My mother, who is mid-stage Alzheimer's, is crying...

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 12, 2016
Rossi asked...

My mother, who is mid-stage Alzheimer's, is crying excessively and more confused since my father's passing nearly a month ago. They were married 60 years and she was very dependent on him. She has been on antidepressants for a few years. What can we do for her?

Expert Answers

Jytte Lokvig, PhD, coaches families and professional caregivers and designs life-enrichment programs and activities for patients with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia. Her workshops and seminars help caregivers and families create a healthy environment based on dignity and humor. She is the author of Alzheimer's A to Z: A Quick-Reference Guide.

This is a hard time for both of you. I urge you to talk to a grief counselor. The counselor should be able to guide you in supporting your mother through her grieving process. It's going to take some time; after all, one or even six months is a very short time in view of a 60-year relationship. She has lost her foundation and a big part of her identity.

I suggest that you help your mother get involved in purposeful activities away from her home, especially events that involve either other people or animals. Find something of interest to both of you. Thus you can participate yourself to further help her adjust and connect with others. If she resists, you may want to say to her, "I know Dad would have wanted us to do this and I'm sure it will help both of us to feel better."