Elderly parent with severe "forgetfullness" --how to converse?
My mom is coming 84 this spring, health is failing and her mind is "going" as they say. Not Alzheimers, just old-age related dementia, according to her doctor(s). She is getting very confused about everyday things: when church is, who people are (including me on occasion), days of the week, where things are; the usual.
I am struggling with how to talk with her when she's asking, for example, "where's Beth?". Now, Beth is her sister, who lives hours away and with whom we have sporadic contact. I tell her I don't know. I know she thinks I'm another of her sisters at that point. She also has trouble realizing I don't live "at home" (haven't for years) and gets very upset when I try to explain that I have my own home.
How do you hold a conversation? do you correct her? do you "go with it" and lie? She gets upset when I redirect her "No, mom, today is Tuesday, not Friday" in a GENTLE tone--I'm really not short with her or talking down to her.
This is not going to get better, and she lives by herself (that's a whole other issue...best not discussed here!!) and I am her primary helper--drive her to the grocery, manage her meds, help with her bills, make sure she's getting to appointments and the like.