1. I was wondering where false memories come from?

    My dad has been phoning me constantly to make arrangements for me to visit with the kids next week. We'll be travelling there by train and staying at a hotel.

    My dad now has it in his mind that I cheated him out of taxi fare the last time we visited. We always get the train to London, then a taxi across London, then another train. I have never been on the Underground with my kids, but dad is convinced that this is what we did on the last visit, even tho he gave me the money for a taxi.

    Then he also has in his mind that we've stayed at this particular hotel before. He keeps telling me how he's booked us into the same family room as last time - but we've never been there, and the last time we stayed at a hotel during one of our visits was 1999 :rolleyes:

    I'm finding it harder and harder to be patient with my dad especially (tho my mum is just as bad). They just go over the same stuff over and over again, and I'm at the end of my tether (for those who may not remember, our house was flooded last month, and I just don't know how much more I can take of anything right now). - Sorry, just needed to get that last bit off my chest :eek:
  2. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Hi BeadieJay ....well, I haven't got good reason like having the trauma of being flooded on top of everything else and I confess I'm on TP much earlier than expected today because I'm feeling pretty much as you sound .....

    Arrived at mum's earlier this morning to find her still in her nightie ... she proceeded to tell me a thousand times (huge exaggeration, but that's what it felt like) that she had had her wash .....

    Then there was the kitchen sink incident .... it's blocked. "I know why it's blocked" she declares proudly. "I put cornflour down it." "Why did you pour cornflour down it?" Even more triumphantly: "Because I was busy." :confused: :eek:

    What was planned to be a half day visit turned into little more than a half hour one ... just had to walk away ... I know it's not her fault ... but I'm just in a "It's not my fault either" mood. Sorry that's MY little rant over ...:(

    This may be of some - or no - help to you ....


    Much love, Karen, x
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hi BeadieJay

    I think these false memories are a combination of the jumbles in their minds.

    My husband tells many tales that could so easily have been the truth.

    When my Grandmother was single, she was the only one in the family without a profession, so her parents set her up with a Sweet Shop.

    My husband `remembers` this sweet shop and says my Grandmother would tell him to help himself.

    Well my grandmother would have had the Sweet Shop around about 1909, as she was born in 1892. My husband was born in 1932.

    But my grandmother was always very kind to my husband, so even though he has muddled up the history, this would have happened had he been there.

    It`s a shame your dad is having negative thoughts, and all I would do if it`s so important to him is offer him the taxi fare back, even if you didn`t cheat on him.

    You sound absolutely stressed out, and I`m not surprised after the flooding. I can`t imagine anything much worse than having your home wrecked. It`s far more important than having an argument about a few pounds.

    Try to enjoy your trip. At least when you are in the Hotel, you and the children will have a chance to relax and be attended to.

    Take care

    Love xx
  4. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    I would do that also , its not worth all the stress on you trying to make him relies his wrong and his getting his dates muddled up in his mind about you staying in hotel .

    Turn it around on you you , saying oh I must of forgotten good luck
  5. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    BeadieJay, it sounds as if you are at the end of your tether!

    I'm not surprised, I can only imagine the horror of having your home flooded, and having to cope with your dad as well is too much.

    Unfortunately, people with AD do go over and over the same things, and it is very wearing on the nerves. And once he has fixed in his mind the 'fact' that you cheated him, it will only go away when some other idea replaces it.

    Do you feel you are up to the visit just now? It sounds as if you need a complete break, to relax and enjoy your children without any extra pressure.

    I feel so much sympathy for you, please take care of yourself for a while.

  6. blue sea

    blue sea Registered User

    Aug 24, 2005
    As my dad's dementia worsened, I just found it so much easier to agree with everything he said, (often claiming my own memory was at fault!!), then change the topic or suggest a new activity, a walk or something. This seemed to 'clear the fog' at least temporarily. It is extremely stressful caring for someone with dementia, each stage bringing different pressures and upsets. It is bad enough coping if everything else in your life is going well; a disaster such as your house flooding must just be the last straw. Thinking of you.

