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How to deflect/deal with mother's persistent delusion?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by DCzech, May 18, 2015.

  1. DCzech

    DCzech Registered User

    May 18, 2015
    Help! Living in a care home, my mother has vascular dementia and keeps on with the same, sad delusion. Although I am retired, she insists I am going out with a young care worker and his child but this delusion has now reached a new point. Yesterday she said that she heard me crying myself to sleep the previous evening as he had left me and gone off with another woman. This might sound humorous even, but I am wondering how to deal with this? Care professionals often advise to "just go along with it", but if I go along with this, she may then suffer even more, thinking I really have been abandoned! I tried to distract her onto other things, but she got angry, saying she wished to finish her "statement" and that should would give him a piece of her mind if she saw him the street ... Every day this delusion recurs. I am single and have no children, by the way, and can't think this delusion links to anything in my own past or hers. She also tells all the care workers about what she sees as my hapless life whereas this does not match reality at all.
  2. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    Very hard for you - it is so difficult when someone gets this sort of obsession into their head.

    Could you possibly go along with it, but add your own embroidery, so to speak? E.g., yes, but he's back now - it was all a mistake, someone had been telling nasty fibs about me.

    I used to make up all sorts to pacify my mother - sometimes I wove whole spiders' webs of fiction, but as long as it calmed her down then to me it was worth it. And I did improve with practice - sometimes I was amazed at what would come out of my mouth, quite off the cuff.

    I know it's no consolation now, but I did find that all these obsessional 'bees' buzzing in bonnets would buzz off eventually, though it could seem an age at the time.
  3. DCzech

    DCzech Registered User

    May 18, 2015

    Thank you very much for replying and for your suggestions. I guess for me it's early days in being comfortable with fabrication but it looks like I might have to weave some threads in order to maybe help move the obsession on....!
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    You could just try to reassure your mother by saying something like `Don`t worry. I`ll be all right.`
  5. DCzech

    DCzech Registered User

    May 18, 2015
    Thank you, yes, that sounds a good idea and is less difficult for me as a "fabrication" at this stage. I have just been reading through other postings where loved ones have had much greater delusions than this one. In a funny way, I feel comforted that other people are dealing with this and that I am not alone in going away from the care home feeling distressed. It does sound as people get used to it and are able to cope as these delusions by their loved ones go on and on.... The other paranoia/delusion my mother is getting these days more and more is about thieves and her possessions. She is starting to ask me to count her ornaments, etc and to advise whether a nearby old lady has stolen them. I find that easier to deal with, as I say that she is not to worry as I am looking after all her things and will make sure they are not stolen. It doesn't work to say that this particular old lady can no longer walk or talk and therefore couldn't physically carry out thefts anyway, as my mother is not convinced!
  6. Flake

    Flake Registered User

    Mar 9, 2015
    My Mum quite often has things stolen or someone else had 'hidden' them. I usually find them and say, 'what a nasty thing to do but anyway here they are' and if I cant find them I usually say, oh it will turn up. I tell the 'love lies'. At first I found it really hard, but now I am not lying to my Mum, I am lying to dementia, and somehow that helps. I sometimes look at my mum and see her struggling with her thoughts as she is not in this year, but somewhere way off in the past. The disease is nasty and cruel, but this site is brilliant and it is so helpful to know that you are not alone. :)
  7. DCzech

    DCzech Registered User

    May 18, 2015
    Thank you very much for your help, such a comfort. When you say about which time period as to where your mum is, I think that must be really frightening and upsetting for her with the delusions she is having. Such a cruel disease indeed, isn't it? My mother is getting confused about her room contents now to the point where yesterday she was sobbing, the carers told me, as she didn't recognise any of her belongings in her room, where she has lived for 5 years, and kept asking where the lovely flowers and vases etc had come from.
  8. Sooty2

    Sooty2 Registered User

    Jun 1, 2015
    Hi DCzech,
    We have exactly the same with my mother in law, she is accusing us of stealing her hand steamer and now the dishwasher, we deflect it she becomes angry, we disagree she becomes angry, it is frustrating and I too find it hard to deal with. She appears perfectly reasonable to anyone else, so I know how you feel.

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