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  1. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    The resurrection of long-deceased loved ones and relatives can be a big problem, because even if you manage to get over the fact that they are dead the chances are it will all be forgotten and you'd have to go through it all again.

    Imagine the horror of experiencing the loss of a loved one not just once, but on a daily or weekly basis.

    And what would be the point?

  2. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    I'm glad so many people are owning up to not being truthful. We found it really painful over the summer when my mum was in hospital and very delusional for first time and we were told by the psychologist not to go along with it. We took him at his word and did tell my mum her mother died years ago, she got divorced 30 years ago, etc. etc. Often we tried to dodge questions, change the subject, but when someone looks you in the eye and asks whether their mother is still alive it's hard to make the decision about what to say. I think in future I won't spend so much time trying to re-orientate, as you say it is quickly forgotten anyway.


  3. #18
    To converse with mum you have to join her world and this involves telling many untruths. I don't have a problem with that at all. Mum's world is her reality and I just find that things usually flow more smoothly if I agree or tell her lies. My only aim is to keep as much peace in her already miserable life. I am fortunate in a way because it is fairly easy to pacify mum and she usually excepts my solution to her problems eg, a couple of days ago mum said to me, I have some bad news (my we go) our mum died and I didn't want to tell you because it would upset you. I said, I'm sorry to hear that, mum said, but there is more bad news, terrible news... the undertaker wont give mum back. I said, done worry I'll get straight on to the boys (her brothers) and they'll sort this out. Mum was happy to accept this. Then she turned to another resident and said, I knew she would sort this out but take no notice of her calling me mum because she is my sister and now mum is dead I'm letting her call me mum so don't tell her the truth. I'm standing there. If my brother was there he would shake his head and walk away and think that I was encouraging her madness.

    The welfare officer at mum's home told me that when she first started in dementia care she found it difficult having to lie to residents and she was told to look upon it as creative thinking.

    I truly can't see the need to unnecessarily upset or antagonize. I wish you well, Regards Taffy.
    kindness in another's trouble,
    Courage in your own....

  4. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2007
    I couldn't agree with everyone more. What I try to do is not lie as such but use the conversation to talk about other things. For example, if dad says to me 'I want to go home to see my mom and dad' I say something like 'where do they live?' or 'what's the house like?'. Most of the time this keeps the communication going and he moves on to something else without too much distress. I know different things work for different people but I beleive that the main aim is to reduce his distress and encourage communication while he can still communictae with me eveen if he doesn't really know who I am!. Keep up the good work out there.

  5. #20

    Kindness first

    I have to agree with most of the posters here. I do lie to my Mum, because her truth is not reality any longer. I can't make her live in reality, but I can let her live in her truth is she's happy there. And I can change the subject too. Now that she doesn't have to deal with much of daily life anymore, she has less to cope and contend with, so she's calmer, less stressed and happier. I can't begin to imagine how life must feel to her, but I can make it happier and less distressing for her. Personally, I think bringing a degree of comfort into someon's life is more important under the circumstances than being honest with her. (I can't run away from a fairly grisly reality, but I can spare her most of the details.)

  6. #21
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Mum’s memory gradually got worse. For several years she could only retain a conversation for a minute, and spectacular events for maybe fifteen minutes. Her memory of her family and work mates ended in 1940. She could not grasp that the years had rolled on. She just wanted assurance that all the bills were paid and that she had food in the larder.

    There was no point in trying to talk to mum about today’s world or her illness. I just went along with what she wanted to talk about, replying with an answer that was most likely to give her reassurance or pleasure.

    I never thought that it was a lie. I worked on the principal that I was the nurse looking after a patient with a very serious illness. My job was to keep mum calm and happy.


  7. #22
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Thanks everyone!

    Would you agree that in the early stages honesty is necessary?

    I guess when the problem is memory imparement but the person is still aware of time, place and person that is when I still am honest.

    When their reality becomes something other than mine I am comfortable going with the flow.

  8. #23
    Honesty is fine, as long as it doesn't cause any distress. The early stages are when you'll have the most distress because that's when the person flits in and out of awareness of their own condition and memory failures. In the early stages my mother kept saying "I think I'm losing my mind" and she was very upset & distraught by that. I could reassure her by saying "You're not losing your mind, you're losing your memory." Why that reassured her, I don't know but it did.

    So, IMO, when honesty doesn't hurt, it's okay. If you think it will upset the person, why bother?
    Carer and Volunteer Moderator
    When you've seen one person with Alzheimer's, you've seen one person with Alzheimer's

  9. #24
    I Know ever case is different , but my mother in the early stages was even taking my daughter on holiday with her she must of been living with AZ for a good 5 years , before we notices anything drastic in her behavior and that was only because of the shock of my father having a heart attract in bed with her, that killed him . That really shock her into the last stages , becoming very deluded, paranoid , obsessive , so at that stage even thought doctor told her in front of her she has AZ , she could not comprehend what it meant . so me not understanding told her what going to happen to her , she really got distress told me that I am loony . so never mention it again .

