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Coping with denial

Dayperson

Registered User
Feb 18, 2015
277
Shropshire
The hardest thing with my mum is her denying everything when she is at fault. How can I deal with it? I've tried to bite my lip and let it blow over but sometimes she gets dad shouting at her, then that makes me feel worse. I know I'll never be able to make her see that sometimes she is responsible for things.
 

Rageddy Anne

Registered User
Feb 21, 2013
5,984
Cotswolds
Advice when this happens seems usually to let it pass if possible, rather than get into a dispute. This because to her, in that moment , her reality is that she isn't to blame. She believes it. That's one of the hardest things to accept, isn't it, in the early days? I hope you can help your dad to see that.

Where possible, use everything possible to get things like finances, Wills and Powers of Attorney organised in good time, as its more difficult later on. And let the less important things pass.

So much easier said than done.
 

Long-Suffering

Registered User
Jul 6, 2015
425
The hardest thing with my mum is her denying everything when she is at fault. How can I deal with it? I've tried to bite my lip and let it blow over but sometimes she gets dad shouting at her, then that makes me feel worse. I know I'll never be able to make her see that sometimes she is responsible for things.
Sorry to hear you are so stressed. i know it's hard, but changing your point of view would probably make the situation easier to bear. If your mum has dementia, she is in a different world to you now. Her reality is different. Try not to think of it in terms of her denying things and being at fault. That only creates an atmosphere of blame about something over which she has no control. There is no point in trying to make her see that she is responsible for things. With a rational person there is a point because they have the choice and ability to change their behaviour, but a person with dementia doesn't have that choice or ability - they are a victim of the disease: it makes them do what it makes them do and they have no control over that. This can be very difficult for loved ones to come to terms with, but once you manage to get past that step and stop expecting them to "be good" it gets easier in many ways. Best of luck.

LS
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,105
Scotland
Good advice from the above. My husband never was good at admitting things - being one of seven boys I guess their reply to everything was "it wisnae me!"

He now genuinely has not a clue what he has or has not done so accusations would be pointless and a bit cruel.
 

avian999

Registered User
Oct 24, 2011
10
Cardigan Wales
It wasn't me

Good advice from the above. My husband never was good at admitting things - being one of seven boys I guess their reply to everything was "it wisnae me!"

He now genuinely has not a clue what he has or has not done so accusations would be pointless and a bit cruel.
My husband does some weird things...We lose things all the time and some are never to be found again....
But it was never him that did it....
Have got more used to it now but it did take a long time.....
 

Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
4,771
Salford
I think the rows are best avoided whatever it takes to do that and that does mean you and your dad will have to give a bit. In your mother's head she didn't do whatever she's being blamed for and although she did do it in her world/reality she didn't and you're the ones in the wrong and nothing is going to change what to her is real.
I think you have to accept the situation for what it is and try and make it as painless as possible all round.
K
 

Quilty

Registered User
Aug 28, 2014
1,051
GLASGOW
I argued with mum when she was being unreasonable. One example was when the front door broke and stuck shut so nobody could get in. It also leaked water and wind. I argued with her to get a new one. She argued that she loved the door and wanted to keep it. I pushed, she pushed back. Finally when she complained about having get up and let us in the back door again, i said " yes but you love your door". Next day she phoned to get an estimate for a new door.

Pick your battles and get creative. Give them some control no matter how small as they are trying to hold onto their life. I would too if it were me.
 

Dayperson

Registered User
Feb 18, 2015
277
Shropshire
Thank you for your messages of support and advice. It's tough because I'm having to alter my way of thinking as well as getting dad to do the same. I'm getting used to giving up a bit and letting her think she's in the right even when I know she isnt. The latest wierd behaviour is that she says the lavender soap is from the Cotswolds when it is cheap discount stuff. She has started to hide it in her bedroom and keeps hiding the bottle in the kitchen. The best solution would be to use it up and not buy anymore if it is giving us so much agro. We've had to go to the thinnest toilet rolls because she is using too much.

I say to myself don't let it get to me but then it does and I know its wearing dad out too. Dementia has to be one of the cruelest illnesses because the carers feel it the worst while the patient is unaware of it. I know we are at the easier stage and things will get worse.
 

Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
4,771
Salford
I'm glad to hear you're starting to come to terms with it Dayperson. It's a bit like being in quicksand, the more you struggle and try to fight it the faster you sink, if you relax you don't sink as quick.
We're all "not waving but drowning" to some extent but does it matter if the soap came from the Cotswolds or a chemical factory in Cleveland, in her head it is from the Cotswolds and you're the ones in the wrong, it hardly seems worth bothering about.
If you get into a spiral of conflict by challenging her on every issue it's a difficult cycle to break out of.
You can teach a child by correcting them when they say something wrong, that's how they learn and build knowledge but with AZ it's the opposite. Ultimately this is a war you're going to lose so why fight a load of battles when in the end you can never win.
Keep cool and keep posting.
K