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Living in the 40's

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RedRuby

New Member
Hello!

I'm new here and have a question. My mother who is 87 had been diagnosed with AD in 2005. This past August I finally had to make the decision to place her in a NH because she couldn't do daily activities anymore, started sundowning and threatening to kill herself if she didn't get her way and refused to take her Namenda as scheduled.

I visited her again yesterday and she keeps talking about her deceased parents of 40 years. She keeps asking for their phone number so she can call them. She gets very upset and verbally nasty when I tell her I don't have their number. Then, she demands I take her home. This happens every visit. It's frustrating knowing I cannot make her understand.

Do you have any suggestions as to what I should tell her about her parents and why she cannot come home?

 

mariellenl

New Member
You tell her that her parents are in Europe on vacation and they can not be reached by telephone. The you tell her that the doctor said she can not come home until her parents get back from Europe.
Hugs,
Mariellen
 

CareingGuy

New Member
IT IS NOT UNUSUAL FOR AZ/DEMENTIA FOLKS TO GO INTO THE PAST - IT IS THE SHORT TERM MEMORY THAT IS DESTROYED - MARYELLEN HAD A GREAT IDEA - BUT YOU WILL EVENTUALLY HAVE TO COME UP WITH OTHER IDEAS TO SATISFY YOUR LOVED ONE.

DO OR SAY ANYTHING THAT WILL DIFFUSE THE IMMEDIATE PROBLEM - CHANCES ARE THAT THE AFFLICTED ONE WILL NOT REMEMBER ANYTHING ABOUT IT. HOWEVER EVEN IF THEY DONT REMEMBER WHAT WENT ON YESTERDAY, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE SOMETHING NEW COME UP. BE PREPARED.

GOOD LUCK AND GOD BLESS JIM
 

busyasabee

New Member
Hello..
Yuck. It's the disease. My mom, age 82, also asks for her parents on occassion. I have learned to tell her that I haven't seen them lately. Mostly, it's her mom. It's heartbreaking. She truly doesn't know. I love MaryEllen's idea about Europe. You've got to be prepared to stretch the truth. There is no need to upset her.

My mom also wants to come home, but home is not her home. It's where she used to feel comfortable and safe. I think she's definitely in the past too. She doesn't recognize any landmarks that she's known for years. She doesn't know much and her socializing with others in the AL is becoming less and less. She seems unhappy lately. It's just not right.
Take care.
Erin
 

RedRuby

New Member
No, using Europe as an excuse will not work because she is from Europe and would be upset they left her behind.

I just came out and told her the truth. She asked why she couldn't remember they passed away and I just explained to her it's her mind playing tricks on her, that sooner or later we'll all be in that position when we get older. She smiled, and accepted that.

AD is a terrible disease to deal with. It's heart wrenching trying to converse with her and bouncing from one subject to another, then repeating it all over again.

Thanks for your replies! :)

 

Norbert

New Member
Reposted from another thread----

We have been taught from childhood that it is wrong to lie or tell fibs. Eventually, we do learn that telling the whole truth is not a good thing when it hurts someone's feelings.

When Alzheimer’s is involved, it is a completely different matter.

First, it is our obligation to interact in a way that produces the least amount of distress to the person. That means we tell fibs, or do not give details that we know will upset them.

Second, what about the morality of the lying? (This is where people have problems; after all it is the eighth commandment!) With a normal rational person, we need to tell the truth so they have the information needed to make decisions and avoid situations that cause harm. But a person with Alzheimer’s is not able to use information to make proper decisions. They have lost the ability to process the information and make good decisions. The obligation to tell the truth is not the same with a person with Alzheimer’s. The obligation is to tell them what they need to know in a way that keeps them safe and keeps them from being upset. Or in your case would not have confronted the fact that your husband is no longer capable of doing the things he thinks he can do (skills that he has lost but does not realize.)

So with a person with Alzheimer’s, telling a fiblet, or a therapeutic lie (as they call it at the Alzheimer’s Association) is OK, and necessary. It is part of the dual life we must live and go along with the flow to keep things calm. We have to develop a different way to interact with our loved one with Alzheimer’s.

It is vary similar to the way we treat children. We do not tell them certain adult information. We do not tell them more than they can handle. We don’t give them all the details. With the person with Alzheimer’s, we take it one step further, because they do not realize that they have lost capabilities and no longer participate in decisions, etc. So we have to resort to fiblets. It’s OK.
 
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