did he die? or was he given away when she moved?) remind her that her neighbor is watching the dog for now (if the dog died).

Changing the subject and diversion can be exhausting but trying to reason with someone who has dementia is an exercise in futility.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Eyerishlass
Report

My mother doesn't have dementia but she does have short term memory problems. She would have some of the same kind of questions when she stayed with her sister when I needed to travel. I started writing Mom a note - "You are staying with your sister for three days while I travel to ______. I will be back on _____ around _____ to pick you up. Your suitcase has your clothes, shoes, medicine box, purse, and a bag of your vanity stuff."

If your MIL is still reading, you might want to try a similar note with information about MIL's move to your home, where her things are now, etc.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to TNtechie
Report

when I would visit my dad in assisted living. I think he thought he was in a motel at the beach. and he would be surprised I drove all that way to see him on vacation.

when it would get a little dark outside. he would tell me. "shouldn't you be going soon, you have a long way to drive home."

after awhile you feel like you could write a book about all the way-out things they can come up with.

if you can just agree, with whatever they say

otherwise you wear yourself out talking in circles.
and I know, constant questions with my mom(in AL)...I know ...oh how I know :(


edit. about stopping reminding her, you can say anything you want. anything that will keep the peace. whatever works for YOU. white lies accepted.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to wally003
Report

Stelas, kudos to you and your husband for becoming his mother's caregiver -- you've already learned how hard that job is (i.e. equivalent to 4.5 full-time jobs). And you've already answered your own question when you said:  "I'm getting really tired of correcting her, and  understand that I'm not really supposed to so things will be easier on everyone."  Yes, absolutely things will be easier on everyone, including your MIL, when you stop correcting her.  Late-stage dementia victims live in their own realities and no amount of "correcting" will cure their brain disease and, in fact, attempts to correct mostly causes unhealthy stress and frustration, both for the corrector and the correctee.

When my 96-year-old dad tells people I'm his dad, I go along with it.  When he says his wife was just here and asks where she went, I tell him she went shopping and she'll be back soon (my mom died 8 years ago).  When he says he wants to go home (to his childhood home where he last lived in 1940), I tell him it's too late tonight, so get a good nights sleep and we'll leave right after breakfast and his reply is always something like "Okay, that sounds good."  I've found that accepting my dad's "realities" and using theraputic fibs to make things smoother help keep him content and me less frustrated. Best wishes.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to bicycler
Report

Related
Questions