How to tell someone with undiagnosed dementia things

My grandmother (aged 94) will ask me the same things over and over again. For instance, she will ask me “Where am I?” in the middle of the night and “I need to sit up in order to live my life” which makes me fear she has dementia, despite the fact that other family members refuse point blank to have a formal diagnosis. On the internet (particular Twitter) are false rumours that the Queen died earlier today (which have been disproved by Professor Kate Williams, who would not lie about something that important) but it made me wonder how do I tell my grandmother that something important has happened, if she is unable to retain that information?


I don’t have much personal experience of dementia, others who have ill be along later, but I have lots of experience of being a carer.
Whenever anyone mentions dementia, I encourage them to get a formal diagnosis as that becomes a “gateway” to various things.
Exemption to Council Tax on the grounds of “severe mental impairment” can make a huge difference to disposable income.
She is probably entitled to Attendance Allowance, and therefore extra benefits on top if she has a limited income.

If you would like to tell us a bit more about her situation, we might be able to offer more ideas.
Does she live in her own home alone, or with family?
Is her home rented?
Does she have over £23,000 in savings? (Yes/No)
Who currently manages her money?
Does anyone have Power of Attorney?

You tell her in the same way that you would tell anyone else - just be prepared to do it again tomorrow, and the next day, and so on ad infinitum. I can guarantee it’ll bother you more than it does her.

Taken from above web page.

It’s important just to acknowledge and go along do not tell them. They have told you before. It is/can be annoying, causes you distress as well. You need to find ways to distract …difficult I know in the middle of the night.

Redirecting Someone with Dementia
Closely related to distraction is redirection. Sometimes changing the subject isn’t totally effective, so many caregivers redirect their loved ones’ attention to a different activity that they can focus on. The point is to provide an alternative option that will break the loop and keep an elder fully engaged.

Take a Deep Breath
I don’t mean to minimise the irritation that arises from elders repeating the same questions and stories from their youths. I also don’t want to imply that looking at an old photo album will solve the problem. However, these steps do work for most people, most of the time. Remember that validation is valuable and kind whether dementia is present or not. It is often worth your while to carve out a few minutes to distract and redirect. Keeping a loved one engaged will improve their quality of life and keep your efforts from becoming too tedious. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, just step into another room for a few moments, take a few deep breaths and then try again.

My hubby used to confabulate. I found it easier to agree,go along with everything he said, unless it was something awful. Then it was oh dear ,darling, you had your medication late, early and you have been dreaming. He always seemed content with that. As far as repeating, I taught myself to pretend it hadn’t been said before. Not easy,but each person eventually finds a way. Also, walking away for a few minutes, taking deep breaths helps.

Thanks for the answers.
Who owns the home? Mum, or you and your husband?
If mum owns it, does she contribute substantially to the running of the home?

I’m afraid the time is fast approaching when mum needs to move into residential care, because your husband’s health comes first.
Does mum need substantial help with every day living now? Do you have carers or domestic help?
My husband and I spent years supporting all four of our parents, all living locally.
My father in law died in 2003 at the age of 87, my husband died in 2006 of a massive heart attack at the age of 58.
My mum died in 2014 at the age of 87.
I shall always believe that the stress of caring for all of them, plus our son with severe learning difficulties, and running our business at the same time, was a massive contributory factor.
Mum is now a very great age with a short time to live. Please don’t sacrifice the life of your husband, and your own future happiness, because of mum.