She has been diagnosed as being in the early stages of dementia (most likely vascular), but insists her memory issues are just old age. She says that neighbors call to tell her that they've seen Dad taking this girlfriend for rides. (I've spoken with these neighbors. They have not.) Dad DOES NOT have a girlfriend. Dad is her sole caregiver -- dresses her, makes the food, and handles everything at home. She knows how dependent she is on him and I'm sure this delusion comes from the fear of overloading him or losing him; the guilt and other feelings. She is frightened and sad and I just don't know how to help. I've tried to address the emotional component and then distract her, but that no longer works. She is still on the ball enough to recognize the attempts at distraction.

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Margaret is right in her idea. My mom was in a nursing home she thought was an apartment in Chicago. The hallway outside was a road. There was a “young boy” on a “bicycle” who was staking her. He was hiding in her closet and sleeping between her mattress and the slats inside her bed. He was also stealing her dirty underwear. Finally, one of her aides came one day when I was visiting her and trying so hard to keep it together. She heard my mom and said, Oh, Mrs. B.! Didn’t you hear? He got fired! He’s not allowed in the building any more! The police are watching him!”

She never mentioned the kid again.
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This may sound a bit extreme, but if you are quite quite sure that this is untrue, you could promise your mother that you would be so angry if it happened that you would murder the girlfriend. Add that you have already worked out how to do it, your father knows it too, and has decided that it isn't worth the risk. He isn't going to do it, she can depend on you.

I look forward to seeing any better suggestions!
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