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She likely smells the chlorine that is used for most city water and thinks of bleach. To her that is right - arguing likely won't convince her that you are not doing this. Could you find a third party - non-family member - who can tell her about how city water can smell like bleach (just in general conversation - sneak it in and see if it makes a difference)?
Carol
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The point is, there are two issues here: her noticing the bleach smell in the water, and you having to deal with weird accusations from your mother. So your response can validate her experience and invalidate the accusation at the same time: "Oh, are you noticing the bleach smell? Yeah, the city adds it to the water to kill bacteria. Sometimes I notice it too. Let's use a Brita filter and see if you like that better." In other words, don't get two "no's" mixed up with each other: "No I'm not doing the terrible thing you're accusing me of, what an awful thing to say" plus "No there's no bleach in the water". You want a yes and a no: "Yes you're smelling something in the water" and "No I'm not putting it there". Now, you don't have to make the "No I'm not putting it there" explicit -- it will be taken care of when you address the problem. And you can say "Yes" even to things that aren't happening (bleach in the water is true, but some other things may be fantasy), because you're saying "Yes" to HER EXPERIENCE: "Oh, you're feeling like...."
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Or try bottled water they don't have the smell of chlorine, and that might just end it all together! It worked for my grandfather, he would say the same thing but they had well water!! :)
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My mom goes thru things at times that she is so convinced is true. I learned the more I try to correct her and tell her the truth the more she believes herself and the more I am lying in her eyes!! So now instead of discouraging her beliefs I try to ignore it. Soon enough she quits talking about it.
If she is only telling you this and not the WHOLE neighborhood that your poisoning her! Than I wouldn't be so bothered by it!!
Debbo64 suggested to try bottled water, try that it might do the trick for you as well.
Good luck!!
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You might try a Brita pitcher, it has a filter in it and will filter out the chlorine taste and smell. Mom likes her water cold, so she also drinks more water having a pitcher in the frig.
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The Brita sounds like something worthwhile. Explain that as folks get older they sometimes do detect odors & tastes they might not have noticed before. Explain to her how the Brita functions and let her watch you fill the pitcher from the faucet, then place it by her bedside or table. Bottled water will get to be expensive and she may have difficulty opening the seal if you are not there to do it for her.
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Hope she is limiting what she is saying only to you -my mothers comments of false accusations went to other family members and others I knew in this small town. Hence the outcome was that they never considered the source- a very sick woman - physically and emotionally- and actually believed her. I wish for your sake that others know you better and won't believe it if she continues and says other things. The long term caregivers are the ones that end up with the frustration from the person they are trying so hard to take care of.
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Yes, there is an odor of bleach from the tap water, and as mentioned it is chlorine. If she wants to drink just water-try spring or bottled purified water. At your Mom's age, if possible, try not to argue with her-Perhaps an explaination wil surfice.
Best,
Hap
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Alwayslearning's suggestions are great. I would like to add to her's:

Do you think gram's statement is a "thought" or a "belief?
In other words is she asking you if there is a smell in the water or does she firmly believe that you or whomever is doing something to her water?

False beliefs & paranoia are a part of dementia. For some those are the first signs rather than memory loss or wanderings or sundowning. This can be a real problem because folks with this type of dementia seem totally OK and very capable and manage for themselves quite, quite well. If they tell others about what they "perceive" you are doing to them, they often are beleived and you might get investigated for elder abuse.
With Lewy body dementia false beliefs and hallucinations occur before memory loss (which ALZ does first).

If this is dementia, the Brita will be a waste as she will find something else to fixate on that you "are doing to her". "they are poisoning my food" is very common according to my mom's doc too.

My experience has been if there is one false belief there are others usually of the same theme. For my mom it is paranoia about people coming in and using/taking her things or using her living space when she isn't there. And she see's cats and rabbits that aren't really there too.
Good luck.
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I completely agree with ALWAYS LEARNING! She validated her concerns, and recognized that it is a WORRY of grandmom's!

I would also like to mention that since GrandMom has Alzheimer's there could be other things going on too. Her perception is off, her ability to make sense of some things is no longer working and she will/may see and think things that are not true or as they seem.

Learn as much as you can about Alzheimer's. There are dozens of books out there that will help you. "The Validation Breakthrough by Naomi Feil" may help you understand what is going on, and depending on your grandmothers 'stage of Alzheimer's' may help you get through some challenging times.

There are many articles on this website too that will help you understand more of what she is going through. God Bless.
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