Follow
Share

Mom has some dementia and a high level of anxiety but also a very keen intuition! Should I tell her of her dear friends passing? Today in a fret Mom told me she felt like something is going to happen and was worried that she won't be able to go...thinking of her Sisters health. Well Mom hasnt been told but the health of another of her dearest friends is at a very critical stage, Mom hasn't accepted the loss of a dear friend who passed last Dec and is still coping with the loss of her oldest child last Nov. Mom wants to be in the know about everything and body and always ask about her family and friends by name. At this junction in life should I tell Mom this type of news or just act like I don't know when she ask me. I dont like deception but I don't want to worry her anymore than she does naturally.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Thanks ild1227, I did the Memorial Ceremony with my Parents when my Sister passed as they were unable to travel for the Services and may? do the same again when another like situation arrises.

@ jeannegibbs, I agree, up close and personal caregiving for someone with dementia can be a life changer! The things I thought I would never be forced to do and deal with stare me in the face every day.
Thank you for replying
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Jeanne: No ALZ. My dad has some vascular dementia due to stroke, but nothing like others go through. Hugs, Cattails
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My condolences. I am sorry for your loss.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

jeannegibbs...to answer your question...I cared for my mother who had early dementia. She passed away in April 2011 from "complications related to dementia".
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I'm just curious, (and not at all critical) -- and maybe those who have answered are no longer following this thread. But here is my little survey, just to satisfy my own curiosity.

Among those who answered, have you personally done caregiving for someone who has dementia?

I know that my own perspectives changed drastically once I was there up close and personal.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

It sounds as though you cannot put too much past her. Can you bring this matter up to her doctor or, perhaps, a counselor who deals with dementia patients. I am at the end of a masters in gerontology and, while every situation is slightly different, I do know that dementia clients tend to have lucid moments. When you know she is experiencing this lucid period, I would think it is best to gingerly tell her that her friend did pass away, and that you were only recently told about it. If her friend lives locally, you might want to plan a trip to the cemetery so she can pay her respects. If she lived in another state, a suggestion would be to do something so she can honor her friend (i.e., a memorial service in a place her friend might have enjoyed, such as a park, beach, lake area, etc., or offer up a mass (if she/he were Christian), or even a simple service in your backyard). This will allow her to honor and mourn the passing of her friend and have closure. Isn't that what final services all about anyway? If her friend was a very positive and happy-go-lucky type person, you could take her to lunch and have a toast in her honor. I think keeping from her will only cause resentment, if she were to find out by someone who my slip in a conversation. This way, you allow her to be in control of the situation. Hope this helps.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thanks everyone for your input. I've pretty much decided to play it by ear . Today mom spoke of her friends passing last Dec. a few weeks ago she asked of her well being. I will not volunteer information, it's info over load at this point. Thanks again.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

So, there you have the answer. Tell her, or don't tell her. One thing these responses should reassure you of is there is no obvious right answer to your question. You'll need to play it by ear and do what seems right in your particular circumstances. So much depends on what specific cognitive impairments she has at this point.

One thing you can do -- reassure her about her sister. If both Mom and Aunt can still carry on telephone conversations you might try to arrange that. It is her sister she is anxious about right now and you can at least lay that concern to rest. If they can't have a phone call perhaps you can call a cousin and then convey to Mom the content of that call.

Whether you decide to tell her or not, the concept of "deceiving" our loved ones who have dementia is simply not relevant. Their own minds are shutting out reality. In any given stage they may be 40 or 28. They may be a child in their parents' house. They may be a famous actor or have magical powers. A friend's father was the governor and my husband was once an airplane. The "truth" of our world may or may not apply in their worlds. Unless you are pulling something shady to seize their assets, don't be overly concerned about "deceiving" -- be concerned about what will give your loved one the most peace.

Act in love, and whatever you decide is the best you can do. Make a decision, carry it out, and don't beat yourself up if the results aren't what you wanted. All any of us can do is our best, in love.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

You don't state, or I didn't see, what stage your mom is in...that is for example, my mom doesn't remember anyone so it would be pointless to possibly upset her. I don't think my mom could even comprehend what died means.

Given that your mom is dealing with anxiety already and deaths within the last 6 months i would not tell her. Omission. Also I'd like to correct those who have said don't deceive mom; I don't believe we deceive our LO we tell therapeutic lies or omit to protect them from overwhelming stressors and feelings.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I think you should tell her. She may not remember, and ask about her friend again in the future. But, I wouldn't deceive her. You never know what they will be able to recall and what they won't. (You don't want her remembering that you lied to her.) In the future you may want to consider not volunteering information.. But, if she asks about something or someone, give her the info.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Hi there, yes, you should tell her - she deserves to know if it is her friend, and you might get a completely unexpected reaction.......
Here's what happened to me: my mother had the same intuition about a friend of hers, younger than her, who had moved out of my mother's building and to another town 2 hrs. away. She hadn't spoken to her in a while but just had a feeling.....
I opened the paper one morning and there was an obituary for the friend. I was beyond myself, trying to find a way to break it gently, worried on the effect it might have on her. She had known this friend for over 20 yrs.!!
I went upstairs to her tv room, trying to find the right words to convey this sad message. Well, imagine my surprise when I did tell her, and all she said was "Oh I knew there was something wrong there".
No tears, no "That's too bad", "What a shame......" No show of sadness, NOTHING!!
I was in shock about this until I realized:- if there is any dementia, they cannot process things anymore so even though she was aware of the friend's passing it didn't evoke the same feelings that she would have been able to express earlier.
So do go ahead and let her know. You never know what kind of response you will get!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mother suffers from Alzheimer's disease. I chose not to tell her when her sister-in-law of 63 years passed away in 2010. I felt that being honest would only add to her anxiety and agitation and depress her as she relived the experience over and over. At this point in her illness, mom no longer remembers her sister-in-law and no longer asks me about her. I feel that I spared her a great deal of emotional pain.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

You said your mother has dementia and a high level of anxiety. I think it depends on how anxious and upset she still is after two deaths to cope with within 6 months. And the death of a child is the worst to bear. And you said she hasn't accepted the death of the friend that passed in December.

This is a lot for her to deal with and I don't think it is deceptive to keep it from her as she has had enough grief. She needs to recover somewhat from the deaths she is still coping with. Blessings to you and take care.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I think you have to tell her. If not, she will just keep asking. As you say, she is highly intuitive. Is it possible for your mom to visit her friend who is so ill? As long as they get what's going on, it's best to respect that they have this ability. Sometimes we try to protect ourselves, rather than them. I don't mean that in an unkind way, we just don't want to see them hurt. Tell your mom the facts and ask her what she wants to do. Send a card, make a call to the family or go visit. Try to support her wishes. It will give her a sense of control and interaction that is important to her. Maybe there is more you haven't said that makes you unsure how to proceed. Based on what you did say, this is what I would suggest.

Hugs and best wishes, Cattails
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.