1. Q&A: Looking after yourself as a carer - Friday 25 January, 3-4pm

    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of that person will often come before your own, and this can mean that you don't always look after yourself.

    However, it's important for both you and the person you care for. But how do you do that properly?

    Our next expert Q&A will be on looking after yourself as a carer. It will be hosted by Angelo from our Knowledge Services team, who focuses on wellbeing. He'll be answering your questions on Friday 25 January between 3-4pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

dream / hallucinations/ argument /Help please

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by Vic10, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Vic10

    Vic10 Registered User

    Feb 18, 2017
    10
    So OH was diagnosed about 3 years ago and we have managed well with his short term memory issues etc. However this last week he seems to have had some kind of dream or hallucination he has imagined all kind of wicked things about me and my family and a party which never took place.
    I know, being a follower of this forum that it is always better to agree, not to try to reason, change the subject etc. However on this occasion I am not prepared to agree to the wicked things he thinks I have done, he won’t change the subject or be distracted. I have tried everything but we seem to be stuck in this argument going round and round in circles. I am completely out of my depth and don’t know what to do. He refuses to see a doctor. Please help, is this a new symptom of Alzheimer’s? How do I help him move on?
    Sorry this is written a bit quick, he won’t let me out of his sight!
     
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    7,953
    Female
    South coast
    This is a confabulation - a sort of false memory, that the person is absolutely certain is true, because he can remember it, so you must be lying!

    It can be very hard. Mum confabulated that I was stealing from her and hitting her and she told all the neighbours this too :eek:
    I think under the circumstances I would be inclined to say - it didnt happen and Im not discussing it and just walk away.
     
  3. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    10,916
    Female
    London
    If this behaviour is completely out of character, he might have an infection. Try to obtain a urine sample and have it tested for a UTI (urine tract infection).
     
  4. Vic10

    Vic10 Registered User

    Feb 18, 2017
    10
     
  5. Vic10

    Vic10 Registered User

    Feb 18, 2017
    10
    Thank you so much canary. I have googled confabulation and yes this seems to be exactly what has happened.
    Can I ask In your experience is it likely to be a one off or will similar episodes be likely?
    I am trying to avoid the conversation and things, although fragile, seem to be improving.
    I’m so sorry you have gone through something similar, life is such a challenge!
    Thank you again
     
  6. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    7,953
    Female
    South coast
    Once mum started confabulating it continued throughout her life, because it is a product of a damaged brain - the brain is trying to fill in the gaps where it knows there aught to be real memories.

    Later on though, the confabulations did not distress her, she had had the queen come for tea, or she had been on holiday in Australia - which must have been quite pleasant :). At the time when she was confabulating horrible things she was very anxious because she was desperately trying to hide her dementia. She knew there was something wrong, but was unable to comprehend that it was her (another symptom - anosognosia), so she felt it must be my fault and that was the basis for the confabulations. As the dementia progressed (and especially once she moved into her care home) the anxiety reduced and she became more settled, so the confabulations reflected that contentment.
     
  7. nestle

    nestle Registered User

    Jul 22, 2016
    20
    Hello Vic10, I can understand it is truly distressing situation. The way I got round it was to say I'm sorry you see it / feel it that way but that's not how I see it . I found no amount of reasoning helped because he truly believed I was having an affair . The UK dementia helpline was also a very good resource. I hope things improve
     
  8. GinnyJan

    GinnyJan Registered User

    Jan 20, 2018
    47
    My Mum confabulates.. The other day she said that Hitler had been in the shop she worked at (she's 91) and that, though he was very polite, she didn't like him one bit :)
    We regularly watch 'easily understood' tv, like Supervet or Come Dine With Me. She can understand what's going on but then thinks it's her dog who just had an operation, or, in the case of foody programmes, she'll say that she doesn't want the meal that I've just cooked cos she's been eating all evening!

    It's frustrating but can be amusing sometimes too. Mostly I've got my husband to not question what she says (it upsets or annoys her) and I try to explain that, actually she didn't like the food she was given so she needs to eat what I've cooked.

    Life isn't easy and I was warned that I really shouldn't have my Mum come to live with us (my husband has Alzheimer's too) but OH and Mum get on really well and it can be a help sometimes, especially if I'm busy - Mum and OH sit in a room and chat while I get on with something else. Maybe it won't last, but I make the most of it while I can :)
     
  9. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,703
    Suffolk
    Hi, we used to visit my cousin regularly and for several years his mil lived with them. She had dementia, not sure what sort. But while we were there, she and OH interacted really well, you wouldn’t know either of them had anything wrong. And cousins mil didn’t aggravate her daughter so much when we were there, either. We really didn’t know what was going on, but were grateful for it!
     
  10. Vic10

    Vic10 Registered User

    Feb 18, 2017
    10
    Thank you all for your replies.
    It’s such a comfort to know the support is there.
    We not sorted yet but things are a bit better...walking on eggshells!
    Hoping each day will improve
     
  11. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    4,453
    USA
    If it is a delusion (a false, fixed belief) rather than confabulation (where bits and pieces of memories and reality and dreams and made up stuff are put together), and a paranoid delusion at that, it can be harder to deal with.

    Both delusions and confabulation are common with different types of dementia, yes.

    Sometimes a validation, reassurance, distraction method can work but with the paranoia and accusations, that can be much harder, especially when the accusations are against the primary live in carer.

    If this is a sudden change and out of character for usual behaviour (and you know best what is usual), then I would always rule out an underlying medical issue, before assuming it's just the dementia or a progression of the dementia. Any kind of illness, even a cold, can cause behavior changes. Infection is especially a problem and there can be infection, especially urinary tract, without symptoms like fever, pain on urination and so on. Common issues that can cause problems are dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, constipation, infection, medication issues, blood pressure issues, and a stroke or TIA.

    This is a difficult situation with no easy answers and I'm sorry. I hope you're able to find a way forward and best wishes.
     

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