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Is there an underlying condition, such as dementia or PD, or it this the only issue your mom has? She probably should have a thorough checkup with a specialist to rule out any underlying cause. Looking it up just now, there is no real definitive "treatment", however some anti-anxiety meds might help. A specialist could suggest some medications.

As for the situation as it stands, I take it mom and dad still live alone with each other. Can dad be "presented" as a good friend of dad's who is there to watch over/help mom while dad is "at work" or "running errands"? Dad would have to learn to play the game, so to speak.
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Reply to disgustedtoo
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How to care for someone with Capgras syndrome
Caring for someone with Capgras syndrome can be emotionally demanding, especially if you’re the one they perceive as the imposter. To help someone with Capgras syndrome, here are some strategies to try:

Enter their realm of reality when possible. It can help if you try to understand how terrifying it must be for them.
Don’t argue with them or try to correct them.
Do what you can to make them feel safe. If you’re unsure what to do, you can ask them what they need.
Acknowledge their feelings.
If possible, have the “imposter” leave the room. If this is you and you’re the caregiver, let someone else take over until the episode is over if you can.
Rely on sound. If you know someone is prone to Capgras syndrome, you can make sure the first way they register your appearance is with sound. Greet them out loud before you see them when possible.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Dear Traci,

if its a neurological problem, you might consult a neurologist for advice.

When this would happen with my mom, I tried different approaches. What helped always depended on her mood and depth of her delusional state.

- Laugh about it and tease. “You’re so silly! You know it’s me Mom!”

- Stand where she can see my face and tell her who I am. “Hi Mom. It’s me ______.”

- Say nothing and walk out of the room for a while. If you have to be in the room, keep a calm attitude. Speak minimally and softly. Step away as soon as you can.

Whatever the cause of the problem, do what you can to help Mom to feel reassured. It must be so frightening to not know who is in your home.

Disagreeing and arguing about who someone is will lead to feelings of paranoia - that she is being lied to - and more agitation/fear.

I also found that Mom would not recognize me because her mind may have wandered backwards in time. My father in law would often not recognize my mother in law because he remembered her (or himself) as being young - not 80 years old. A gentle reminder about everyone’s age sometimes helped - “Oh, well I’m not as young as I used to be. Do I look older now?”

Mom even went went as far back as her 20’s - telling me she had no children. It was supremely hurtful for me, but I learned the hard way that being upset and disagreeing didn’t help at all.

Keeping a gentle affect/demeanor and focusing on other things (distraction and redirection) helped most often.

Lastly - taking photos of Mom with people and showing them to her often helped. If she could see herself smiling in a photo with someone, she would be more trusting of them - even if she couldn’t remember who they are. I do this with her doctors, therapists, caregivers, etc. and, I write the name of the person in the back of the photo -“Mom with Dr. ________.”

Very best of luck to you and your Dad.
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Reply to Gardens
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I never heard of Capgras Syndrome - but the last 6 months, my DH would ask where Linda was - yes, I am Linda.

My solution was to put on a light and then stand there and wait for him to recognize me - it generally took a few minutes but made him feel better when he finally would recognize me.

I was wearing Dormshirts (modern day housedresses) and of course, every day I had a different color shirt on. He was looking at the color of the shirt instead of me. Instead of arguing with him, I found just standing there looking at him helped him to finally focus on me. I know his vision was going.

Good Luck hon.
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Reply to RayLinStephens
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Because Capgras Syndrome is a problem with visual processing, sometimes establishing/initiating contact verbally before someone sees you helps.

Does your father have a cell phone or separate line? Could you text him while talking to Mom and let him know she having an "episode"? Then your father could leave the room where your mother is and let you talk to her for a few minutes and calm her down and/or distract her. Dad could call from out of sight "Honey I'm home" or 'Where are you darling?", wait for your mother to answer and then enter the room.

I saw a variation of this work as a child with a WWII soldier who had a skull injury requiring a metal plate in his head. His wife and daughter ran a ceramic shop at their home and my mother attended classes while the attendees' children played in the yard or on the porches (at least until we were old enough to paint ceramics ourselves). Mr Brown was usually a fun grownup to be around and the first couple of times I saw his wife and daughter tag team this way I thought he was just joking around.

Maybe you could reduce the number of times this happens by placing Mom's customary chair with the back to interior doorway?
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Reply to TNtechie
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Don't argue with the belief. That just makes the person angrier and more convinced they are right.
Go with the emotion. Acknowledge her fear, frustration, and anger. Change the focus or redirect her. “Oh, guess what, Mom? I saw our old neighbor Jane Smith today! She said to say hi! Remember the time we...” This is when the Therapeutic Fib works. And you know, if she’s calling frequently, you don’t always have to answer the phone.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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