Am I doing the right thing?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by TWHITE, Jan 27, 2015.


    TWHITE Registered User

    Jan 27, 2015
    My mum has recently moved in with me and my wife as she has had the sudden onset of Dementia. We are still pretty new to this and are just really finding our feet in coping with everything. Mum is very confused and when she says something strange we end up gently correcting her. Is this the right thing to do or should we just accept it and talk about something else?
    I feel that constantly correcting her is adding to her confusion,but my wife thinks that just accepting it is not helping her?
    We just dont know what is the best way of handling her confused thoughts?.
    We would welcome any feedback
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
  3. CJinUSA

    CJinUSA Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    eastern USA
    Hello, and welcome to a world where you will discover you have more patience than you imagined, more compassion and love than seems possible at times. Yours is a wonderfully insightful question. Usually, it's recommended that we sort of try to go along with the conversation of the loved one, at least until it's clear they are truly on a wrong track. My mother will sometimes try to talk with me, but using the wrong words. Sometimes if I listen carefully enough, I can figure out what it is that she is really trying to say. Patience helps a lot at this point.

    When I first learned my mother had Alzheimer's, I got hold of Richard Taylor's video, Be With Me Today, which helps clarify what it's like from the perspective of one who has Alzheimer's. It helped me a lot.

    I hope you keep posting. You are very generous to have taken your mother into your home. My mother has lived with us since 2008. My husband has been helping me with her for the last 1 1/2 or so years with the hands-on care that is needed. And we have hired caregivers here during most days. You and your wife are going to need some assistance and I hope you get a break from the routine, or it will become too wearing on you both.

    All good wishes to you.
  4. opaline

    opaline Registered User

    Nov 13, 2014
    Sorry you have found yourselves in this position and welcome to TP. The house move may have added to her confusion so it may ease slightly once she settles in. Has she/you been assessed by Social Services? That's your next step. There is lots of help available but you have to ask for it. There are carers can come in and there are also day clubs available in some areas that gives you all a break even if it's only for an hour. Any questions just ask on here, someone always comes along even if it's just for a chat. We know exactly how you feel because we are all in the same boat, x
  5. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    If the correcting is not upsetting your mum, then carry on, but if at some point she starts to get agitated I think you should stop and just agree with what she say's. I found that trying to put my mum straight on things really upset her and for brief moments she seemed to be aware of my actions to always correct her then follows sundowning. Nowadays I just agree with everything she says, she cannot relearn things and within a few minutes she has forgotten what I have said, only the emotion of being corrected stays, I feel I'm walking a tightrope sometimes.
  6. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    Hi TWHITE welcome to TP
    It's a difficult one and not something universally agreed on. Unlike raising a child where you teach them by correcting their mistakes and so they learn, with a degenerative condition like AZ it really won't achieve anything so what's the point.
    I believe constant correction can be a cause of friction which is something best avoided and it damages the confidence of the person concerned when they are constantly being picked up on their every mistake.
    There was a thread on here (which I can't find right now) where a care home brought in a policy to constantly "challenge" patients when they said anything that was incorrect, it was roundly condemned as wrong and pointlessly cruel to keep reminding someone their husband wouldn't be coming to visit them as he was dead or indeed that they had dementia and were in a home.
    Hope that helps.
  7. RedLou

    RedLou Registered User

    Jul 30, 2014
    My feeling is that you learn how to deal with it and no hard and fast rule pertains. With my dad, I have a policy of trying to tell him the truth if he asks, or it's important. EG I won't lie about his going into a care home (lots of people tell their relatives they are going to a convalescent home instead.) This is what seems right to me. On the other hand when he's blathering on about some delusion or has a totally incorrect memory (e.g. his memory of my mother's death is slightly askew) then I leave it and don't comment or just make bland acknowledgements of what he's saying. I am coming to the conclusion none of it makes much difference because if things go wrong/as the disease progresses, the major caregiver tends to take the brunt of any paranoia/anxiety/hostility anyway. (Not that your mother will necessarily display those symptoms but be aware of them.) I think you have to do what you, personally, feel comfortable doing. For me it's a matter of looking myself in the mirror and saying, 'Well, I did my best.'

    TWHITE Registered User

    Jan 27, 2015
    Thank you all for your wonderful replies. In quite sure we will be posting a lot on here as we are on a very steep learning curve.
    We have only been married 22 months and my darling wife has given up her full time employment to look after my mum. She really is an angel in the true sense of the word.
    She has a fantastic relationship with mum and they enjoy a laugh and a joke together often. It is wonderful to see. Her parents died within months of each other after short illnesses and she considers my mum to be just as much a mum to her as me.
    We have not yet had an assessment by Social Services, that's on the 2nd of Feb.
    Mum has delirium and paranoia at the moment, we still have not had a full diagnosis off her Consultant.
    Its early days for us and I hope we can turn to you all for advice and guidance.

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