Dementia confusion, delusions

I wondered if any one can help advise of what to do when someone with dementia has confusion, delusions, at the moment we have the situation of my nan thinking her husband ( who has passed ) is missing and hasn’t come home, she’s been waiting for him for the last 5 days to come home.
I’m just not sure, am I meant to correct her and tell her he has passed years ago, or just go along with it and try to comfort her in some way?
Many thanks

Hi Hojo,

This must be very distressing for both of you. My mum used to spend her days waiting for “our dad” to return. The problem is whatever you tell her will probably not be remembered in the long run. I think entering into her world and giving little excuses for the return will be easier for you in the long run and then distract her. Calming her down and keeping her happy will be more important than the truth.

I found this book useful when caring for my mum. It gave some useful strategies. You might find others on the Alzheimers website too:

Good luck, so difficult,

Hi Anne,
Oh I will look that book up, thank you.
Yes I thought best to go along with it, could cause so much distress if told he’s actually passed, if she doesn’t think that in that moment, maybe I say he’s away at work or at the shops, I just hate the thought of her sitting there waiting for him, but then there’s times when she doesn’t mention it,.
She seems to be unfortunately going down hill quite fast, forgets where she is and thinks she’s locked in somewhere when she’s in her own house, its heartbreaking and I’m not sure how to talk to her to not distress her more, thank you for your advice.

Hello Hojo
I understand how upsetting this situation is for you.
My husband used to ask for his mother. ( Other members of family that are no longer here too).
I used to tell him they were ok, couldn’t see him that day because the weather was too hot, to wet etc etc. I couldn’t tell him they had died, to cause him heartbreak again, for him to forget then ask again. He always seemed to accept what I had said, and I would swiftly change the subject. Let’s have a cuppa, let’s see what’s on TV. You learn to judge what to say at the time. I called them kind lies. Anything not too upset him in his dementia world.

Hi pet66
Yes I think I need to try and step into her world when she has these moments, I know it’s only going to get worse, so just trying to prepare myself with what to do, my mum has been caring for her for a long time now but with the lock down and her going down hill so fast, my mum is at the end of her tether, she has been amazing though and dealt with so much! But she’s so stressed with it all, so myself and my brother are stepping in to help lighten the load for her, but I have no idea how to deal with it, but I will get there, I have been reading online about different ways to help nan and I’ve also ordered the book that Anne recommended, so hopefully that will help too.

from the above web site

Sometimes, a person suffering from dementia forgets that a spouse or other loved one has died. They may ask where the person is, or insist that they want to visit them. For the person with dementia, being told that this person is dead can be like hearing it for the first time, along with all the grief that comes with it.

When this happens, should you tell your loved one the truth, or should you protect them from the pain?

First, you will need to gauge your loved one’s ability to remember. If your loved one does not remember what you share about the deceased person from visit to visit, you may be able to use a memory or a story about the person to explain their absence in a way that satisfies your loved one’s curiosity, but yet does not upset them. It may be hard not to think of this approach like lying, but your loved one’s reality is much different from yours. If you can try to understand their reality first, perhaps it will help you let go of the guilt you feel from not telling them the cold, hard truth. It may be what’s necessary to bring them comfort.