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Do I argue or agree?

Discussion in 'Recently diagnosed and early stages of dementia' started by Tonyacorn, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. Tonyacorn

    Tonyacorn Registered User

    Jan 4, 2017
    I have no experience of anyone with dementia. My mother-in-law has been recently diagnosed. She is now in a care home and I visited 2/3 times a week. My wife, her daughter, died 10 years ago. When I visit she asks me why I have not been for several weeks. She says I have another woman (I do not) and that I am planning to go away with her and my mother-in-law's pension/savings. And she has called the police.

    Do I try to correct her, argue with her or just agree with everything she says?
  2. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
  3. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    Near Southampton
    Well, it's better not to argue though I agree it's hard not to at times, especially when you are being accused of taking money. So better perhaps to try to reassure and change the subject as I guess you are not going to want to agree with the accusations!
    In general, it is pointless to argue as logic disappears early with dementia and what you say may well be forgotten within minutes anyway. Just try to skirt around any issues.
  4. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    Agree, apologise, distract...
    Just don't argue, because you could do that until you are blue in the face and it would just make you both miserable.
  5. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Host

    Dec 15, 2012
    hello Tonyacorn
    a warm welcome to TP
    what a tribute to your wife and your m-I-l that you are happy to visit so often
    and it's not easy keeping going when the visits can sometimes feel so negative and demanding
    the compassionate communication thread Cat27 has linked to was a real help to me in getting my own head around how things might be for dad - I've become very good at making neutral noises and staying calm and pleasant with a smile, even when I want to just tell him to be quiet ;) - definitely no point in arguing or explaining; distract (dad loves chocolate biscuits and doesn't talk with his mouth full) and if necessary even walk away fro a while and go back with a cheery bit of nonsense to talk about
    if she says you haven't visited, go with it, apologise and say work has been demanding (or whatever excuse will appease her) and you're so glad you've been able to get away to have a chat with someone pleasant ... butter her up
    about the other woman - make a little light of it; might you risk a 'how could anyone take the place of your daughter; I had the best, not worth even thinking of looking' and then immediately change the subject to something your mil will engage with or just talk at her for a few minutes - would it be possible to look at old photos with her to show much you all enjoyed 'the old days'?
    best wishes
  6. Angie1996

    Angie1996 Registered User

    May 15, 2016
    I argued with my dad for the first 12 months as I had no idea about Alzheimer's. I learned after a while it was pointless arguing as he did not have a clue and I do regret arguing with him now, However it's a big learning curve......

    From my own experience now, don't argue, I just went along with it.....
  7. love.dad.but..

    love.dad.but.. Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    Good advice and examples from Shredrech and how wonderful you are continuing to visit MIL. Don't argue, take her comments with a pinch of salt, agree and go with the flow....for your sanity! I learnt quickly to do this with my dad and it made things much easier and less confrontational.
  8. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    I remember saying to my OH, ' how can you say that? It's not logical and you're the most logical person I know!'
    The following week I repeated this to the AS contact and she told me then that logic is one of the first things to go.
    I learnt to ignore or get around it!
  9. cobden28

    cobden28 Registered User

    Jan 31, 2012
    Argue or disagree?

    Does your mother-in-law have any other visitors?

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