1. autolycus

    autolycus Registered User

    Apr 13, 2015
    5
    Kingston on Thames
    My wife has moderately advanced Alzheimer's. She is convinced there are other people in the house, including her mother,(who died over 40 years ago). I cannot fully convince her that we are the only people in the house however much I explain we are the only ones.
    I wonder if I am doing the right thing in contradicting her fantasy.
    If on the other hand I play along with it,I merely reinforce the idea in her mind
    I'm sure this is a common problem for othwr carers, and I would like to hear how others deal with it
     
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,899
    Female
    Scotland
    Yes it is common. My husband was one of seven brothers who are all now dead apart from himself. He regularly asks if Tommy or George have been for the papers yet, is Eddie upstairs etc. I play it by ear and either gloss over it or occasionally when he is insisting on going out with them etc I have to remind him they are dead. Some people think that is unnecessary or even cruel but in fact he accepts it and seems to know it is true really although will say he had just been speaking to them.

    I tend to think of it as shadows passing over his mind which seem like realities. Keeping him busy is the best way of avoiding it so far.
     
  3. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,675
    North West
    Hi autolycus, and welcome to TP.

    You have raised an issue which many of us struggle with to judge by the number of times it appears here.

    There are at least three approaches:

    Distraction: Try to get the person with dementia thinking about something else.

    Agree with the PWD: Whatever they say or believe to be true, agree with them.

    Contradiction: Tell the PWD the truth.

    Take your pick! Guess what? None of these approaches can be guaranteed to be effective with any particular person in any particular circumstance.

    So perhaps it doesn't matter as much as we all think it does.
     
  4. Sheepteach

    Sheepteach Registered User

    Sep 4, 2011
    161
    Somerset
    My father, 84, who lives alone with VasD, regularly tells me that his mother and my mother (both no longer alive) have gone to the South Coast for the day. Other family members also 'sleep' at dads. I usually reply in a non-committal sort of way "Oh really" or "OK, would you like a cup of tea? If the weather's nice I tell him it's a nice day for a visit to the South Coast (it doesn't matter for who!).

    The other day he told a carer that her was 16 - she replied " You're young at heart then"!

    I never contradict him as he now lives in an altered reality, so I go alongside him but not actively encouraging him - I hope that makes sense. On very rare occasions he has had me stumped for an answer, I try to change the subject then.

    There are some links somewhere to Compassionate Communication, and also a really good article on YouTube that likens dementia to books on a book shelf. I hope someone else will have those links as I'm not computer savvy enough to post them here!!
     
  5. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    16,138
    Toronto, Canada
    Go with whatever seems to keep your wife happiest. I didn't have the people in the house problem but my mother went through a phase of wanting to visit her parents. I would agree and say "Let's go day after tomorrow".

    Is your wife bothered by these people? You could say you'll tell them to be quiet.
     

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