Hi - Both my parents were diagnosed with Alzheimer's, Dad about 8 years ago, Mom 2 years ago. Sadly, Dad passed away this past Sunday. He was in relatively good health but fell and broke his hip and quickly deteriorated. We did bring Mom to the hospital to see him before he died and she understood what was happening. My siblings and I all went together to see her (assisted living) and tell her when he had died. She was sad and surprisingly clear in her understanding. However, she keeps forgetting that he has died (understandable). Today she told me that her husband had left her for another woman, that he hadn't been around for awhile. We don't know what to do at this point. Do we continue to remind her that he died? She has times when she remembers on her own and times when she doesn't. Or do we just reassure her that he always loved her and didn't leave her. I feel so mean, constantly telling her that he died and trying to make her accept it. Does anyone have any experience with this complicated situation? thanks!
I am so sorry you lost your Dad. My late FIL passed away on 7/8, a Sunday.
It is hard for your Mom. Actually she will not remember that very well. That is why she knows about it on and off. Sometimes you may not want to say he died too many times down the road for she will get very upset. It helps to say he is not here or he is in other places - say he has no girlfriend but he is not here. Not to lie with some false details, but distract her about that. Sure she will try to find him. Just use her memory loss to tell her he is not here and can I help? Bring her to join the activities so she is not so lonely.
Sometimes in earler stage, you can tell her the truth but she will forget it again. We often told my late FIL the truth after my late MIL died. He could even see her urn... When he went to the NH in 2010, he didn't see the urn and I think he forgot about it somehow. But if we mentioned her, he was somehow sad but seemed to know. When she died, he was not very confused so it helped.
Your Mom is confused now so you may not have to tell the total truth. Sometimes people don't think we should tell the sad truth. I think it depends on the person.
Sorry to read about your dad.....when my moms brother died we told her and she understood for about five minutes, we told her a couple of more times and each time she would morn all over again, we just could not let my mom go through that even one more time so when she asked about him we told her he was fine and gone away.. She was very happy with that answer so we stuck to that one, when my moms second brother died we never told her if was just to crushing for her and her happiness was more important to us than any thing else. Each person is different and reacts different, if your mom is happy thinking your dad has gone to visit someone and will be back soon that is a great answer as,you can repeat this,over and over as it sounds like she will not remember for to long, if she has times of clarity then of course I would answer her questions as best as I could...
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Yes, I have had to deal with this on many different levels. Dad was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia in 1998. Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2006. Dad died March 2010. When Dad's sister died in 2007 they went to the funeral. Dad quickly forgot about it but Mom obsessed about it for months afterwards. When Mom's sister died the next year Dad read it in the newspaper. Mom's only comment was.... "About time".... and it was quickly forgotten by her. I have tried to explain deaths to both of them over the years and it was as you said... each explanation was new shock and morning.
When Dad died in 2010 I made the decision not to say anything to Mom at all. They were in a companion room in the secure Alzheimer's unit and she stayed in the room with him the entire time. The morning he died they got her up, dressed, and out of the room before they attended to him. We never actually told her and she did not go to the funeral. That first night after, one of the wonderful care managers did laid down beside her while she went to sleep. After that there was no mention of Dad for weeks. Since then she has ask a few times. "Did Dad go see his Mom!"... "Is Dad in Raleigh?"... "Is Dad at work?!.... "Is your Dad still sleeping?"..... I always say yes! At one point she made comments that "Dad has left me!" I just assured her that Dad was visiting his Mom (he is, in heaven) and he still loved her. She seemed satisfied. It has been 2.5 years and she managed to ask just this week...."Dad in Fayetteville?"... It was the only three understandable words she put together all week. In those few moments that she misses him I just put him somewhere else.... it is a LOT easier for her.
So now I never bring it up but when she ask..... he is with his Mom, still loves her, and is waiting on her
so sorry about your dad. i like the idea of saying dad went to visit someone. my mom went through the same thing but dad was alive. they just cant remember. i always tried to change the subject. it was so difficult and so mentally draining. try to hang in there and do the best you can.