Follow
Share

My Friend has been yelling about things that I know are false. She has had brain cancer and strokes and a pacemaker put in. Example. Electric wheelchair was dead and I had put it on charge. Came in had dead wheelchair she told me she unplugged it one minute and like 10 minutes later aggressively told me she didn't. Then tonight I asked her to clean up her dresser and she brought up a shirt that her MIL gave her and said it wasn't hers. I told her it was and she started yelling she knows what clothes she has. I'm soooo frustrated with the yelling and the boldface lying. What do I do?

In her mind she isn’t lying or she also may want to cover up that her memory is slipping. Her brain disease has affected parts of her that changes the personality and her reality. The sooner you understand this and accept it, it’s easier not to take it personally. Say to yourself, "there's that disease talking again". Never argue with a person with dementia, it will make it worse and escalate. You need to learn techniques that are proven to work with her. Agreeing, therapeutic fibbing, etc. I often say, things like, "I understand, or Is that so, or we can handle that tomorrow etc. for example. Try to not take it personally and if you need to leave the room then make up something like ...you don’t feel well, you have an appointment etc. ...we sometimes just need to go to our car and scream.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Harpcat
Report

It isn't lying; it's her truth. It isn't factual, logical, or sensible most of the time, but she believes it, and nothing you say will convince her otherwise. Get used to living in that world. I write my mother a note every morning telling her what day and date it is, and what, if anything, she has planned that day. I started doing this after she "skipped" a Monday and demanded we take her to her Tuesday appointment, on a Monday. We called her doctor's office; she didn't believe them either. We were all stupid or crazy.
This is frightening to the person losing his or her memory; frightened people get combative. Imagine how you'd feel if you'd gone through most of your life with the confidence of a well-educated, social-minded, politically active, religious, broad-minded well-rounded human being and suddenly you couldn't remember your children's names, or what day it was. There will be some yelling.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to SFdaughter
Report

Amazing thing the brain. One piece of matter controls so much of what makes us us.
It greatly depends on what part of the brain has been effected by the cancer and by any treatments she may have had as well as any strokes or other trauma.
Just think of it as a broken part of the body that will not heal. All you can do is accept it for what it is. There are things the might make it easier to deal with though.
Do not argue. ..probably the most difficult mainly be "we" always want to be correct ;)

Change the topic.

Laugh. I am talking about a real "belly laugh" I did this with my husband once and was amazed that he went from being adamant about doing something to stopping and laughing with me. He completely forgot about what he wanted.

Leave the room (if it is safe to do so) take a break, count to 10 or 100, make a cup of tea. Anything to move away from the situation by the time you return things will be easier to focus on.

Put on some favorite music.

By the way I don't think I would call what she is doing is lying. A lie is when you KNOW the truth and say something else. I think she may not know what the truth is. She may not have remembered where the shirt came from, may not have known that she unplugged the wheelchair. She may have known what she was doing at the time but later forgot OR when she unplugged it may not even known what she was doing. Again it all depends on how the brain is effected.

Are you primary caregiver or are there others? You need a break. There is a lot of talk on this site as well as any caregiver site or group about self care it is important. It is normal to feel frustrated, angry, burnt out, you have to remember to care for yourself as well.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Grandma1954
Report
Tammyrex121277 Dec 24, 2018
I am the primary caregiver. Her husband is an amputee.
(0)
Report
tamm, I’m in the thick of figuring this out too! With one’s own mom there’s the extra, fun dimension of childhood flashbacks. Having empathy for their condition certainly helps. I think this is fair even with someone not working at full capacity: I tell my mom that there’s no need to get upset and yell, and I’m counting to three outbursts and after three I know the visit is done.

Whenever possible I try to make various ‘Huh, Ah’ noises and say nothing vs. engaging a/o contradicting her. Unless the item comes up repeatedly and she won’t let it go. Look for videos on talking with people with dementia on YouTube, I found some good ones! You’re so sweet to be in her life. We’ll get better at this, then will always have the skill handy. Blessings.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Zdarov
Report

My mother died of brain cancer, although where her's was made her docile not aggressive. However, your friend qualifies for hospice with that diagnosis. Has that been brought on board?
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Harpcat
Report
Tammyrex121277 Dec 24, 2018
She is a survivor. Her brain cancer was at the age of 24 and now she is 52. She went through chemo and radiation and brain surgery at 24 and was only given 6 months to live.
(1)
Report
Based on my personal experience, I would say that the last eleven words in your question provide the only realistic answer. "Deal with it in an understanding way without taking it personally".
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Experienced
Report

Yes, it causes all kind of problems. This woman has had a lot of brain damage. She has no idea what she is doing or saying. You can't reason with her, she has lost that ability. She can't process anymore. Short term is probably gone. And this will get worse as her brain dies. Her care will be more and more. Don't argue with her. She will need more care than u or her husband can give. You have probably made promises you may not be able to keep.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report

I agree with the posts above. She can no longer reason, plan or make logical decisions. Don't argue with her. Just try to keep her calm and happy.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to NancyIS
Report

Yes!!! Memory loss/dementia can cause someone to become verbally abusive, angry, and say things that aren’t true.
My dad lied about driving on a suspended license. “I swear the car has been sitting in the driveway!” (Except when he’s out driving 6x a day)
as hard as it seems, try to remove yourself from the line of Fire, and be firm and consistent, matter-of-fact, and non confrontational. Almost as if you’re an observer in the situation. You’re not dealing with a rational minded person. You’re dealing with a stranger.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Rattled
Report

It’s hard to understand- but the people with AD usually either believe what they are saying, or are covering for
something they forgot. With my mother, I take the path of
least resistance and try to keep her calm and happy and agree with her.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to CalamityJen
Report

See All Answers

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter