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This is highly individual, but you have tried the truth and it upsets him, so it may be time to start saying something to the effect that his mother is happy and, depending on your/his spiritual beliefs, you could say she is "with grandma and grandpa" or something of that kind.

Some would argue that you should just keep telling him she died, but I personally would try to find a way to tell him he "will see her again" or something, because I don't see the point in distressing him when he can't understand. He is reliving her death every time.

It's a decision you'll have to make. Know that whatever you decide, you are not alone. This is very common as Alzheimer's progresses, as people "go back in years." Many start asking for their parents. You've got lots of company in this agonizing choice.

Keep checking in. We know it's hard.

Helpful Answer (54)

How I approach it with my families and staff is many different ways. There is a technique you can use called a "therapeutic lie." What I mean by this is instead of bringing your loved one into your reality take yourself into their current reality. If they think it is 1940 in Oklahoma and a tornado is coming then that is where you are. The other way I phrase it to families and staff is to enter their reality where ever they may be. If your husband asks a question about his mom that leads you to believe that he thinks she is alive try redirection(diverting his attention to something else), reminiscing (asking memory type questions about his mom;for example: Tell me about the time you and your mom went to the baseball game together) or the therapuetic lie technique (For example: your mom is on vacation, at the store, things that his mom would have done while she was living. Always keep enter their reality where ever they may be in your mind and then you will not feel like you are lying to your loved one.
Helpful Answer (5)

Yes, my father would ask me where's your momma ? I told him shes in heaven well it shocked him and he would go in depressions . So I decided from then on I would tell him she's sleeping and he would smile and say oh she must be tired, I said yes she's tired dad .. and it's good to see him smile rather than be all heartbroken. At another time I would just ask him where he thinks she is? He said oh she's probably at home resting. Yeah dad I think so too.
Don't say she died, it would hurt him and he'll feel all alone ...
Helpful Answer (68)

My mother does this. I tell her everybody is fine. She thinks her mother, dad, and my brother are still alive. They died years ago. My job is to keep her as calm and happy as possible in her condition. I have prayed about this. I agree with what she says. It is more humane. Her nerves are better and so are mine.
Helpful Answer (66)

My mom and I have always been very close. There have been no lies between us. When we started this journey she told me never to lie. My mom is still pretty high functioning. She has short term memory loss, some long term memory loss and some confusion on occasion confined to the evening time. Occasionally when she is having a rough evening she will ask me tough questions. At first I would tell her the truth because that was her wish. Now I kind of gauge the circumstance and many times opt for the white lie. I have also become expert at redirecting her. I couldn't stand hurting her over and over again, so I shield her from the bad things when I can. Remember, this news is completely new to them and so the pain they experience is just as fierce as when it first happened. If it can be avoided, I say avoid hurting them. They have enough confusion and pain in their lives.
Helpful Answer (57)

My Mom has dementia and is in assisted living. The last two times I was there, she kept asking about my brother who passed away many years ago and she thinks he is still a child. Yes, I lie to my mother and tell him that he is fine. (He passed 30 years ago) She seems settled with this answer. When I asked her once if she remembered him being in an auto accident, she said no he was not that it was someone else (total denial). So I did not say he was dead. I could not do that to her. I have prayed about this too by the way but it seems cruel to tell her this when she will cry and grieve in the shape Mom is in now. She also thinks her mother & father are alive too. They died in 1983 and 1995. So Mom is living in the past now. She is more comfortable there and I leave it at that. Bless you and I know this is hard.
Helpful Answer (37)

Yes. Why make him relive that over and over. Each time as traumatic as the first. His mind is diseased. That is cruel to keep doing that.
Just say she is sleeping. It's true. That is probably good enough. Then redirect.
Helpful Answer (35)

My Mum suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and my Dad was her full time carer. He died unexpectedly last week (19/6/18). I am finding the kindest way to respond when she asks, where is Dad? to say...Dad has just gone away for a time to have a well earned rest because he was really tired from taking care of us all. When she asks where has he gone, I say....I’m not exactly sure at the moment, but what I do know is that he’s in very good hands and being well taken care of. When she asks when will he back, I tell her I’m not exactly sure, but what I do know is that we will all get to see him again one day, I’m just not sure when that day will be. She seems happy with this explanation. When she asks again, I go through this routine then redirect the conversation to another subject. It’s a difficult situation, I don’t want to shock or upset her by saying words like died, death, funeral. It feels kinder for both our hearts to deal with her questions this way.
Helpful Answer (33)

Thanks for all of your input on this - but telling him she is still somewhere is better than saying she is dead. That hurts any of us. But this time he fooled me and asked for the phone book to look up her number. They aren't all there, but they are if you know what I mean.
Helpful Answer (32)

Before I read anybody else's response, let me say "Yes", tell her a fib. Many caregivers encounter this situation. I'm lucky to still have both my parents, and they know their own parents are long-gone. But my Mom's sister died about 10 years ago, and when a family member reminded Mom of this, she started grieving all over again. Make up a story about where the lost loved one is: on vacation, a thousand miles away. Whatever. There's no reason to rekindle such grief, especially if memory is failing and you may be asked this same question many more times. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (30)

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