1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

    Sam, our Knowledge Officer (Legal and Welfare Rights) is our expert on this topic. She will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 26 June between 3:30 - 4:30 pm.

    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.

  1. Katy44

    Katy44 Registered User

    Sep 14, 2004
    Hello again, I was wondering if anyone had any advice about how much to humour a person with dementia when they are confused? At first we tried to gently correct everything she got wrong, but now we tend to just humour her. However, there are some things she comes out with where we feel the need to at least disagree with her, even if we can't make her come round to our opinion. We don't like doing it as she gets upset, but we feel we havve to. Does anyone have a good way to handle this?
  2. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Katy,

    I've found that with my parents, [and especially my father], that it is far better to just agree with everything that they say, whether they are wrong or not. This doesn't of course extend to things like Doctor/Dental appointments, which they must attend and the best way of dealing with disagreement on this is just to arrive at the Surgery without informing them beforehand.

    In my experience, trying to reason with AD sufferers doesn't work at all and disagreements cause agitation and sometimes aggressive behaviour, which in turn causes more work and stress for all. I know that this sounds like the line of least resistance, but it does help to ensure harmony. After all, it doesn't really matter too much if my parents' opinions are incorrect, so long as they are happy.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    West Sussex
    Hi Katy, we found that distract not react made for easier living all round. Where possible try not to confront your mum, although as you say at times that is unavoidable. If you can divert her onto something else to think/do sometimes the original beef is forgotton. (But it may well surface later again of course, then it's do the same again) We also got to learn to not tell mum till the moment practically of any changes to her routine, like a trip to the hospital, I would tell her when I got her coat and put it on, not the night before as that would wind her up for the night. You have to learn all sorts of little tricks. Also keep things simple, they can't take in long explanations or lists of things to do, so a trip to the shops is just that, don't say about going for a coffee or lunch as well or what you need to get if its more than one thing. They will go into overload if they have too much to think about we found. Love, She. XX
  4. Katy44

    Katy44 Registered User

    Sep 14, 2004
    Thank you for your advice it seems like humouring is the best way to do things, and it avoids her distress.
    (It's my Grandma by the way - sorry I didn't make that clear!)
    However there are some very big issues she believes, such as not being married to my Granddad, and on one ocassion she accused my Granddad of some pretty horrible things. Distraction wouldn't have worked in this case as she was (understandably) incredibly upset and distressed and wanted to talk about it.
  5. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Katy,

    My father has on occasion, turned my mother out of bed and forced her to sleep in another bedroom - on the grounds that they were not married.

    This is one situation where you just have to disagree, especially if the other partner becomes extremely upset. 'Evidence' in the form of wedding and family photos always help at this time.

    I've had to produce my birth certificate to 'prove' to my father that I am actually his daughter. Sometimes he will accept it, other times not...!! Occasionally, he says that I am some alien imposter. He gets very angry that his 'daughter' went overseas years ago and has never bothered to contact him or look after him since then. Ho hum.......

    Jude xxx
  6. barraf

    barraf Registered User

    Mar 27, 2004

    Dear Katy
    I have found that agreement with even the most unlikely statements helps as we say round here 'to keep the band in the nick'.
    There is absolulely no advantage in disagreeing with even the most outrageous remarks.
    The trick is not to tell them in advance about anything you want them to do, and try to treat each occasion, such as getting changed as though it is just part of a usual occurence.
    I have no compuction about lying if saying "you said you wanted to go out" makes Margaret agree to changing her clothes I say it without hesitation.
    Visits to the doctor or chiropodist are not mentioned until we get there, and if queried I just say "I told you before we set off" trying to keep my voice as neutral as possible and not in an accusing tone.
    It doesn't always work but it is a big help.
    Cheers Barraf
  7. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
    it of no use trying to be reasonable ,to discuss to argue.
    Things only become more complicated and I find that my wife can turn the issue on it's head and I wonder what I am talking about.
    Humour is the key,lie all you need too,change the subject if you can.
    Another trick that I have learned is to ignore the question,then following the "I am talking to you"they have forgotten the original question.
    Lies,trickery its all permissible to keep the peace
    Good luck
  8. Katy44

    Katy44 Registered User

    Sep 14, 2004
    All those are fine for most situations, and will be a big help, thank you. But, when she accuses my Grandad of physical violence - then what do we say? Distraction only worked to a certain point, but she was obsessed and working herself up into a state. Disagreeing upset her, but agreeing would have been awful.
    (I didn't just assume she was wrong by the way, I decided for myself based on physical evidence - there wasn't any - my Grandad's reaction and the fact he has never been physically violent in his life) That was a horrible day!
  9. storm

    storm Registered User

    Aug 10, 2004
    I have to agree with what Barraf sayswhen ever its safe to it is best to agree to whatever is said, to argue the point just seems to fix whatever is upsetting them to the forfront of the mind.When ever the disputes arise about toileting or going out i do admit to resorting to blackmail on occassions you do this for me and then we will do something nice! a means to an end hurrah if it works.The longer you live with a person with AD you seem to learn that whatever ploy you use is ok has long as everyone ends up happy.My views over the last few years have totally changed,trying to force people to remember and correcting them all the time just seems to cause more confusion and upset for everyone. storm
  10. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    West Sussex
    I can second that Storm, if it just causes problems to remind them or disagree, why go there. With regard to accusations of violence, we did get a few of those, luckily it was shortlived but very upsetting as Mum was the one who blacked my eye and regularly punched Andy on the arm if he annoyed her by trying to change the subject! All you can do is try to think of something to distract the thought. One we found, was to get her sister on the phone, she would natter to her for a while and when Mum put it down she had forgotten her first train of thought, we reinforced this by straight away asking her what my aunt had said, was she OK etc. This worked a treat. Love, She. XX

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