grief in the dementia patient

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normal grief in the dementia patient

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Just popping in
Posts: 2
Hello everyone. After desperately searching the internet for some type of advice, I stumbled upon this forum. I have a situation with my father that is heart breaking and wearing me down and I hope someone can offer some type of advice on how to handle this.

My mother passed away one week ago. She had been deteriorating for quite a few years, physically and mentally. She was my mother and my very best friend, but in recent years our relationship was changed...perhaps changed isn't the right word...more altered, due to the dementia. She and my dad were married for 64 years. My Dad is 86 years old, and has recently had some health problems including having a pacemaker implanted, and what seems to be the onset of dementia. He seems to be mentally deteriorating rather quickly.

The main problem is this...he can not remember that my mother has died. Just when we think he has remembered and accepted (as best as can be expected at this point), he'll then look at me and ask when mom is coming home from the hospital, or how she is etc. I have watched him crumble so many times this past week like this is the first time he has heard this. It's killing me and my brother...and I can't even imagine how it's hurting him.

My dad lives just a couple miles away from me and my brother. He has a 24/7 caregiver that we originally hired for my only lasted 2 days there with her before she died. My dad insists he doesn't need her there, but we know he does. He can not even remember to take his medications or to eat half the time. She is an angel who cooks, cleans, does the laundry and keeps him occupied and distracted. She truly cares. My brother and I are over there at some point every day...yet I feel guilty about not having him come live with me, in spite of my tiny ranch house. Even if I did that I would have to have care for him, as I can not be home all the time between working and child care for my nephew's baby.

It seems I've gotten off the track, haven't I? Anyway, I'm so worried about my dad and I'm not sure how is the best way to respond or handle his forgetting about mom's passing. Has anyone else ever encountered this?

I appreciate you taking the time to read this jumbled message. I'm afraid I'm not thinking very clearly quite yet.


Posted on 2005/10/25 8:30

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