jbessolo Asked July 2012

Hello. My Grandfather constantly lies to me. Is this his Parkinson's disease at work?

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Hello all.
I have been care giving for my Step Grandfather for about a month. I have no prior experience at this. I pray for patience. I pray multiple times a day. And it works. But now he is displaying very deceptive behavior. it is the only the two of us here. So when I ask him if he remembers leaving the water running on all night; or the lights on all night or something else like why did he consume a 1/2 a box of cereal in one sitting, he flat out denies it was him. Or, it must have been me who did it and I am the one who doesn't remember doing it. I lose my mind. He refuses to own anything he does or says. Is anyone out there going through, or has gone through the same thing. If so, I could really use your input.
Thank You and GOD bless,
Joseph

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It does not sound like Parkinson's at all. It sounds more like Alzheimer's. Parkinsons is a neuromuscular disease. Does he have muscle spasms? I have dealt with both in relatives and this sounds more like Alzheimer's or else like he is just a perfectly normal but deceptive person.
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jeannegibbs Jul 2012
Joseph, does that prayer go something like, "Lord, give me patience RIGHT NOW!" Most of us can relate!

Many people with Parkingson's also have some elements of dementia. It sounds like that might apply to Granddad. Or maybe his personality has always been like this ... I sure don't know. But one thing I'd be willing to bet on (if I wasn't opposed to gambling) is that Granddad is not going to change.

The way you are interacting with him now is driving you crazy. I suggest changing the way you interact with him. Don't ask questions you know he will deny. What is the point? Do you think you are going to teach him something? Fat chance! "Wow. The water in the hall bathroom was running when I went in there this morning. I think the faucet sticks. We are both going to have to be really careful to turn it completely off." Actually, I doubt this will change anything, either. If he is leaving the water running because of forgetfulness, being reminded once in a while probably isn't going to prevent it. But if you need to say something for your peace of mind, saying something that doesn't get him defensive is better for the peace of the day.

"Wow, Granddad. You must have been hungry this morning. A half box of cereal is gone. I'd better buy in larger quantities." If you are worried that his eating is unhealthy, you may have to supervise it more closely. Otherwise, do your really care that he ate half a box of cereal? Why bring it up at all?

Whether it is his personality, ingrained habits, or (as I suspect) some dementia, he is not going to own up to what he does or says. It is entirely possible that he just doesn't remember that he did it. He is not going to change, so the way to save your own sanity is to change your attitude about it. Don't sweat the small stuff. And it is mostly small stuff!

Joseph, you are doing a fabulous thing to take care of this sick old guy. Don't be hard on yourself if you haven't gotten the hang of it a month!

And while you are praying so frequently throughout the day, consider the serenity prayer. Sorting out what you do and do not have control over is as important as having patience.

Good luck.
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