    Blue sea
  7. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    #7 Nebiroth, Aug 11, 2007
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2007
    Yes, we get that sort of thing all the time. I think it's because someone with dementia often has a jumble of disconnected events in their memories, some very old memories, some things half remembered, some recent memories, some things entirely forgotten.

    Because of this they will try to construct a "rational explanation" of events which don't really make sense to them - a way of trying to resolve a confusing and possibly self-contradictory set of memories. I think it is like those old "connect the dots" pictures for children, except someone with dementia can't connect them in the right order, or joins up different pictures.

    It's quite possible that dad's memory of the Underground is from way in the past, but he doesn't remember the context or the time...only that it was something to do with the Underground. This will be associated with a recent trip of yours he can remember. It's the same thing with the hotel room.

    As to the money, I expect he can remember a taxi journey of some sort, maybe years ago and half remembers paying for it, but has it in mind that you should have paid, but can;t remember you doing so, so the only explanation is...you've cheated him of his money.

    The leaps of logic can be bizarre, but with dementia, there is not the cognitive ability to realise this.

    Sadly there is really not much you can do, there's no point in arguing, he will be convinced he is right and nothing anyone says will change his mind.

    The only thing you can really do is to agree (which is very hard, when you know he is talking nonsense!), or maybe just be non-commital. It;s not worth all the stress that arguing will bring.

    People with dementia are not open to reason.

    You could try "paying him back" the taxi money, but don;t be surprised if he forgets you doing this, and gets back to how you cheated him again.

    We long ago learned to just accept my dad's bizarre flights of fancy about countries he has never been to, the London riverboat he never piloted, how he fought the French in Canada, his walks along the great wall of China....etc. So long as we just nod politely he is satisfied.

    Trying to argue is completely pointless, and will only frustrate and upset everyone concerned.

    And yes, the repetitions can get extremely wearing - not to the person with dementia, since they can't remember asking the same question and hearing the reply over and over of course.
  8. Natashalou

    Natashalou Registered User

    Mar 22, 2007
    I think these are very common indeed. My mother caused a lot of trouble by reporting I had stolen ten thousand pounds from her and bought a brand new car. I didnt even have an EPA then(thank goodness) and didnt have any access to her money.
    Several years ago, she HAD given me three thousand for a car for which I had been very grateful. I had traded this car in for a better one adding my own money , but when she saw the new car (value about 6k) she was adamant I stole 10k from her to buy it!
    She now quite regulaly says the oddest things but there is usually SOME element of confused fact in it all.
  9. Kathleen

    Kathleen Registered User

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Sussex

    That's how Mum's psychiatrist explained it to us.

    They have odd memories of real incidents and people also memories of books, films and TV programmes they have watched, they try to patch them together to make sense of a world they find increasingly hard to understand.

    It must be very frightening for the sufferer, so if we then try to tell them what really happened, no wonder they get angry.

    Mum once went round to my sisters in a panic because "loads of people were coming to dinner" and she didn't have enough food for them all.

    When my sister took her home and asked Dad, it was a memory from a film they had watched the day before!

    I took her for a walk and, luckily Mum forgot all about it.

  10. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    This seems to be a very common occurrence. I liken it to my own dreams, where I can truly "believe" something in a dream that is obviously nonsense when I wake up. Sadly, dementia patients don't "wake up".

    My brother's mind is drug affected (after years of drug abuse) and he too confuses real life with bits he has seen or heard on TV or radio. It is incredibly frustrating because you KNOW that it is WRONG, and equally the sufferer KNOWS he or she is RIGHT!! :)

    I agree that the only way to cope is to "go with the flow" - eaier said than done however!!
  11. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    Hi, my mum is exactly the same, I liken her memory to a jigsaw puzzle the pieces are all there, but, she can't get them to fit together. Mum often makes accusations, so, I know how difficult it can be. It is always harder to cope with things when you are stressed and been flooded is very stressing, it has happened to us twice now (caused by trees falling on the roof). Sometimes things just seem to hard and we wonder where it will all end. Tomorrow comes around again and we can hope that it will be better than yesterday. I hope that things soon get brighter for you. Take good care. Taffy.
  12. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    What a great way to look at it!

