Correcting a person who has dementia
My aunt (81) has had some dementia for several years now. She has had every medical test available but her only treatment is anti-depressants and Aricept.
Recently, my cousin, her live-in caregiver, went on vacation for two weeks and my aunt was home alone. She did pretty well and had many visitors and social outings (she depends heavily on her wall calendar to tell her what she is doing each day).
Anyhow, my mother(her sister) and I took her out to lunch the other day. I noticed my mother frequently corrects my aunt. For instance, the waiter brought my aunt her salad and my aunt said she thought she'd ordered a hamburger. My mother explained that we'd discussed her getting a hamburger but decided it was too much food.
My mother tells me that my aunt called her the other day and asked if she was going to my cousin's house the next day. My mom told her no, they couldn't make it. Forty minutes later the phone rings and my aunt asks her the same question again. My mother nicely said "you just called me 40 minutes ago and asked and I said no, we aren't going." My aunt was so upset with herself and cried saying "I don't know what's wrong with me." Anyhow, my father chewed out my mother for even telling my aunt about her mistake. My mom thinks she should know what she is doing. My aunt knows she has a problem -- there is no denial there.
Here is the question -- how often and under what circumstances do you correct a person like this? My aunt repeats herself often and it gets annoying -- but I feel by correcting her all the time she is going to be afraid to say anything for fear of looking stupid. It seems during a conversation she either repeats herself or is staring off into space.