    So no never lie in early stages , because she new when I was lying to her , that why I found it so hard lying in late stages , because she always new when I was lying to her , so in later stages when I started lying to stop coursing so much distress it work, but could not believe that she believed me,

    I have read in an NVQ training for dementia , because people with dementia can became very paranoid you should not lie to them , because they get more paranoid, never said what stage
    Last edited by Margarita; 13-12-2007 at 05:27 PM.
    "You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only option."
    Author: Unknown

    Each person experiences dementia in their own individual way.

  10. #25
    I think there are different lies and generalization can lead to a lot of confusion.

    I believe lies are justified if they replace brutal truth, ie to prevent upset.

    But some lies can cause upset, eg. the insecurities caused by sneaking away when you think it`s safe to go.

    If lies are told to protect those who are cared for, rather than the carers, I cannot see how they can be disapproved of.


    Former Carer and Volunteer Moderator .

    I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet

    About me

  11. #26
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Milton Keynes

    Smile The truth can hurt

    I hate telling lies, but I have learnt over many years of working with people with memory loss, that sometimes it is kinder to tell a little white lie than speak the truth. Sometimes it is very hard to decide when to tell the truth or would a lie be better. As I have found out from past experience a lie could get you into hot water!!

    What I would say is though, when somebody with memory loss, for example says "when is my Mother coming home", you could answer that with "tell me about your Mother - what do you remember about your Mother". Another example: someone may say "My husband works over there", you could reply with "what did your husband do".

    As others have said, why continually remind people that their loved one's have passed away.

    Taking people to the toilet, I found it did not always help to say "would you like to go to the toilet" what worked better sometimes would be to say "shall we go for a walk" and then end up in the bathroom, point to the toilet and say "would you like to use the toilet".

    Best to live in their world, if they are not putting themselvers or you at risk. A little lie, can sometimes save the day.

  12. #27
    when I first began to deal with my mother I was scrupulously honest. I felt it was deceptive and morally wrong to lie to her. But I found it was pointless, because I would spend hours in a long and involved explanation to try to make her understand something to find she had forgotten the whole discussion within a few minutes!
    Now I tend to just say mmm and yes and maybe and she is no more unhappy than if Id spent ages explaining something to her. I was agonising and even posted here about her plans to spend Christmas here,and stay for 2 nights but now she has totally forgotten she ever planned to come!
    There is a chance she will "remember" again but if I say to her no such plan ever existed (which it didnt really she just decided it) she will accept it.
    She said she had to stay because she did last year..had forgotten last year she lived 70 miles away!

  13. #28
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    i haven't read every single one of these posts but felt totally uplifted by this thread. a light has come on about how to deal with mil ever increasing delusions and hallusinations.

    i hope these ideas and thoughts will help me to deal with mil and give her a more satisfactory lot of answers to her questions.

    thank you all.


  14. #29

    Just to say that I sure do agree with all the words of wisdom shown in this thread. To begin with and in the early stages I followed the professional advice I was given and that was to gently, "bring them round to reality". Frankly, bad advice!

    You simply have to go along with whatever is being said at the time and it's simply too unkind and distressing to do otherwise (that goes for both of you and as already pointed out, 30 seconds later it is likely to be repeated again). Your loved-one gets even more confused and you both get thoroughly stressed!

    Distraction techniques do help sometimes, though if a burning issue or set of thoughts is top of someone's mind, that doesn't always work, because they'll only come back to it a little later on... (I sometimes wonder if there should be a short professionally run course of "hints and tips for carers", if anyone knows of one?)

    There's one difficulty I tend to have in particular and no solution, so helpful advice would be appreciated greatly:

    I'm a single carer (an only son) and Mum frequently says where is "he". So I gently reply that "I'm here my dear and I am your only son" and Mum says "no, not you, you're not my son and I mean our son (everyone tells me I look like my Dad, which doesn't help), he's much younger than you - where is he, I want to see him now?!".

    I tend to say of course that he'll be home later, or try some other distraction; but after 30 or 40 such repeat conversations it sure does get me rather stressed, and Mum gets fretful that "he" isn't yet home and keeps going to the front door, or to the bedrooms, to check...

    I'm quite used to living in Mum's "parallel reality" and I usually manage quelling her fears and irrationalities with lieing and distractions; but it's the one occasion outlined above that really kind of "cuts me up". So any hints and tips would help us both please!

    Mum is on 3 weeks respite care at present and so I'm just off to see her shortly.

    Best wishes and many thanks,


  15. #30
    Hello Walsgrave,

    I have told my husband his parents are dead, as mine are. When he insists they are alive, and his grandparents, too, I ask how many men aged 75 still have parents and grandparents living.

    Sometimes he accepts the reasoning, other times he tells me I don`t understand, and he wants to try to find them just in case, as he comes from a long living family.

    You know your mother best, and you are the one to decide what she is told.

    Would it hurt her too much to be told the truth about your father and that you, as their son, are caring for your mother as your father would have wished.


    Former Carer and Volunteer Moderator .

    I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet

    About me




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