    I do like visualising these things this way. :)

    I might change the wording slightly: I liken her memory to a jigsaw puzzle the pieces are all there, but, the picture on the box is actually of a different scene.

    So Mum looks at the pieces and sees one thing, you look and see another entirely
  13. strawberrywhip

    strawberrywhip Registered User

    Jun 26, 2006
    So true ..... and quite worrying at times because of the strange things they come out with. We were at MILs day centre which is linked to an EMI home some time ago. There was a highly agitated old lady accusing a black male nurse of geting into bed with her ... MIL was agreeing and then started talking about her experience of being in bed with a black man.....
    I work in the health service and obviously we are all aware of looking after vulnerable adults ;but it has taught me to be very careful in the case of patients with dementia ..this strange weave of reality and fiction can cause some very strange tales to be told.
  14. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    Hi Bruce, very accurate description. Taffy.
  15. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #15 Margarita, Aug 12, 2007
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2007
    They are both so good in the way to visualize

    how I visual it the pieces are all they of the jigsaw puzzle , but some are missing , so they are replaced with different pieces from another jigsaw that just don't fit in right, but to the person they perceive it as it does fit in right , then slowly all the jigsaw puzzles all go missing disappearing like magic , never to be found again
  16. Thank you for all your replies, and good advice about "going with the flow" and also for your support re me being at the end of my tether over the flood :eek: I'll try and give some money to my dad for "the taxi we didn't take", but I doubt he'll take it, especially as he's paying for us to do the very same this visit. But maybe it'll stop him going on about it (tho somehow I doubt it!!!) :rolleyes:

    I wish I could cancel my visit, but I know it would be the wrong thing to do, so I'm just trying to get myself together enough to deal with it. I'm sure once I'm there I'll feel better too, it'll be nice staying in a hotel and not having to worry about laundry or cooking or any other boring day-to-day things. And my sister will be with us the whole time, and she's used to dealing with mum and dad as she sees them everyday.

    It's kinda funny that my dad should be confused about the taxi, cos that's the part of the journey that I love the most. We go from Paddington to Fenchurch Street and I love seeing all the sights, especially when the cab goes past Buckingham Palace and along the Embankment - I get more excited than the kids do about all the things we see!! But I finally realised why dad is confused about me going on the underground - when my husband went to pick up mum's car (which she gave to us after deciding it was no longer safe for her to drive), my husband and son went on the tube across London, and that's why he's got confused :rolleyes: (I sometimes get scared at my own memory losses, but my excuse is I have a lot to think about at the moment!!) :cool:

    My husband is staying at the house next week, to look after the animals. We have the builder coming round on Wednesday to see what repair work needs doing. I have to say that the insurance company have been great, but nothing can be done until the house has dried completely. I feel so sorry for those who've had to go through this more than once. The positive to come out of this, is that I get my downstairs redecorated (and boy did it need redecorating even before the flood LOL) :D

    Thank you all again so much - it helps me so much to have somewhere to come and talk about things.
  17. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    best part :D , beside sight seeing , enjoy :)

    seen that its you fitting all the puzzle in right ;)
  18. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Hi BeadieJay, I'm glad you're sounding so much more positive.

    As you say, it'll be lovely to stay at a hotel for a while, and especially as your sister will be there to support you.

    It doesn't sound as if your dad is worried about the money, since he gave you the car, he's just upset because he thinks you cheated him. I'd just go along with it, and make sure you and your sister talk about the taxi ride in front of him, tell him how much pleasure it gives you.

    I'm glad your insurance company is being OK with you, it'll be like having a new house, although it doesn't make up for all the trauma.

    I feel so sorry for people who don't have adequate insurance, usually people who can least afford to make good the damage.

    I hope your visit goes well.


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