Follow
Share

I got a very nasty phone call from my brother recently, who had all these things he accused me of, that mom told him. For instance, that every time I visit her, I ask her for gas money! What, suddenly I'm 17 years old? And that's just the beginning, and just what I've heard about. The thing is, I'd like this to stop, but I have my doubts that confronting mom would make any difference. What do you think?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
I would try to not take it personally. Her brain capacity doesn't allow for full thought processing. I would no more get upset with what she says to me or about me, than I would with a person in a coma, if they refused to have a conversation with me. They just aren't capable. I think we have to readjust our expectations.

I think that some untruths that dementia patients say are totally out of left field. I do think that my cousin meant it when she told neighbors that she had no food. (Her fridge and pantry were full of food.) She also told my mother that I had not visited her in AL that day. (I had showed up TWICE.) She told me that a good friend brought her a basket of treats. (There were no treats and no basket.) She also claimed that her doctor slept on the couch in the lobby of her AL. (He had never been to her AL.) So, I think that their claims can be totally baseless. I don't think there is always some kind of intentional harm behind them.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Maybe the insurance companies can draft a caregiver's liability policy to protect the caregiver from this kind of slander. Or not, just giving the lies a bigger voice is not a good idea. Turning the other cheek is hard.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

That is right, Jessebelle, confabulation. Sad that the words can do damage even when untrue. All anyone has to do is lie, and it is out there, often requiring a defense from the person damaged. These lies often carry a kernel of truth, then twisted to serve a purpose.

As for Ribbman, Confronting a person with dementia/narcissism can be dangerous for everyone's well-being. As once they are done with you, will go and 'scorch the earth' as some have explained in prior years on this thread.

I have seen some great techniques others have used to defuse the impact.
Including, "That's right Mom, I am stealing your money, what can I buy for you today?"
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I would just tell Brother that she has quite an imagination now. Tell him to look up confabulation. People can make up some real tales, particularly if they have dementia. They can even believe them themselves, so there's no point trying to convince them they aren't true. They will be true until another story is invented to take its place. :)

My mother did this for a few years. It is better now. Her confabulated stories made me feel like I had phase shifted. They could be quite imaginative. I never bother to correct unless some harm could be done. As long as your brother knows the truth, no harm done here... I hope!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

We have the same thing going on with my MIL. What I needed to do for the people she was telling lies to was to explain that this is part of the Dementia. It really made the point though when I could tell them something she'd said about them. They seemed to "understand" when I told them about her lying and they sort of believed when I told them the things she said about me weren't true -- but boy, when I told them things she said about them . . . . "Ah Ha!" The lightbulb really went on for them and they "Got It!"

It did me absolutely not good to speak with MIL. She either didn't remember saying them, was lying about not remembering saying them, or brushed it off as not too important and changed the subject or started a fight about something else to deflect the conversation away from her lying.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thanks all. I've tried to discuss things with her in the past and had no luck at all. I just get frustrated that I expend so much time and energy and then have her tell these stories about me. I think I need a vacation!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Your mother was manipulative all your life, according to your profile, and that no doubt complicates your reactions. Confronting her earlier might have made some sense, but as she is in moderate stage dementia I doubt that will do any good now.

Does your brother live anywhere near you? It sounds like rebuilding your relationship in many sessions over a couple of beers might do more long-term good. You now have insights that neither of you had as children. Sharing and getting his input might be good.

Meanwhile, mother is in a care center so it is safe for you to detach a bit when her manipulation gets too painful for you.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Ribbman, go to this article https://www.agingcare.com/articles/How-to-handle-alzheimers-disease-lying-144204.htm and print it out for your brother to read. I don't believe he realizes that someone who had dementia will make up stories. I remember my Mom saying some crazy things about my Dad of which none of it was true... but I didn't tell Dad what she said, it would have only upset him.

It's interesting how many people with dementia go through this phase. Therefore, do not say anything to Mom about her "stories". Find out what Mom likes and re-direct the conversation there. For my Dad, who hasn't entered this phase but tends to think he is living in the 1940's, I will ask him about the weather as he's a huge weather buff... and strangely his mind will return to 2016 and the current weather conditions nationwide :)
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Your profile says your mom has dementia. Is your brother aware of this and that often the person with dementia will have delusions, tell things that are not true and actually believe things that have not happened? I'd kindly explain this to him and maybe provide a link for him to read about it. If he's not informed, he has no way to know that this reports are false.

Since my cousin developed dementia, I have discovered so many things about it that I never knew before. I think many people aren't educated on what kinds of things dementia patients may exhibit.

I see no reason to confront your mother. She would likely not be able to process what she said or that it wasn't true. And if she did, she would likely forget it.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

If mom has dementia, she won't even remember telling him stuff. Plus the reports are enhanced and bloom on the second telling to you. Avoid the he said she said. I'll bet she's telling you some dandies about him as well. Toss it all away, do not repeat it or retell it and avoid the drama.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter