Aldonza3 Asked October 2011

Does someone with dementia or Alzheimer's have the ability to construct a lie?

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My spouse dumped is breakfast in the toilet when I wasn't looking and then showed me the clean plate and said he ate it all. Or, asked another way, can someone who is able to construct a deliberate lie actually have dementia?

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Parviz Nov 2016
Yes they can. My wife is very good at this
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KalaFW Apr 2015
IMO, yes, they construct a lie. It's just knowing when they are lying or when they are delusional or just don't know and say something as a reply, saying anything to continue a conversation. My father at age 89 insisted my husband, his son in law, was berating and cursing him. Since I was in the house in another room, I would hear the entire conversations. My father didn't want to get dressed and go to daddy day care for a few hours; my husband and I both had appointments that had to be kept. Since my dad didn't want to go, he told me that my husband had cursed him and humiliated him. I said 'Dad, I heard the entire conversation, he would never speak to you like that' and my father replied 'you don't hear how he talks to me when you aren't here. He wants to kick me out of my own house. He told me he doesn't care that I'm sick, to get my butt up and get dressed' which was bizarre since I was the one living with my dad while my husband continued to live in our own home and only came over to assist me as needed, to have meals with us, to help with the house cleaning. The truth is my father is a jealous man, only wanted me to take care of him, and insisted I no longer allow my husband in the house. So he would make up lies about anyone who would want him to do something that he didn't want to do. Which is different from normal Alzheimer's delusions or inability to thought process or inability to understand consequences (if you try to stand up from the wheelchair, you may fall. If you insist on taking apart your razor after shaving, the pieces may fall down the sink drain. Don't throw your soda can or water bottle towards the trash can because it may not make it to the trash and I will have to clean up sticky fluids from the kitchen floor. Do not grab my arm while we are driving because we may wreck.) So IMO opinion and personal experience, an ALZ patient can lie easily.
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GrammyM May 2014
YES! My husband started dumping his cereal nearly one year ago. He tried forcing the uneaten cereal down the garbage disposal, but could not remember how to turn the disposal on. He was caught in the act! Now, he flushes cereal down the toilet. He eats maybe 1/3. Please do not be surprised if loved ones with dementia lies. It's quite common. My husband lies more as times goes on. He doesn't shower, but insists that he does...not unless there are "dry showers" these days. He lies but does not realize when showering, the shower walls would be wet! He insists that he changes dirty and soiled clothes, but the same apparel is on. Bottom-line, dementia patients are intelligent enough to lie, however, they are not intelligent enough to cover up the evidence. Likened to a 3 year old who insist he "went potty" but there is nothing in the potty! Hope this helps answer your question.
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sunflo2 Aug 2013
My mom has been diagnosed with dementia and for the most part is managing and functioning. She "lies" to me all the time to tell me things that will "please me"...other times she tells me elaborate tales which I don't believe are deliberate lies or fabrications but actual "reality" for her that she believes.

I went thru a long period where I was so angry and frustrated and tried to set her straight or scolded her for not telling me the truth...but for my sanity, I've gotten over it. I let all the small non consequential stuff go. I don't agree or disagree with her but let it go if its not an imminent danger to her or her well being. If it has to do with bills or appointments then I call behind her and check out then step in to help her take care of it.

I've tried to tell her she can tell me the truth, but I think her first instinct is self preservation with this disease so if that means lying, then she does it to make everything seem fine. So sad.
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My mother is 77 years old, and recently diagnosed with dementia/Alzheimer's. The asking of the same question several times in a few minutes is no longer the issue. We've moved on to something a bit more aggravating( for both sides), dealing with this dreadful disease! Now, if she misplaces something, she will swear that she NEVER had it in her possession; that my Father deliberately hid it from her! I will eventually 'search & destroy' my way around, until I find it! Then, she acts as if I 'planted' it there! I have caught her telling so many lies, but I just cannot for the life of me, bring her to account for any of this! She 'used' to be a kind and gentle person. Always teaching young children(preschoolers), in our home, a private nursery school set up. And in the summer, swimming lessons, in our pool, in the back yard. That person no longer exists. I am so sad, and I can see the sadness and confusion on her face. One POSITIVE!!! She is back learning how to ride a bike again! NEVER give up on them! Instead, get them up and out, even if they give you a bit of a hassle to begin with! It will be SO worth it, to ALL involved! Peace and Love to all of you Warriors out there!!!
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capnhardass Jan 2013
the mistruths are PATHological in nature meaning that thoughts do not follow the normal PATHways thru the brain. its like cutting out every other sentence from a paragraph. all logic is distorted at best..
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bellas Jan 2013
mama12: has he always treated you like this or has his illness changed him from who he was before the cancer? Has he had chemo? "Chemo brain" is real and for some it does not go away after the treatment ends and the person is no longer the same mentally. You sound like you are a sweet, compassionate person, dealing with some verbal and emotional abuse, don't let it change who you are at your core but perhaps try removing yourself by leaving the room every time he starts in on you. He needs you but doesn't want to admit it and as long as you stay in front of him, you are a great target...walk away.
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mama12 Nov 2012
how do you stop the hurt when nothung you do is right an he talkes nicer to the dog then he does you. I am 82 been married 47 years he is 86 has stomach cancer and some demenit if some one else is here he puts on a good act I know he isn't in his right mind all the time but it hurts any way how do you stop the hurt
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AZcaregiver Nov 2012
Good point jeannegibbs. They definately don't seem to have inhibitions in the way that we see it or in the way they used to. Thank you for helping me see it in a different perspective.
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jeannegibbs Nov 2012
Perhaps only a person who has some kind of clue can be sneaky. Until the very severe stage most people with dementia have some kind of clue at least some of the time. What they don't have is the same level of inhibitions as they once did, keeping them from what we would consider bad behavior. They also may not have clear concepts of cause and effect or of consequences. (This is one of the reasons they should not drive, even if they appear to be able to handle the mechanics of driving.)

Dealing with a person who has dementia, AZcaregiver, is indeed frustrating. Usually the things that are so annoying are not really within their control, as we think of control.

It is a very hard role we are cast in!
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