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Dealing with dementia and the loss of a spouse

Dear Carol: My grandparents had been married for 63 years. Two years ago, my grandmother’s general health started to decline and she has recently been diagnosed with moderate dementia. My grandfather seemed in excellent health considering his age, but a few weeks ago he died of a sudden heart attack. He had been my grandmother’s primary caregiver and her whole world had always revolved around him. She now feels that Grandpa abandoned her, maybe for another woman. Normally, when Grandma is caught up in her delusions or whatever her mind is telling her is real, my parents and I just agree with her. But her inability to understand the reality of Grandpa’s death is breaking her heart - and ours. We have tried to remind her that Grandpa had a sudden heart attack and died, but she just says, “No, that can’t be. He left me.” What do we tell her? - Roger

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