JewBu Quest: From Abuse to Happiness

JewBu: a Jew who practices forms of Buddhist meditation & spirituality. This blog documents my quest to 1) heal from sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse, 2) come to terms with losing Mom and Grandma to Alzheimers, 3) find balance, explore the spiritual, stay present. Bascially, I've experienced some pretty crappy shit in my life and want to find a way to move past it and find happiness.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Question for Caretakers: How to Talk to Someone With Alzheimer's About Death

We told Mom this morning that her mother died. She was upset for about a minute, and then it was like she forgot altogether. She changed the subject and then was seemingly happy. We tried again, but the same thing happened. I'm not sure what my mother understood.

Has anyone else had to talk to someone with Alzheimer's about death? I'm not sure how often to bring it up and how much to just let it go. I mean maybe its okay if she doesn't understand that her mother died. I'm a bit worried what's going to happen at the funeral; I don't want it to be a shock to her then that her mother is gone. Any thoughts?

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Blogger Gail Rae said...

As you may know, Karma, my mother phases in and out of what I call The Dead Zone, in regard to dead relatives. It sounds like she's a bit more aware than your mother, and yet rarely does a day go by but what she doesn't remember someone back into life. You get used to it. Sometimes I correct her, sometimes I don't. Often, I assume that, maybe, for her, these people aren't dead, and I'm the one who's out of it. At any rate, the easiest way for me to deal with it is not to get upset and follow whatever procedure seems right at the time.
It might interest you to know that her sister and brother-in-law have both died since I became her companion and, although she was fully aware of what was happening at the time, she now remembers none of it and both of them often show up in her Dead Zone. It makes for some interesting pondering about the nature of death!
As far as my mother continually bringing the dead back to life, this quickly becomes non-traumatic and you get used to it. I promise.

Sunday, December 10, 2006 8:21:00 PM  
Blogger Karma said...

Thank you for the thoughtful comments, Gail. My Mom doesn't yet go into phases of the dead zone. She understands that both of her parents have died, and she has taken it pretty well. But, I'm glad to know that if she does go into that phase, that it doesn't have to be traumatic.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007 12:30:00 PM  

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