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When a parent develops a false memory, even though most of the time they're coherent aside from some normal memory lapse, does that false memory ever go away?
Last year he had a false memory and it was due to a urinary infection. He eventually stopped bringing it up.
Well he just recently had another one that my mother is still alive even though she died in 2002.
Strangely both of them seem to revolve around my mother.
I told the doctor about it and they brought him in today for labs.
I'm hoping it's another infection.

But do they ever go away? The false memories?

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I have a unique situation regarding this. Mom and Dad divorced over 50 years ago. Didn't speak to each other all those years. They now are in nursing homes in 2 different cities. Some months back we took Dad to visit Mom....something they both wanted. They acted like teenagers....holding hands and even kissed a couple of times. Since then they talk on the phone everyday. Mom doesn't remember being married to Dad and was shocked to hear my sister say he was our dad. Couldn't figure out how that happened. On a positive note, they don't remember the bitterness between them! And I sure am not reminding them. :-)
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My mother has many false memories. Most of the time the memories have a small fragment of truth that she changes or embellishes. Usually it is harmless. She does remember her version of he stories fairly well until she changes them again. The original true story is normally lost. It is sure to start an argument if I try to tell her the true story. Most of the time it doesn't matter, so I just let it go. Occasionally it is important, however, since it might involve spending large amounts of money or hurting someone's feelings. I do address these instances, since they are important.

My mother has dementia. With her the false memories last better than the truth. I've wondered why this happens, since her short-term memory is not so good. It would be interesting to learn why confabulated stories are remembered and real events are forgotten.
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My husband has Alz. and has something like "false memories" . It's hard to include him in any kind of conversation because he interrupts a lot to add his own experiences to whatever is being discussed. He will include as his own experience things people have told him, situations he's watched over & over in old WW2 movies or westerns, stuff he's read in the paper or seen on TV. There's no way to correct him during the conversation, so we all just go along with it. But then later I explain to the guests or our kids that he hadn't actually had those experiences. They all understand and just chuckle. We all know he's not a liar, just that his memory is all screwed up. Although he was in the service, we all know he was never in any actual battles. And he never rode in a round-up or helped brand cattle (he was a city boy). He never played pro-ball or had a serious health crisis, etc. But we never argue with him or laugh at him. He's a very pleasant and happy man, why spoil that?
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LunaEros, wow! This is a really tough situation for you. I hope it turns out to the an infection that can be cleared up. That would be easiest, wouldn't it?

What you are calling a false memory is a delusion -- something strongly believed to be true although it is demonstrably not true. Sometimes delusions are accompanied by hallucinations (seeing something that is not there.)

Delusions and hallucinations can both accompany utis in the elderly. They are also common in some forms of dementia, and in other mental illnesses. It is wise to consult a doctor, as you are doing.

In general (and this doesn't apply in every situation) it is best not to argue with a person having delusions. Go along if possible, and be comforting and reassuring.

You might try something along the lines of ... "I miss Mother, too. I am so sorry she can't be with us now. I know she isn't living with another guy. She loves us both very much. Remember the time she ...." and redirect to talking about some real memory.

And I KNOW it can be irritating as h*ll, especially if he wants to argue with you about it. Try not to get sucked into arguments.
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Luna...false memeories are common..My mom is convinced that the apt we live in was her's many years ago...The reality is the developmen tis only 2 years old and we move in 2013. She insist that all the pictures on wall , that I put up...all the furnitue and decor was her's and she left them and now we are lucky to have gotten the same apt and that all the things are still in it??? it is bazaar to say the least! I have decided it is an illusion and I can not play into it by trying to make her see it is all in her head...I let her say it and think it...so what!!! It is not important...I just say yes and change the subject in minutes it is forgotten. Like the new song in movie Frozen out for kids...my advise is. "LET IT GO..LET IT GO". It is part of the dementia and playing into it is useless ...PICK YOUR BATTLES! Be the best caregiver you can be and in the end you will have no regrets! Good luck! My mom is like a child and as such I pretend she is..and treat her like one...she loves attention and it works every time!
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JanJon, this reminds me so much of my mother at Christmas. I have bought most of the decorations since I've been here. She has claimed each thing as hers -- something that she has used for years. I don't say anything usually. But then she crossed the line when I was setting up the rocking reindeer. She talked of the way she displayed it years ago. I told her it was MINE. She can claim the tree and garlands and lights, but she was not going to get my rocking reindeer. Yep, the child in me finally came out.
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I'm not sure if you dad has dementia. You don't list that as an ailment. Perhaps, his memory issue is age related or perhaps it's another UTI. The lab tests should reveal that. Or it could be some dementia. I know that my cousin, who has dementia, does forget some things that she has previously claimed. At Halloween, she told me another resident at the Memory Care facility worked at a Mall she used to shop at. This was obviously not true, but I went along with it. A week later she didn't think the resident worked at the Mall anymore. She also told me her father gave her her wheelchair, but at my last visit, she didn't think he did. (He's been deceased for over 20 years.)

So, I don't think there is any way to determine.if the false memories will continue, but most of the time it doesn't really matter. Although, it may be disconcerting to the caregiver, it may not bother the patient at all. In fact, believing their mother is alive may bring them comfort. I hope your dad feels better.
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Well, that's a lot more information. I see on your profile that your father served in the Korean War. Have you checked into VA for benefits other than a nursing home? You need to seriously set up a budget. I don't know how much cigarettes cost, but since they don't improve your health or your lifestyle, perhaps that could be cut or at least reduced. Chances are, they are going to cost you your home. Worth it?

A lot of government programs are suffering from budget cuts. People who are used to receiving benefits or were hoping to qualify, will have to find other means. Wish it were otherwise, but....fewer people paying taxes to support the programs...Just the way it is.

Maybe when your father's infection clears up, his rantings will go away.
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I think right now your Dad's false memories are the least of your worries. It is very difficult to get approved for disability these days, it mostly seems to take at least a couple of years even if you have private disability insurance which I assume you don't have. the idea of both the insurance companies and the govt is that you will get so desperate financially that you will find some kind of work and no longer qualify. Try and find a lawyer who specializes in obtaining disability insurance. the first visit will probably be free and he wont take your case unless he is pretty sure that he will win your case. of course when you get your money you will have to pay a good chunk of change to him but it is better than being penniless. Have you been to social services to see if they can help with low income housing? if the landlord wants to evict you and dad i don't see an alternative but for you to go to Virginia and live with your friend. It is not that cold there and anything is better than being on the streets or a homeless shelter. I wish you well but won't be funding you.
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LunaEros, I am frightened by your statement "I wish I was dead....I wish I had a gun." Please please call your local suicide prevention hotline! Do it now! You need someone to talk to, a voice not a website, and tbey might also be able to point in dirdction of some helps for your various issues with housing, food, and your ddad's needs. If you succeed in killing yourself what good does that do for your dad, or worse yet if you only maim yourself then you'll have an even worse quality of life. And unless you're a long-time respo sible gun owner you might mistakenly kill somebody else with that gun you wish for. Pleaee please call suicice prevention hotline right now!
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