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My mom has vascular dementia. She and my father still live in their home of 60+ years. Mom keeps saying that is "not her house". And she also says that she has several caregivers. (She does not) My dad is the one there but she tells us that is not daddy. When she asks "where is Harry" if he tells her "I am Harry" she gets very upset and says NO YOU ARE NOT. Her "caregivers" are all male but one and she keeps saying "she" when referring to her. Again, my dad is the only one there. But she says he is NOT there but the "caregiver" is. She rarely has any other hallucinations that we are aware of. She also tells my sister that she wishes "they" would just tell her who they are instead of lying and saying they are Harry. She has very lucid conversations and this is really the only main issue right now. I just do not know how we should handle it. Do we keep telling her that it is daddy or what?

I just go along with my Mom for the most part. I don't have to agree with her I just say something neutral like "oh really" or "you don't say". If I try to correct her it just upsets her. I also try redirecting her to another topic.

With dementia they really believe what they are saying and telling them it is not so can be confusing/frightening for them and make them think you are being dishonest.

When I realized that I could not convince my Mom her delusions were not real and I was just making her feel bad, it was easier for me to stop. Still, it's emotionally painful watching a LO slowly loose their grip on reality. So painful...
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Reply to Tryingmybest
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Her mind may be where her husband is younger not an old man and her adult children are small. These are not hallucinations, this is just where she is in her mind. Hallucinations are when she sees something that aren't there. With my Mom it was a little girl. And there is medication if the hallucinations are upsetting her. They didn't with my Mom.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Your mom is not having hallucinations, she is having delusions. Delusions are a belief in something that is not true like mom believing Harry is not really Harry. Delusions and hallucinations, can be very difficult for the caregiver to understand and to respond to. It is best to try to go along with mom's beliefs and not to argue or correct them, doing so will just cause conflict, as you have already experienced. Educate yourself about VaD by reading "The 36 Hour Day". It is a great resource for caregivers. If you have a local library there are many books on the subject; look up "dementia" or "Alzheimer's".
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Reply to sjplegacy
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Alzheimer's doesn't take away old memories. Your mom may not recognize that old man she sees as her husband because he is not young the way she remembers Harry. Try enlarging a clear picture of Harry to real face size, mount it to cardboard and attach a popsicle stick handle. Its helpful if you know Mom recognizes the photo as Harry. If Mom states that it isn't Harry when she sees him, he can hold the picture up and say 'Here I am". Slowly cover and uncover his face with the mask and she might make the connection.
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Reply to swanalaka
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Isthisrealyreal Jul 7, 2020
Or you might scare the beejeebers out of her.

I would try a picture 1st before I did something that could freak her out.

No offense intended, just thinking how that broken brain might perceive this.
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My doctor told me to have some fun with it. Tell dad to tell her whomever he wants to be for that shift. Tom Selleck, Neil Armstrong or Santa Claus, whatever helps him have a little fun, because she doesn't know the difference.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Oh, dear! This sounds so much like my dad. One day he thought I was his brother. Usually he thinks I'm his mom. (Sometimes I feel old enough and tired enough to be his mother. ) He thinks we've got several helpers, too. Well, just don't argue. That's the best advice. I try to ask questions about his life, like a mom would. The results are interesting. For a long time, he was just home from WWII, fixing to go to college on the GI bill. Now, he's back before the war, to when his older brothers hadn't even been called up yet. If he asks how his dad is, I say, "Fine."
If he asks if I've seen one of his brothers, I just say, "Not lately. "
So far that satisfies him. I still don't know how he could've mistaken me for his brother, when I wear dresses most of the time. Oh, well.
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Reply to Mykids92
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Oliver Sacks, the brilliant neurologist and author of fascinating books about unusual conditions, wrote a book called ‘Hallucinations’. In it he specifically discusses your mother’s version, of refusing to believe that someone is who they actually are, and missing the person who they actually are. Get the book from the library, or buy it – it’s a great read.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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