My mom had Dementia. She doesn't recognize some of her clothes and argues, they're not mine. She gets angry and argues. What can I say?

Follow
Share

What can I say to reassure her they are her clothes?

Find Care & Housing
3

Answers

Show:
Therapeutic fibs all the way!

"This isn't yours? That is too bad, because it looks perfect for you. Do you think you might not have worn it for so long you've just forgotten about it? But if you are sure it isn't yours, I'll put it in the goodwill box."

"Sorry. I must have mixed it up when I sorted laundry. I'll take care of the mixup later. Let's just find something that really is yours now."

Who knows where these notions come from? If her present world is 2010 and she bought this 2017, maybe it just doesn't fit in her memory! In any case, there is no value in trying to get her to accept it as hers.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to jeannegibbs
Report

I had the same idea as BarbBrooklyn. Pull out an outfit for your mom and tell her, "Look what I bought for you the other day! I thought it would look really nice on you. The blue in the shirt will match your eyes" (or another similar compliment).

Or you can feign forgetfulness and say something like, "Did I forget to show you what I picked up for you the other day? I think it's a lovely outfit!"

The goal is to keep your mom calm and not get her agitated. Trying to convince her that those are really her clothes is a waste of time and energy for both of you. She doesn't think like we do anymore. Logic and reasonableness are lost on her. Peace and calm is the goal.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Eyerishlass
Report

It's usually better not to argue with dementia patients, since you can convince them that they aren't being logical. It's an exercise in frustration. One summer, my mother was convinced she had leprosy. It was very discouraging.

"Oh, mom, I'm sure you're right, let's put this back in the closet and find one of your tops".

"This is a pair of slack I just bought you today, aren't they nice?"

These are called therapeutic fibs. They usually work.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Report