How do I respond to my mother with dementia when she's agitated and wants something I can't possibly give her and she doesn't understand?

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Rosella, I do have Italian origins. Please check your 'wall' for more information.
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Mia madre: have you got Italian origins? I am italian and live in Italy. There is another lady, Bobbie, who keeps writing on this site even if she has lost her mother. It's a real friendship that we are developing, and we care for each other.
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Mirrors are overrated! LuvMom: Be careful that your mother doesn't become paranoid about a 'man' in her bedroom, living room etc. Better to just remove the mirror!

Rosella I truly wish there was a 'chat room' on this web so more of us could chat realtime. For those who wonder why I am here, I am still a bit 'lost' with the amount of free time I have now that Mother is gone. I want to help others and shorten their learning curve and yet instill some 'humor' into a very humorless situation! I am glad that your Mother still has her sister that she can visit and that she does recognize her! Me, I was happy to fill that gap after my mother's last sister passed away two years ago. God rest all their souls! But they are not gone, just gone ahead!!!
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Ohhh my MOm says there is "a man over there" when she sees herself in the long door mirror. I make her wave and she still thinks its a man, haha!! Omg love her!
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You are very good... I do not reach these levels of creativity! My mother also looks at herself in the mirror and she can't accept that's her. She says: "what a tired face i have today!" The strangest thing is that when she actually meets her sister (her real sister who is 2 years older) she knows perfectly who she is and her face (my mother's face) englightens, as she is much happier to see her sister that any of us (my brother, her grandsons, myself). I think that the only person in the world that my mother knows who really is, is her sister. Strange things.
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Rosella... they do not see themselves as old! Therefore we become their contemporary (or sister). I posted a 'funny' story on the inspiration board (here) about how my mother keep asking "Who the old lady was in the mirror!" I told her it was 'me' and that she was the mucher younger (sister) in the mirror! She walked away smiling!
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She thinks I am her sister, too. I guess there is a leap of generation in their head.
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I'm the one that always refers to it as therapeutic lying. I would rival Pinnochio without the growing probiscus to save my mother from any stress. My brothers thought me deceitful, but I remember Mom lying to me about the "Easter Bunny" and Santa and just how very CUTE I looked with my missing front teeth.

When our loved ones are confused I feel it is a CARING THING to do to help them adjust as best we can. Most who try to 'tell the truth' to help them stay in the 'here and now' hopefully learn quickly that it won't work. Rosella, you said yourself that this is pointless because their reality is VERY different from ours.

It is better to 'live' in the their reality and have them happy(ier) than to force them to live in ours and BOTH be miserable!

When my mother asked me who I was, I just asked her who she THOUGHT I was (with a big smile on my face). On a very good day, she thought I was her sister. I knew it was going to be a VERY good day when she thought me to be her older sister. They got along famously, and she respected anything "Marie" would say to her.

Of course as her daughter, I had to walk softly. After all SHE was the mother, and "who was "I" to tell her what to do!" I respected that and walked softly. After all my relationship with her was a very good one ALL our lives.

So some of the 'lies' I told were really for her own good. If she had moments of reality and realized that her 'Daddy was dead" I would just remind her that she still had ME and we could sit and remember something GOOD about Daddy to keep him alive in our hearts!
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It was the HARDEST thing I ever had to do , but I had to learn and I learned from the daycare, and trial and error. Lie to your mother? Never, we just didnt do that, but now we must, to keep them happy and satisfied. I like how someone wrote "theraputic lies." They lie all day at the daycare and I thought it was awful until I tried telling my Mom that Dad died, she screamed and cried until she forgot it, never again. Whatever makes them happy. Its all about them.
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I agree! My mother always asks to go home to her parents, who of course died 40/50 years ago. When she was better, until some months ago, I tried to explain to her that they were dead and she did not believe me, so I kept telling every 10 minutes. I did so because I tried to keep her in the reality. I understand now that it's useless and painful for her, so I invent every kind of lies and try to shift her attention on something else. Sooner or later, she stops asking...
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