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ground hog day
csz1234 posted:
My dad has moderate Alzheimers. The love of his life, my mom passed
away 2 days ago. He was in the apartment when it happened and seemed to understand what had occurred. He held her hand, told her not to be afraid etc. He slept well that night and the following morning and went to his alzheimer's group. When he returned 4 hours later he wanted to know where she was. We told him she passed away and he relived the trauma all over again. It happened again this morning. I am wondering if i should tell him she is away trying to get stronger. I am not sure the truth has any value in this case......
davedsel57 responded:
Hello and welcome. I am sorry you are going through all this, but fully understand. I am so very sorry to read about the passing of your mother. My mom passed away almost twelve years ago, and my father lived alone until last year when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

My personal opinion is to keep trying to tell the truth. I think lying could lead to your dad getting even more upset if he has a lucid moment and understands what is going on. Continue to be loving and gentle but tell your dad the truth.

Does he have a health care provider (doctor/nurse/aide) that can help him understand? Is the apartment part of an assisted living facility or does he have full time care of some type? Perhaps they can be of help with this situation as well.

This is all so heartbreaking for you, and I will pray you find ways to deal with this situation that is best for both you and your dad.
Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.

Blessings, Dave
cjh1203 responded:
I'm so sorry about the loss of your mom. How heartbreaking for you to deal with your own grief, while seeing what your dad is going through.

My uncle had Alzheimer's and one of his daughters committed suicide about four years ago. They had always spent a lot of time together, and he kept asking my aunt when their daughter was coming over, or if they were meeting her for lunch, etc. Every time he asked, she had to tell him again what had happened, and every time, he would be shocked and cry. She did keep telling him, though, and after a week or so, it finally sunk in and stuck in his memory.

I completely agree with Dave that telling your dad the truth is the best thing, difficult as it is.

My heart goes out to you and your dad. I hope you both have a lot of loving support to help you with this.

csz1234 replied to davedsel57's response:
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to me. Before we even had the chance to not tell my dad the truth, he seems to have started remembering that my mom is gone. He is not asking where she is. He is sitting by her side of the bed, a little melancholy. He is laying his clothing out on her side of the bed. I think he is self soothing and I think its okay. Every day is a new day for all of us.
cjh1203 replied to csz1234's response:
Reading your post made me teary. I'm glad that it's sunk in, but his sadness sounds heartbreaking.

How are you doing?

Judith L London, PhD replied to csz1234's response:
What a sad situation for you, too. It's beneficial for both you and your Dad to mourn the passing of your Mom together - sharing feelings of sadness, telling stories about her that are touching, anything that comes to mind. Both of you need to grieve this loss, and who better understands how important and loved she was but both you and your Dad?

Feelings remain in Alzheimer's -. It's appropriate for him to feel melancholy, as you do.

My deepest sympathy,

csz1234 replied to Judith L London, PhD's response:
To all of you who responded, thank you. Good news... My dad seems to have absorbed the fact that my mom is gone, He is cheerful and upon returning home from a day outside of his apartment he no longer asks where she is. He occasionally thinks I am my mother but that is fleeting. I chose to tell him the truth and I think that was the best decision and advice. I have him enrolled in a 4 day a week program at a local community center and he loves going. I am so relieved that he is content.
This has been a very helpful, informative and compassionate forum for me.
cjh1203 replied to csz1234's response:
It must do your heart such good to know that he has accepted that your mom is gone, and that he seems happy anyway. It's great that he enjoys the program he's going to -- my uncle refused to even consider it, and we all thought it would be so good for him.

You must be deep in grief for your mother, since her death is so recent. Are you doing OK?


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