Dear Carol: My mom has dementia. She insists that her dead aunt and grandma are still alive and when I tell her they are dead, she gets angry and then cries as if they died yesterday. She's shocked that no one told her that they are gone, but of course she knew years ago. Also, she starts packing her clothes to get ready to go back “home,” which is in another country. She's been in this country for 35 years, yet she insists she is only here to visit. My dad has to hide suitcases to keep her from packing. How can I convince that she is home and her family is here? Juana
Dear Juana: With dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease, people mentally go back in time. Your mom is thinking of her aunt and grandma as they were many years ago, likely when your mom was young.
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