Should I "correct" my mom or allow her to have delusions when I am taking care of her?

Asked by

Answers 1 to 10 of 20
I guess it would depend on the 'delusions'. If she's thinking that you're a stranger trying to kill her, so she reaches for the phone to call 911 then yes I would correct her. But if she's talking about people that are dead like they're still alive, then what's the harm of her making that mistake? That's all I can suggest without knowing anything more I guess. Sorry.
Top Answer
Like nateaton said, without knowing the details, here is my opinion...if something gives her comfort, then roll with it. I've found that when my mother is insistent that she needs to go to a doctor - even though she has forgotten that she saw one yesterday or doesn't need one, then simply saying, "Sure, I'll work on that for you." will settle my mom down. My mother's therapist has taught me to go along with her and hope that she will forget. Arguing with her will make her dig her heels in and there will be no peace - she won't forget under those circumstances. I will admit, sometimes my exhaustion and/or aggravation with her will make me try to reason with her until we are both frustrated beyond belief. If I remember that she can no longer reason and just try to say the thing that will give her peace, then things are much happier. (by the way, this is easier said than done!)
My experience is just to go along with it. That is her reality now. She has lost the power of reasoning. It doesn't have to make sense to us, but we can try to keep them calmer by just agreeing to whatever they are talking about. I always say that I go to her world, she no longer lives in mine. Don't try to "convince" her, it won't work, and as you said, you both get frustrated. To what end? Just go along with it, it will be less stressful for both of you... hugs to you. and welcome to this sight. hope you stay around..
Ladeeda ... .I just love that "I go to her world, she no longer lives in mine." That is so helpful to me ... I memorized and will quote it to myself all day long when needed. That's why I love this site. Thanks so much!!!!
hi no3daughter... Should I "correct" my mom or allow her to have delusions when I am taking care of her?

Correcting your mom every time she says or does something you don't agree with, is going to keep you mighty busy.

I don't know if you have ever been corrected, usually, once doesn't bother one, if it is done gently. 3 times for the same thing, is a bit irritating for anyone. Resentment will follow and frustration for everyone.

...allow her to have delusions??? This is out of your control, she is going to have delusions whether you like it or not. As long as they are not harmful, what is the harm and who cares.

She is your mother, be her friend instead of her control officer. Step into her world, go along with her into her fantasy world. Listen to her words, you may learn more about her. Relax and enjoy the moments you have. When she is gone, her fantasy's will put a smile on her face.

Sad to say, one day you may be in her shoes, having similar delusions, how would you want to be treated?

If you don't want to listen to her, take an activity in to interact with her. Preoccupy her with something that would stimulate her mind.

Memory Jogging Puzzles has memory puzzles and matching games that she would enjoy, because the themes are from her era. (Norman Rockwell - The Saturday Evening Post)
ppj, happy to hear the words helped. It does make things so much simpler and easier on Ruth I can not imagine what is going on and how she perceives things. Must be very frightening for her at times, especially if someone is trying to convince her what she is feeling is not true... it is true to her... so , like I said happy to hear that it helped. keep coming back and posting, it is good for the soul...I call this sight my "sanity saver".... hugs across the miles
Elizabethgrace, I was happy to see you say, "easier said than done". I sound like I am dealing with Mom's dementia, but there are times I could just scream. Times when I end up arguing, even though I know that it is a waste of breath!

Ladeeda, that is the perfect thought. I need to paste that somewhere I can read it!

My Mom is perfectly capable of having two parallel thoughts...My Aunt E. died this fall. Mom knows she died, she visits her at the cemetery. If you ask her, she'll say Aunt E is in heaven. Without a pause she'll then say, let's go! where? To see Aunt E! Over and over and over.

I give everyone here credit for their patience.
Someone on this forum mentioned Naomi Feil Validation techniques in another string. I looked it up online and then got and read one of the books. It's totally changed how I handle these kinds of situations, and made me way more effective, which has eased up the stress on both me and my mom. It's also affecting how I am with other people who aren't delusional. Check it out. Really, really, powerfully useful.
Thanks so much for the suggestion. I have to stop at the library later and will look for this.

Sometimes I am better than others at remaining calm. I try to remind myself that Mom doesn't want things to be like this anymore than I do and there are only so many things you can change. This isn't one of them.
Research "Validation Therapy", it will be helpful. Delusions are one thing, but forgetfulness and dementia are altogether different. Delusional behaviors have a root, some sort of underlying medical condition that's causing irrational thoughts and behavior (ie Urinary Tract Infection). Dementia is chronic in nature and can be treated, but rarely cured. Research and read books on these disorders, as you will gain so much knowledge and knowledge is powerful in these situations. God Bless you for taking care of your mother.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support