My Mother has Dementia (maybe Alzheimers). My Dad passed away 13 months ago. They were married 73 years. Since the day he died she has asked me at least a dozen to twenty times a day "where is Dad"? I have told her he died. She says" how come I didn't know that?" She is torturing herself. What should I do?

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Hi! Definitely stop telling her that he’s passed away. She can’t remember the information on her own, and telling her is just bringing pain. Where does she think he is? Why don’t you try this next time she asks: “I’m not sure, where do you think he is?” If she says “at work” or “at the store,” go with it and agree. Oftentimes my residents believe their spouses are at work.

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Rachael Wonderlin has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of two published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. She owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting company.

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