Confabulation? How to handle?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Linbrusco, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    1,573
    Female
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    The other day Mum with moderate AD says to me " I have something to show you I have had for a very long time. Its something my Mum gave to me when I was 21"
    Wondering what it was, because Mum had never ever shown me before, she brings out a a very new looking camisole & petticoat.
    I looked at the labels and sure enough , I remember she bought it about 3 yrs earlier from a certain Dept store, but instead of agreeing with her I said " Oh, I remember you buying these a few years back as you wanted new ones"

    Mum looked confused, and then asked Dad if he had bought them for her when they got married. Of course Dad never ever gives things a second thought and said No.
    Mum said well she didnt remember buying them, put them away, and came back to watch TV.
    Now I know the compassionate communication says you should just go along with and agree, but if I had agreed, Dad would have contradicted me anyway, and Im not sure if Mum would have been more confused?
    Dad has cognitive impairment, and cannot fathom Mums Alzheimers most days. His memory isn't so sharp either.
    But when compassionate communication says to go along with and agree, and then you have maybe the other parent or siblings disagreeing..... Whats going to be the best approach here?
     
  2. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    2,852
    England
    I suppose you could have admired the garments and ignored the faulty provenance. "They're lovely, aren't they" is relevant to what she was thinking, that these were nice clothes that had been put away for 'best'. :)
     
  3. Miss shiraz

    Miss shiraz Registered User

    Dec 24, 2014
    82
    Midlands
    Maybe try agreeing with mum then if dad contradicts say something like 'oh maybe but its not important but they are lovely, are you going to wear them? ' then try and change the subject. Is it really worth arguing with either of them and I'm sure your dad's probably not that bothered anyway?
    Not easy as youre not going to get your dad to comply with the compassionate communicaton from what you say, but changing topic is good for avoiding arguments, preferably to a topic she can relate to?
    I wonder what happens when you're not there..... oh to be a fly on the wall! Or not......? :D
     
  4. Miss shiraz

    Miss shiraz Registered User

    Dec 24, 2014
    82
    Midlands
    Grest minds katrine :)
     
  5. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    1,573
    Female
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    Its hard to think on the spot sometimes :)

    But Yes beleive me I have considered planting a secret tape recorder :)
    Dad can be a practical joker, and even Mum having AD now is no exception with Dad.
    As you can imagine it causes all sorts of arguments, and Mum getting upset, but then Dad denies doing any wrong.

    Everything Compassionate Communication says, Dad does and says the complete opposite.
    Thankfully Mum & Dad live in their own house behind ours, so I can keep a close eye on the pair of them.
     
  6. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    My OH told someone recently that he had worked in Florida for a time and that while he was still living in England he had managed a football team, neither of which is true.

    The funny thing is that he never tells me these stories. It happens when he is talking to people he has met before but doesn't know well and he is so convincing that they believe everything he says. And of course he really believes it himself. So it is easy for me to ignore it at the moment.
     
  7. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,302
    Cotswolds
    I find phone conversations the most difficult to get right.

    I was away for a few days last week, and mum's visiting hairdresser was supposed to be giving her a perm (at my request). So, of course, on the phone, I said "How's the perm?" Only to be told by mum that she'd refused to have it as she didn't see why she should have one just because I wanted her to. "Well, it's your hair, mum, and your decision", said I, and she chuckled a bit, apparently pleased at having won a small victory ;) I let it go....well, not worth arguing about.

    When I saw her on Sunday, she hadn't had a perm, true - but I saw from her calendar that the appointment isn't until this week - the whole episode was a confabulation on her part. And you can't know on the phone, can you? :rolleyes: :D xx
     
  8. Miss shiraz

    Miss shiraz Registered User

    Dec 24, 2014
    82
    Midlands
    Yes totally agree linbrusco, it is so hard to think on the spot and get it right. Many a time have i analysed what I've said driving home and wish I'd said something else. How i wish i could press the rewind button.
    Good luck playing peacekeeper :)
     

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