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Mum having eating problems or lying


Registered User
Aug 21, 2015
Mum having eating problems or getting mixed up?

Hi everyone,
I was wondering if anyone had experienced anything similar to this.
My mum has alzheimers- she was diagnosed about eight years ago. She also has depression and sever anxiety disorder along with a number of other physical illnesses.
She is currently in a secure hospital ward for elderly and mental health and has been there for three weeks.
Before she went in she was saying that the thought of eating was making her feel sick but was still eating dinner and also some treats.
Now she is in hospital she has been saying to us that she is unable to eat and when she does she has severe pain in her stomach. If she eats in front of me or my dad she always appears to be in a lot of pain straight after. She says that because of this she is only managing to eat tiny amounts but doesn't feel hungry. She says she has told the nurses but they say she hasn't and that she never appears to be in pain.
I went to speak to one of the head nurses last night and they said that she has been eating full meals every day- sometimes three courses.
I am concerned because my mum is not they type of person to ever lie. I'm also concerned as there are two people of the same name on the ward- my mum and someone else- and their medication got mixed up twice last week. This means I'm not sure I trust the nursing staff!
I am not sure what to do or think or say at all! and I have no idea how to help my mum

has anyone experienced anything like this before?
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Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
People with Alzheimer's are not lying but what they are saying is often not true. My husband concocts the most fantastic tales but they seem true to him. Can you watch discreetly from a distance at meal times as she may just be enjoying the attention she gets from your anxiety. If it is a mistake then you want it sorted.


Registered User
Aug 21, 2015
Maybe lying is the wrong word to use. Sorry!
I'm not allowed on the ward during meal times- Its only patients and staff. And it looks like she will be in a lot longer. This makes it hard because I can't keep an eye on her and as I said before I'm not sure that the staff are watching very closely


Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
North West
Welcome to TP AmyDot. This is a complicated situation and must be very difficult for you.

I'm not sure whether it helps to think in terms of your mum lying. As you read more posts on TP you will see that it is very common for people with dementia to say things that are untrue but when they say them they are quite likely to think that they are telling the truth or they may wish to tell you what they think you want to hear. Also, your mum may well find it impossible to remember when she has eaten and how much she has eaten.

But the problem for you is the same regardless. You really need to find out what is actually going on. You could just ask outright whether what the hospital are saying could actually be relating to the other person and you could mention the medication mix up. I would be inclined to say you should trust the evidence of your own eyes that she seems to have a problem.

There may well be people who have had similar experiences and I hope they will respond with ideas about where to take this.

(Sorry re 'lying' posted when there was no other response)
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Registered User
Aug 30, 2012
Brixham Devon
Also ask the Nurses if your Mum is constipated. The Nurses should be keeping a record of bowel movements. If they don't do this already ask the Nurses to put a photo of your Mum on her meds file so she isn't mixed up with the other lady. They do that in Care homes-no reason why a Hospital can't.