Mom with dementia makes up stories that she believes are true.

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83 yr. old mother with dementia embellishes every conversation the anyone has with her. She tells me that my brother has said that he misses her and wants her to come home...he hasn't said that. She says that the nurse practitioner says that she is ready to go home...she hasn't said that. And it's not just about going home, but everything. I used to think that she was just telling a lot of lies, but now I think she truly believes what she is saying. Does anyone have any experience with this. I really think it is not good for her to believe she is going home when she isn't.


Abby, sometimes we just need to go to the world she lives in now... and not expect her to live in ours.... if she believes these things to be true, it's really not hurting anyone....and they all want to go home.... so that is normal for her... possibly try to redirect her when she wants to go home, or maybe ask her what she misses about home, sometimes they just get stuck on a subject and that's what thier world consists of... no harm.... trying to convince her otherwise is futile, upsetting for both of you, so just go to her world... she may be lonely in hers.... sending you hugs for being a daughter that wants the best for her mom...
My mom is at home; but the "stories" and elaborations are common with my mom. I agree with ladee's post above. All true experiences. I just listen and am patient and have stopped trying to correct her perception. I just accept it and wait for her to move on. Hard because they get in "a loop" like this and it likely will be repeated whenever you visit. Sorry you are going thru this -- but take a look at any discussions/questions here regarding "dementia" and you will see it is common and difficult phase.

Don't know if you have pictures of the old house or rooms, special momentos that you can give her to let her remember and cherish; but she might find a blanket, towel, pillow case, etc. from her old home comforting.
My mother writes her own stories quite often. She has also rewritten history. For example, yesterday she was talking to my aunt on the phone. She told her how we used to burn leaves in the backyard because there were no houses behind us -- only woods. We never burned leaves that I've seen and the houses behind us were here before we moved in. I don't bother to correct. Mostly it is just harmless stories. But the truth is that one can't believe a thing that she says anymore. She twists details of most things, takes real events and puts them in the wrong time or place, or just makes things up at the moment. After she says these things, they become fact. Strange thing is that she can remember the imagined truths and forget the real ones. The only thing I hope is that her confabulations don't become harmful.

I'm hiding today. My mother came up with a long to-do list for me. We need to do this today, and we need to do that. (sigh. tired)
As you can see from the other posts embellishing or plain making up stories is common in dementia. It doesn't happen in every kind of dementia or to every person with the disease, but it is happening with your mother. This is not something you can change. Accepting it gracefully is generally less stressful for the caregivers than fretting over it and trying to change what can't be helped.

It sounds like so far your mother's fantasies are pretty benign. If she gets to a point where her stories distress her -- she thinks her son has said horrible things or is stealing from her, etc. -- then you need to come up with ways that will comfort her, which is a lot harder. For now, just go along with her stories.

And congratulations on understanding that she is not telling lies. She is experiencing symptoms of her disease.
Oh my, this sounds just like my mil, who is 89 and in AL for the past 18 mos. so I am interested in how others deal with this. My mil is fine 90% of the time, but the other 10% is totally loopy. From this site (I'm new) I learned about confabulation, and now, like JessieBelle, I've learned not to correct her or reason with her, but it's upsetting when she thinks I'm the one at fault, so naturally I want to defend myself. For instance, she stated last week she didn't know about a dr's appt. I take her to all appts. It was on her calendar, the aides give her a reminder card the day before, I call her the day before to remind her as well as when I leave the house to pick her up. She wasn't ready when I arrived! She said she didn't know about the appt.! Also, My husband and I sometimes have dinner with her at the facility. I make the arrangements and call her, and while on the phone ask her to write it on her calendar. When we arrive, she is not ready, says I never told her, and she'd remember if I did! She also added that I "must be the crazy one" thinking that I told her when I "certainly did not!" Arrgghhh...!!! Okay, I'm learning to deal with this, and now have my husband remind her of appts , as she's a bit less likely to go off on him. She does, however, sometimes make up stories about others, and that can be hurtful. Recently, she complained to the staff that one of her tablemates "smells", they checked it out, the woman did not. Also, she doesn't like my daughter's long-time boyfriend because he has "suspicious eyes" .(I did not reply to these comments, just said "Really?") One doozy was when she said a fiftyish -looking year old man was sleeping with one of the residents. I saw him at a dinner, and he was obviously the woman's son since he appeared to know the staff. Some of this is laughable, but I hope her stories don't become harmful or that others believe them. None of this phases my husband, but I take things more personally, and so Abby, just let it go. I'm finally learning to do that.
Thank you all for your comments. Mom just called me and said "the doctor just called and said he would be here tomorrow to release me". "The doctor" is a female Nurse Practitioner. She hasn't called. I think Mom creates her world around what she wants to happen. I don't argue with her or try to correct her. I do try to enter her world with her. Regarding the "wanting to go home" issue. It is my own guilty feelings that get in my way with this. I can see that she is so much happier and relaxed in her new environment, but she always talks about going home. Perhaps, she just is caught in that you said. Does she really want to go? Wouldn't she miss the friends she's made? Wouldn't she be scared again?
Abby, my husband also wanted to go home -- and he was home, in the house we'd lived in together for many years. The "want to go home" is pretty mysterious. Some think it is a desire to go to a childhood home when things were normal and pleasant. My husband's childhood was not normal and pleasant (he spent part of it in an orphanage) so that particular theory doesn't get my vote. Maybe it is just a desire to go back to a time when their mind was working normally and it isn't a physical place at all.

In any case, whatever it is that persons with dementia really want when they say they want to go home, it is not something we can give them. With luck and patience we can hope to help them feel comfortable and cared for and safe. But there is no need to feel guilty about the impossible, and guilt feelings just get in the way of a good relationship.
Yes, my mom also does this, Like they said it is common. The "Loop" is very common also. My mom does not want to let go of the past sometimes. The bad past also. She takes a situation and turns it around to make it fit to what she wants happen. All I can do is say is, Oh my or whatever.
My mother had a whole day of that today. We were decorating for Christmas -- well, I was. She spent the whole day getting ready to do something. She talked about how she had decorated the house last year. I had done it. She talked of how she bought the big bows for the porch railing. I had bought them for the sides of the house. She talked of how she wrapped tensil around the porch railings. Of course, I had wrapped them with garlands. When I told her I had done the buying and decorating, she said I had never done it, that she had done it all.

This morning she was really ragging on me about "us" getting the house decorated. About 3:00 I had most things done. She was still about to do her first thing -- set the little manger scene up. I told her that she had been so in a hurry, but she had not done a single thing yet. She said, "I knew if I said something, then you would get it done." I told her it was an awful, disrespectful thing to say. Sometimes I just don't know how I tolerate it. I do need respite seriously after the start of the new year.
Yes stories are very stretched with my mom too...she tells me that she had 13 kids and 3 husbands. I know the only person she was ever married to was my dad of 54 years and she had only 8 kids, not 13. But we just go with's kinda comical sometimes. Because we really know the truth..and she thinks we are all amused by her stories, so she is happy.

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