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My mother has alzheimers/dementia and is telling lies

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Your mom's brain is broken, sadly. She believes it's the truth. However, if these lies do mischief or harm to you ( my daughter is trying to murder me), they are stemming from paranoia, delusions or agitation and meds might help with that.
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I think one of life's hardest challenges is to watch the person we looked up to our whole lives, the person who took care of us, taught us right from wrong, start acting in a way we were taught to be unacceptable. Lying, not wanting to bathe, making up stories, being nasty, maybe cursing when they never did before. I know myself, as my Mom's daughter, was at first horrified and embarrassed to see my Mom act this way. She would say one thing and I'd jump in to correct her, thinking I was helping her. I was in a bigger state of denial than she was regarding her alzheimer's. It took me a long time to learn just to roll with the waves. Nod my head and agree with her. Mouth a silent apology to someone Mom may have offended. When a loved one with dementia is acting strangely, you have to realize that it's not the person saying those things, it's the disease. I wish I had learned that earlier in my Mom's journey. It was have saved both of us a lot of needless agitation.
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Yes! I agree with blannie. Teepa Snow is wonderful!!! Really, anyone caring for someone with a type of dementia needs to take improv lessons- ha! Those improv skills of being able to roll with whatever the person is saying is so helpful. We cannot pull them into our reality, so we have to enter theirs.

Example: several years ago I worked at an Adult Day Health and I was in our Alzheimer's program, where we had one particular man who was in the middle of his journey, struggling with a lot of delusions and anger. One day he was convinced his mom was outside, waiting to pick him up (never mind his mom had passed years ago), and NO ONE was going to stop him from going outside. So I went, "Okay! I'll come with you!" Then, as we were walking down the hall, I stopped walking, looked down and said, "Oh gosh, it's really cold outside! I forgot my coat. Can you help me find my coat?" So we "looked" for my coat for a while, and went into our small "quiet room," where we had a photo album of his which he liked to look at. I said, "Oh! What is this? Can you show me these pictures?" So we sat down at looked at the album for a while and then he was able to rejoin the others in the program activity.

I think people with dementia get tired of us constantly correcting them. I think we, as people with healthy brains, don't realize how often we start sentences with the word "No." Who likes to constantly hear that?! Oftentimes, when that is the first word said people shut down and don't even listen to what's said after the "no." It is a rule of improv that you never start a sentence with the word, "No," but instead say, "Yes, and..."
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You need to go to Youtube and watch Teepa Snow videos about Alzheimers and dementia. And tell your families to watch the videos too...or read some of the information on the alz.org website (The Alzheimer's Association) about how the disease manifests itself. Education is a key for family members to understand why your loved ones are acting as they are. They can't help it.
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You have to remember that they are living in their own reality and as a caregiver we have to enter their reality as people with dementia are right 100% of the time.
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this is so true...dementia and Alzheimers do this slowly...and then as it happens more and more you realize one day that it is the 'new normal' for them...it doesn't pay to say 'you're lying'--- just do damage control where it is needed...it causes less arguments and frustration for everyone. If it is health-related, talk with the doctor apart from them; either in notes or a phone call. That way you're not doing it in front of them and saves their dignity....it's all about their dignity. If it's about safety issues, handle it asap for them to avoid any dangers...you may also want to mention to others when they're not around so other people can also keep an eye out for their safety as well...since you can't be attached to them like Velcro, then others can help out too when you're not around....and, they aren't even aware of it. That's the best scenario I have for this issue. Hope it helps somebody !!! :)
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@ Crazytown, please find out what that patch was. Any help we can have here would be appreciated. Funny thing, in our situation there is lying, game playing, paranoia, delusions, nastiness and the list goes on and on. The part that is so hard to take, we live here and know what is what but the people who don't live here (my MILs own children) think we are the crazy ones because they do not see or hear this behavior on a daily basis and usually does not exhibit it in their presence. They think that we lie and make these things up. Some days, I feel banging your head on a wall is the better option!
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Your mother is NOT lying. With her dementia her brain is telling her thoughts that it perceives as "truth", when it is not and you are going to have to learn to deal with it. Just remind her what the truth is, and move on. Trying to convince her will only result in a power struggle, and you will lose. Let her win, unless it is dangerous for her.
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I have also had this experience with my mom. She now lives with my brother and sister-in-law and they are bothered by her lies. She used to be even worse, accusing me of things that weren't true, but the doctor put her on a medication patch (sorry, can't recall the name) and the paranoia and general nastiness and cursing at me has gone away. Unfortunately the memory loss still has her either lying or saying that someone else has done things that she did herself. It's a difficult situation to have to deal with because the memories of who they were and who they have become are like night and day. Try speaking with her doctor, maybe they can prescribe a medication that can help.
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I work with lots of elderly people in my job as a caregiver. Yes, the elderly person thinks they are telling the truth, and they do live in their own world. I call it "fairy tales" and I would definitely not say it to their face!!! Arlene Hutcheon
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