Can a person with dementia tell a lie to one person and later admit to another person that they lied?

Find Care & Housing


Oh yes, I know my Alz mother lies.

When I take her to visit some old friend of hers, after being there for awhile she wants to go home but doesn't want to say that to her friend, she always says: 'Oh, it's time for me to take my medication, let's go home.' She then nudges me to get her out of there, not to go home, but just to leave her friend's place.

Another example. My mother is very protective of her purse, and money, She hides them in different places in her room and is very secretive about it. When someone jokingly asks her if she can lend them some money, she would say: 'I haven't gotten any money. My son keeps all my money, and I haven't gotten a dime in my purse.'

I don't make a big deal about her lies, and don't say anything to her. It's her way of protecting herself.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to polarbear

You do know that lying is a basic human condition that starts around the age of 3. Right? And memories in dementia tend to go backwards in time. Even with dementia, the personality of someone remains. For example a person who was anxious through their lifetime will remain. Do you have any other marker for memory problems rather than lying? Simple lies may be a way for compensating, but your example is common to everyday life.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to MACinCT

My mom had Alzheimer's and I lost her 3 years ago. I'm now helping a friend care for her 83 year mom who we suspect has some form of dementia but her physician just calls it "normal" aging. She is currently struggling with short term memory. But in a particular instance she told her daughter a lie in both of our presence and when her daughter left the room she looked at me and said, I just couldn't tell her the truth. I don't want her to know. When her daughter came back into the room she told the same lie again. I'm just confused as to how (if she is truly struggling with some form of dementia) she can seem so aware.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Nicee1224

Also their filters are gone so they will think behaviors they would never have done before are okay. Like lying
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Grammyteacher

if someone actually has dementia. whether their memory is 10 minutes long or 2 seconds long. they will say one thing ..and then moments later NOT remember they said it. I agree with the above post, states it very well.

My mom could say she's 1)hungry 2)cold 3)tired ....and then next say "did I say that?"
"when did I say that??"
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to wally003

Sure. And the second statement, "I lied before" could be a fabrication and what the first person was told could be true.

People with dementia say contradictory things. Sometimes you have to be a good detective to figure out what the truth is (if it matters).

Some people with dementia fluctuate widely in their cognition from day to day or even hour by hour. This is especially true with Lewy Body Dementia. An LBD patient could know the story accurately in the morning and by afternoon have to make up details -- or vice versa.

Also, people with dementia are often inaccurate with what they say, but they are seldom "lying" as we think of the term. They usually believe what they are saying. In their world it is true.

Are you new to dealing with someone who has dementia, Nicee?
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to jeannegibbs

Are you asking this so that you can demonstrate that some does or does not have dementia?

Folks with dementia can be capable of lying. And of apologizing. Especially early on.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn