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 Painful Events Forgotten, To Remind or Not? 
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Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:07 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Dallas, TX
Post Painful Events Forgotten, To Remind or Not?
Dad and I are experiencing something I read about in an Alzheimer's care book - he has forgotten my mother's death, which occurred five years ago after a lengthy period in which he cared for her. He has also forgotten the deaths of some of his siblings, which occurred up to 40 years ago. In the past few weeks, he actively inquired about these folks, wanted to know what's happened with them, should we bring them to lunch with us, etc. Until now, I have answered compassionately but accurately, causing him to feel some sadness and significant chagrin at having lost track of large chunks of time. When will be the right time to stop answering accurately and how can I answer better?


Fri Sep 10, 2010 12:06 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3345
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Painful Events Forgotten, To Remind or Not?
Maybe a response like "I'm sorry, but mom (or whomever) is not available today" when he wants them to be with him. I guess if he asks how the person is, I don't know what I'd say except maybe "she's been gone for years." No easy answers, are there? My dad has been crying a lot lately about missing my mom, who's been dead for almost 13 years. He does know she's gone, but he gets into long periods of crying about her and it's very hard on him and his CGs.

_________________
Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:03 am
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Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:26 pm
Posts: 56
Location: NC
Post Re: Painful Events Forgotten, To Remind or Not?
I once read that each time they are reminded about the loss of a LO which they have forgotten they grieve as if it just happened. Just my opinion, but if they have peacefully forgotten about a painful death or event, I would lie out of love if they ask about it. I know it's hard on us to see them forget, but if we can help them find a happy place that's the most loving thing we can do for them. God Bless you and your family....there is nothing about this road that is easy...

Sandilee


Fri Sep 10, 2010 6:54 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: Painful Events Forgotten, To Remind or Not?
There is a lovely film about this that they show in dementia caregiving classes in the Bay Area. When the dad asks the son where the mother is, the son has a couple of standard answers:

"Mom isn't here right now, dad. Let's go have a cup of tea while we're waiting for her."

"Mom isn't here right now, dad. What's one of your favorite things about mom?"

"Mom isn't here right now, dad. I'd like to tell you one funny story I remember about you and Mom."


Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:17 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:07 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Dallas, TX
Post Re: Painful Events Forgotten, To Remind or Not?
Thank you all for your help. I just yesterday started saying "Hmmmm, I haven't heard from her." As if I was as puzzled as him, but not overly concerned by her flakiness. That seems to be working for now. Certainly better than continuing to remind him. Funny how you know that "someday" you'll have to handle it the way you would with a very ill person, but you never know if you're own loved one has quite reached "someday".... and then from one day to the next, you know you're there. :roll:


Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:55 pm
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Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:20 am
Posts: 184
Location: So Cal
Post Re: Painful Events Forgotten, To Remind or Not?
Hi Sue,
You really hit the nail about "someday" suddenly being today. I've experienced so much with my husband that only 2 years ago I thought would be far down the road. Take care, Sher

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Sher (53) married 29 years to Ken (66) who was diagnosed with LBD in 2008, but it most likely began many years before.


Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:56 am
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