ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Telling a person with dementia about the death of a family member

Updated on October 27, 2016

Letting them know

Emotions run very high.
Emotions run very high. | Source

The ability to disclose without repeated harm.

We thought to have the talk regarding no longer driving was hard with our parents or the one to move into a structured living situation. Unlike any other article, the conversation that develops surrounding a family member's death does require each of us to search our own heart and soul to determine not only our values but also those of others involved in the discussion. And to complicate the situation knowing the individual has dementia.

Emotions are running high when in this situation and can make the situation more difficult. When we consider how difficult this truth is for everyone and then, the possibility of having to relive this situation over and over. Please understand I believe in the Patient's Bill of Rights. This documentation was first brought to my attention just as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) came into the public eye. I certainly do believe everyone has the right to know not only what the current diagnosis is, and also, the path this will take in the future, and today.

Armed with the latest information necessary to prepare and convey the information of the death of a family member or close family friend; telling a person must be approached utilizing all important details at our discretion for the individual who may pass or has passed. Just as important is the diagnosis of the person who will be receiving the news. There are so many different variables; we must think through the consequences from manner and wording as well as the amount of information we will pass on.

The type of dementia this person may have must be at the forefront of the message, as well as the relationship between this person and the person who is deceased or soon, will be dead. We must consider who will be present not only at the time of the conversation but also in the immediate future. When we talk of telling a person with Alzheimer's type dementia, we need to consider the effect this information will create when the person with dementia forgets and must hear it again. Each time we inform the person again of the passing, we set into motion the grieving again. Knowing a person can and often does pass on of a broken heart after the death of a loved one, how do we address this situation? Not providing the information to the person with the dementia is not being honest with that person or the others involved in the case. Every person has the right to be told of the impending death or death of a significant person in their life.

Another type of dementia may require a different strategy. One of the most speculative is when a person is in the process of Korsakov's Dementia. This dementia is one organic in nature and although physical damage has already occurred. The mode of the disclosure may cause more physical and emotional harm. This particular dementia is not only due to a chemical change within the body but also compounded by the social circles the person travels in person. Korsakov's Dementia is according to research directly related to the long-term abuse of alcohol and drugs. A life of social networking, life patterns, and friends build a circle of destructive behaviors. Even when a person has been sober for many years and is now suffering from Korsakov's, the old patterns frequently start again. Thus allowing for the person to begin the past practice of using the drug of choice. And people within that circle to propitiate the situation.

Above listed two very different type of situations, there are more, which will have a direct bearing on how, when and outcome of the distribution of information regarding a death of someone close to a person with dementia. The one constant to keep in mind is the importance of at least once the person with dementia should bee told the information. The reason is that for all of us, as we are in the dying process not having all the information on those close to us will make our passing more difficult. When a child of a person with dementia has passed, it is entirely possible the person will ask for or about the child many times in the future. The subject of future conversations will no doubt be 'where is _________?' or those with dementia may become agitated at hearing the person passed on. After all, this is not the natural order of things. This scenario often is present for many different reasons, whether the death/dementia is between spouse/spouse, child/parent, clergy/patron and so on.

When faced with this situation enlisting the aid of other family members, clergy, close friends of the person with dementia are all vital to having the best outcome possible in a no win situation. We must participate in this conversation with great compassion. We need to be acutely aware of the emotional state of the person.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)