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When someone with dementia remembers someone is dead

Uncategorized Aug 26, 2021


Has your loved one ever remembered or was all of a sudden reminded that someone passed away?

Today, I want to talk about how you can respond in that situation. Now, this is a bit different than the situation of if your loved one with dementia asks about or wants to see someone who is dead because they can’t remember- I answered how to respond to that situation in this video


This video is about how to respond when they remembered the person is dead, is reminded by someone the person is dead, or perhaps someone close to them just passed away and they are hearing the news for the first time. 


If you would rather watch a video on this topic, click here. 


This is a situation where you already know how to respond, but because it’s your loved one with dementia, you think it needs to be different. It doesn’t. You can respond the same exact way as you would with anyone who recently learned of a loved one passing away. If someone you loved passed away , it would be natural and understandable for you to be sad, upset, and in grief. There is nothing to “fix” about that response. It’s a natural, human response. If your best friend just lost someone they love and they were upset, sad, and in grief, you wouldn’t try to “fix” their sadness. You’d understand that they are having a normal reaction to some sad news. You might feel a bit uncomfortable as many people are around death, and you might even try to do something to make them feel better, but you wouldn’t feel the pressure of having to get them to stop crying, stop feeling sad, and to move on. You wouldn’t do that because you understand that it’s normal to be sad when someone has passed away. 


The same is true for your loved one with dementia. Whether the death they remember was recent or from many years ago, when they remember that death, it is very real to them. It can be as if they are hearing about the death for the very first time in their life. If you’ve ever lost someone you truly love, can you imagine how it felt the very first time you heard the news? There’s a reaction, there’s a process, it’s totally normal. 


I think many Careblazers want to fix their pain, because you love your person with dementia so much and you don’t want to see them in distress. You want to take away their sadness. But when it comes to them remembering that someone has passed, rather than pressuring yourself to fix a totally normal reaction, consider responding to them the way you would to anyone who just heard the news that someone they loved has passed away. 


Comfort them. Let them know you’re there for them. Offer your condolences. Hold their hand. Sit with them. Offer a tissue. Hug them. Whatever you would do for any human being in grief and pain. You can respond that same exact way to the person who has dementia. Their brain may be struggling to work as well as it did in the past, but their feelings are still very much working and are very real. Not every response we make to our loved one needs to be unique because of dementia. Sometimes it’s the simple human response you’d give anyone. 

I hope this helps you! If you are in a different circumstance, perhaps your loved one is asking about someone who has been dead a while because they don’t remember, rather than reminding them that the person is dead, which can bring about a lot of grief and sadness each time they are reminded, I’d encourage you to watch THIS video. 


That’s all for today Careblazer. If you know a careblazer who could benefit from this video, go ahead and share it with them. 


I’m sending love to you all. I’ll be back next week with another post!



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