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Doing Something Special for a grandparent with Dementia

MLS, on March 2, 2021 at 2:23 PM Posted in Community Conversations 0 4
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One of my grandparents is 84 years old with dementia. He is one of my favorite people on this earth.

He is showing signs of decline. Our wedding is in September, and my heart hurts at the thought that he wouldn't be there. I've heard him say how much he wants to be there. I am grateful he still remembers me. My fiance is aware of how important having him there is to me. He agreed to do something honorary for him if needed.

In the case where he declines rapidly, I want to do something ceremonial for him. I would want to put on a dress, not the dress, and go to his house and have him watch us "get married". In case he won't make it to the actual wedding. It would not the official ceremony, just something honorary so he can be there and see it. Is this weird? Do you have any other ideas?


Latest activity by Nicolle, on March 29, 2021 at 2:07 PM
  • M
    VIP January 2019
    Maggie ·
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    Dementia sucks and I am so sorry you are watching your grandfather go through that. There's nothing inherently weird about doing the fake ceremony just for him if you want to do it and you think he will like it.

    But from my experience with several family members, everyone reacts to dementia differently. Some seem to get the "happy" kind and some get the "grumpy" kind. So, depending on how his progresses, you might need to amend your plans to suit him. He might love the celebration or he might get really confused and angry. Talk to his caregivers and see what they recommend. Try to not to get your heart too set on any particular outcome and be flexible.

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  • Michelle
    Rockstar April 2021
    Michelle ·
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    I’d have your plan set up just in case. Talk with his caregivers- get their input. Personally, I’d do it now, while he still remembers. Being around all those people (people that he doesn’t know) can be very confusing & frustrating for him. My fiancé’s grandmother recently passed- she was 96 & lived in Wisconsin (we live in AZ). He was extremely close to her. We knew she would not be able to make the wedding but wanted to do something for her. I ordered a sample invitation from Etsy that had all our wedding information & mailed it to her. His aunt said she loved it & showed everyone the invitation. With her age, we weren’t sure she would be around when we sent the real invitations out. So thankful we did!
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  • Lynnie
    WeddingWire Administrator October 2016
    Lynnie ·
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    Maggie and Michelle have given really excellent advice!!

    I think staying flexible, understanding, and reactive to his current state will be the most helpful. But there's definitely nothing weird about doing something ceremonial just for him! Smiley heart

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  • Nicolle
    Just Said Yes October 2022
    Nicolle Online ·
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    My father has dementia and he is the only living parent of both myself or my FH. Every time I think about how my mother won't be there, I cry. It breaks my heart. But I also know it's a possibility that my father may not be around to attend (we are getting married next October - 2022) OR he won't be able to travel from Ohio to NJ. It's all very bitter sweet for both my fiance and I. His parents passed when he was in his 20s. I want to celebrate with my dad and walk down the aisle with him and do the father/daughter dance, but I am trying to prepare myself for reality. We may go out this summer and do a mini "fake" ceremony where I get those moments with him. And he sees us get married. My younger brother is going to walk me down during the real event. But again- it's heart breaking to know my parents never got to know my fiance. So prepare and give yourself time to breath and share what you can with your grandfather. Dementia is cruel and I hate it.

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