Mom is fixating on a non-existent car. What can I do?

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Mom had a car accident in 2011. Since then she has not had a car. It was a total loss, no license, but for 5-6 days she's demanding to know who took her blue car because the tags are due. She's never owned a blue car. I tried the "it's in the shop, I'll get it tomorrow" but that leads to, let's go get my car the next day! I tried the whole accident story and that leads to same question 4-5 hours later. I tried the you didn't own a blue car and that just makes her mad. Actually whole topic is making her mad. Last statement was "You're just trying to make me seem crazy and keep my car". Any other ideas? She's usually not so angry or obsessed. Things don't usually carry over for days. Most of her faulty memory is founded on truth never something like a blue car she never owned. Nobody in the family owns a blue car either.

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Rainmom, I thought about it but it's really the only thing that's delusional. She hasn't let it go but instead of daily she's asking once maybe every 3rd day. I've stuck with "we don't talk about your car because you get upset & I get frustrated." Usually she insists once more but I divert & she goes with it. Not a perfect solution but it works.
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I know this is a standard go-to reply, but if this is new behavior have you considered getting her tested for a UTI?
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Mother had delusions too. I over looked them and diverted to some other topic. It worked most of the time. Remember these delusions are REAL to them so telling them they are not real just frustrates them and upsets them more.
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It is heartbreaking. At this point it is always just for the good feelings of the moment because she feels so sad when she's just home. In her mind we're always just here. I take pictures & she laughs but says oh that was last year! Never believes it was just yesterday because if it was then why does she feel this way. I'm ok with enjoying the moment, they mean the world to me. Wish we could go out more but my spouse takes the car for work & with the salt & water restrictions for CHF it's easier to manage at home anyway & she has no memory of the restrictions so she wants popcorn at the movies, fries with the burger, coffee & pastries! She's always been a very good eater.
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Wow, Momshelp, interesting. I wonder if it would help your mom remember if you could either take pics on your trips out and print them for her out or take them on your phone and show her? Or buy her little baubles from your trips out that you can reference - "Mom, we got this little figurine at the dollar store three days ago. You said you liked the color of her dress." My mom can sometimes remember trips out for a day, but then it's gone. She enjoys it immensely in the moment, which is worth it to me. But sad that our moms can't remember their fun times.
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Ok so today when she asked about her car, I told her I was wondering why she's been thinking about her car so much. She said the tags are due. I continued with what would you do if your car was here & boy did she have plans! Movies, beach,casino etc none are places she ever took herself. She never drove on a freeway. Anyway it seems she just wants to go somewhere. Sadly we went out 3 times last week but she has no memory of it so she feels cooped in. Atleast I got to the emotion at the heart of it. No solution but boy this caregiving is interesting
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Thank you Jeannegibbs I googled it & im ready with an idea for the next event. I'll update after.
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I'd just keep trying to find something that works for her. Besides, even if you find something that satisfies her about the blue car, she's likely to start over with the same questions the next day, as she would have forgotten your former answer.

When my LO was in that stage, it seemed that it went from one thing to the next. There was never a time that there was not something at issue. Sometimes, there are no real remedies, just repeating things over and over and trying to keep them calm and as content as possible.
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You might Goggle persistent delusions in dementia.
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Goodness, this is a tough one! An obsession with a persistent delusion. This has "only" been going on for a week or so? It really sounds like you've tried all the likely approaches. Maybe you could accept her delusion and not argue about whether she ever had a blue car but tell her the car was totaled when someone ran into it while it was parked. No one was hurt, but the car cannot be repaired. I have no idea if that would work -- and maybe you've already tried it. But this time don't talk about the actual accident but one she wasn't involved in.

The father of one of the caregivers in my support group had very persistent delusions he was obsessed about. They went on for months. He thought he owned a whole town -- and talked about what he was adding (a new bowling alley) and what needed attention, etc. Then he thought he had been elected governor (while still retaining the town delusion). Mostly these delusions weren't terribly hard to go along with. "Oh, a bowling alley! That does sound like a nice addition. Will food be served there too?"

The problem came when he demanded some action. He had to get to the train station to give his inaugural speech. "You have to help me pack and take me to the train station." Sort of like your mother insisting on going to the shop to pick up the car, right?

Does it help to know you are not alone? Probably not. If you figure out something that works, let us all know!
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