Re: father passed away few weeks ago

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Quite a regular
From: Rowlett
Posts: 56
Dear ElderHope Visitor,
As Mike shared in his message to you, we are so sorry for your loss . . . thank you for your tender story about your parent's relationship and you continuing to be there for your father during his dying process.
Many adult children have asked me the same question that you asked - should they tell their parent with dementia that a loved one has died - a spouse, child, sibling, or other family member or friend. There are so many variables to consider. For example, if a person is in the earlier stages of dementia, he/she will probably know that something is very wrong if their loved one is no longer visiting them or calling. Their fears, doubts and questions may be harder to cope with than the truth . . . again, it can really be different from one person to another. However, when a person has more cognitive impairment, they may still sense that something is wrong, may express the desire to see or speak with their loved one again, and may even ask if he/she has died, but may not remember or fully comprehend that their loved one is dead, after they are told of the death. So, I agree with Mike that telling your mother that your father has died may not cause the grief that you fear your mother may experience. Maybe try to respond to any questions that your mother might ask about your father in as simple and forthright a way that will reassure your mother of your ongoing care and support . . . she may not remember that you told her about your father's death but she may sense your love and reassurance which is so important at this time.
I do wish that I had a better answer - more definitive. But I sense that your love, concern and support of your mother will be the most important factors in your mother's well-being. We will surely keep you in our thoughts - please take care of yourself during this time, too.

Posted on 2003/5/28 9:16

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