Is lying part of dementia? -

Is lying part of dementia?


A bit angry at mom at the moment. She has digestive problems and she tries to hide them. AND, SHE LIES.
She flooded the toilet in the hallway and used the hand towel to clean things up. She left the sopping wet towel on the floor and didn’t tell me.
Then, when I went in there to clean it up, she denied knowing anything about it. She said she didn’t do it.
The frustrating part is the fact that she doesn’t tell me these things and lies about it.
She lies about a lot of things and it bothers me.
What really pissed me off was when she was in there with me she had left her chair at the table pulled out and my two dogs got up on the table and ate her sandwich and oatmeal raisin cookies. Raisins are toxic to dogs.
It’s my first show of anger and I don’t feel good about it.

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Pink, if Mom has a history of lying, all the more reason it sets you on edge ... and probably all the more reason this behavior occurs in her dementia. Understanding this rationally will probably help you cope, but don't expect perfection of yourself. It sounds like you are doing a difficult job very well.
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Thanks. I was a bit surprised at my reaction to it all. I asked her and she denied trying to clean it up with the hand towel and I said that she and I were the only ones in the house. I told her that I didn't care if she made a mess but that I'd appreciate it if she just let me know. MAJOR MISTAKE: I tried to reason with someone with dementia.
I think I was more upset about the fact that it endangered my dog.

My mom does have a history of lying about many, many things. I have to remember that some of her current behavior is due to the dementia.
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You are in a hard place. I hear that you try to be an excellent caregiver.

Why do people lie? Because they are afraid. Not saying she's afraid of you and your reaction. She's scared because something bad happened, and she had NO IDEA what to do about it. I think when you use the word LIE, it becomes a big crime. What if you say she was afraid to tell you, and later, that she forgot what happened? You still have to clean up the mess, and worry about the dog, but at least your mother is not a LIAR. She's just hoping to avoid disaster.

Don't beat yourself up. Her behavior certainly looks like lying, but she no longer has the level of moral intelligence to lie. We all know caregiving can drive you mad, so don't be surprised if you get mad from time to time. Good luck.
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PinkLA, dementia has placed Mom in her own world. Her truths are not your truths! People with dementia frequently say things that are not true. Whether this is "lying" is open to debate. Sometimes they don't remember. Maybe Mom denied making the mess because she really didn't remember doing it. Sometimes they just know the outward reality doesn't match their inward view of things. "Yes, I see the mess on the floor, but I know I couldn't possibly have done that kind of thing."

There are many, many frustrating aspects to caring for someone with dementia. The "lying" is one of them. Not telling you about problems and messes is another. Forgetting things that put the dogs at risk is yet another. Few caregivers can get through day after day without some episodes of anger. Learn from your experience, try to think how you might handle it differently next time, and move on.
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