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Each person she speaks with comes back with a different version of events. With one person she misses her daughter, with another she hates her daughter. Everyone she speaks with has a slightly different version of whatever story she is telling at the time. While all the experts agree my LO has vascular dementia, the stories are disconcerting and I'm wondering is this just part of the disease. Do any of you have experience with something similar?

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Oh dear.

Is the daughter in question your mother?

It must be very sad to hear about this in any case, but more especially if that is your mother she's talking about.

I think the only conclusion you can draw with any confidence is that your grandmother is much preoccupied with thoughts and feelings about her daughter, and that they are troubling her. But whether they have any basis in real history, recent or ancient, or are the product of distorted memories, or are the product of heightened anxiety and confusion - if you don't know, we certainly don't!

Do you want to do anything about this?
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Short answer: Yes. Persons with dementia can present themselves differently to different audiences (or to the same audience on different occasions.) Persons with dementia are not necessarily consistent in their behavior from day to day or hour to hour.

CM and cwillie have done a good job of explaining other aspects of why different people may come away from a visit with different perspectives on the dementia patient.

Also, "show timing" may feed into this. If the person with dementia is well-rested and motivated she may be able to put up a good front to behave the way she thinks she is expected to behave. It is hard to do this consistently, so the "act" will vary from one time to the next.

Is this part of the disease? Yes. And it may be part of the person's basic personality. And it may be mostly a result of the perceptions of the listeners.

My advice is to try to take this in stride. Don't take it too seriously. A visitor tells you that GM hates her daughter? "Yes, she does get into that mood once in a while. It doesn't usually last very long." A visitor asks how often family visits, because GM says she is lonely. "Yes. Poor thing doesn't remember each visit. She is glad when we are there, but she may not remember it an hour later, and think we haven't been there for ages. It is part of the memory problems of dementia. It is so kind of you to be be visiting her."
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Specific statements, reportedly are as follows
to V1: "I can't stand daughter, I never want to see her again"

to V2: "I miss daughter, I wish I could see daughter. I don't know why she hates me so much"

This is just the most recent example of what is a growing but recent problem. My question is this personality or a common occurrence in dementia.
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I never though of the reliability of those reporting the conversations, good insight CM.

I was going to mention that having a slightly different story for different audiences is something we all tend to do to some extent. The dementia adds another dimension to stories when they take off into the twilight zone - mixing stories together, presenting thoughts as true events, adding in delusions. How far the stories go off track is probably somewhat related to how they are received and the visitors responses.
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Call me a cynical old witch if you will, but your ?grandmother's? sick brain is not the only filter at work here, don't forget.

Let me put it like this. Bear in mind that I do not know your family in any way so this is not intended to reflect what they might say to one another.

Conversation Concerning An Event.
Two parties: Visitor 1 and GM
Subject: Daughter

Now. Input into conversation comes from both V1 and GM. And that input will necessarily bear some reflection of both parties' existing view of Daughter, yes?

E.g.
V1 You must miss Lola terribly, don't you?
GM Yes I do, do you know when she is coming to see me?

compare and contrast

V1 I don't suppose Lola's bothered to visit. She's always been too busy for family.
GM If that's how she feels I don't know I even want to see her.

Now.

On *top* of that, you also have to allow for the reliability and filters of your reporters. So, the conversation above being reported back:

1 a) GM wants to know when you might be able to drop in?
b) When did you last see GM? She's missing you terribly!
c) GM would love to see you.

2 a) GM barely remembers you.
b) GM's very upset that you don't bother to visit.
c) GM thinks you're too selfish to bother with her.

... and ALL of these versions are arguably true. Ish.

And on top of *that* your grandmother's vascular dementia will, it's certainly true, cause her to lose some memories, resurrect other long-past memories, confuse her sense of time and relationships, and *may* cause loss of inhibition, severe negativity, odd preoccupations and apparently irrational fears and anxieties.

So. All in all. Don't necessarily disbelieve what anyone tells you about what your grandmother says, but for heaven's sake don't *rely* on it either.
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