5 Ways to Respond When a Loved One Asks to Speak with Someone Who Has Died

Get practical tips on how to handle this challenging situation


- Posted on Feb 14, 2019

5 Ways to Respond When a Loved One Asks to Speak with Someone Who Has Died

This article is based on information provided by Home Instead Senior Care.

When an Alzheimer’s patient asks to speak to someone who has died, it can be very upsetting for you as a caregiver, especially if the person is someone you also knew and loved. It also presents many challenges. Should you tell the person that the one they want to speak to is no longer alive? The news would be so upsetting to someone who is already in a somewhat fragile state. Consider these tips on how to respond to these requests.

1. Go along with it if possible. You will probably just agitate your loved one if you try to correct or disagree with the request.

2. Tell your loved one that the deceased person has stepped out briefly, is asleep, will visit later, etc.

3. Look at the situation through your loved one’s eyes. If they wake up and think they are 30 years old again and, getting ready for dinner in their hometown with their family, don’t resist the situation. Meet right there and become a part of that reality.

4. Distract your loved one by walking around the yard and looking at trees, turning on the TV, getting an ice cream cone, etc.

5. If your loved one insists on talking to this person, get them on the phone with someone who can pretend to be their mother, husband, sister, etc.

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