Breaking The News Of A Death To An Alzheimer's Patient

When the spouse or other close relative of an Alzheimer's patient dies, a perfectly natural inclination is to avoid burdening your afflicted loved one with the news. In almost every case, however, it is best to be honest. As with any facet of Alzheimer's, you have an emotionally taxing road ahead of you as you prepare to break the news and help your loved one deal with their grief.

Regardless of the stage of your loved one's Alzheimer's disease, the information will be difficult to process. Because of this, you should make sure the conditions of your conversation are as stress-free as possible. Choose a time when your loved one is at their most alert and is not distracted by other activities and people. Use physical and eye contact as you see fit. You do not need to try to hide your own grief; this honesty may help your loved one better connect with your words and the reality of the situation.    

Once you have broken the news, be prepared to be very very patient. As you are well aware, Alzheimer's changes the way your loved one understands and remembers information. Keep this in mind as you deal with the prolonged pain, anger, and forgetfulness that you may witness. You may find yourself repeating information again and again. Even more emotionally draining, you may face unsettling fabrications from the mind of your loved one. Some Alzheimer's patients are unable to grasp the concept of death and instead find another explanation. For example, they may feel a sense of abandonment and anger at the absence of their spouse, poisoning their language toward the deceased. Though it can be nearly unbearable to hear these bitter and unfounded words, you must remain calm and loving in your conversations with your loved ones. 

You will need to trust your instinct every step of the way as you help your loved one through their grief and deal with your own. If your loved one seems unaffected by the news, it will remain up to you whether or not you try to convey the information again at a different time. You will also have to decide if you feel it right to take your loved one to the funeral or to visit the grave. Whatever reactions and emotions you face, your efforts to be honest with and compassionate toward your loved one will ultimately be for your good as much as for theirs. 

For more help dealing with Alzheimer's care, contact a company like Alta Ridge Communities.