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Please Help..... Nan lies on purpose.....

Shyness143

Registered User
Jan 23, 2020
23
cocoa fl
I've done a lot of research an understand the difference between confabulation an lying. I honestly don't understand why my nan lies on purpose to get out of trouble for doing things she knows is not allowed? For example, this morning she decided to make toast which is fine. What has me stumped is when asked how much toast she had she originally said two I asked are you lying to me? She looked down shamefully then looked up an said no, I then calmly said that is impossible cause there's ten pieces missing, also my son already told on you.... She then looked at me an said I'll eat what I want and don't have to answer to you. I told her that I wasn't mad that she made or ate the toast, I'm upset that you lied to me. Not getting ahead of myself I asked if she was aware she had made that much toast, she answered yes, I was hungry an know I'm not allowed to cook on the stove. So, I then calmly asked why do you keep lying to get away with things? She then answered with it's easier to lie an act like I don't know better to get you to stop talking to me.... Let me add that my nan has always been someone to lie. They say that main character traits go away, Is this going to get worse before it gets better? What do I do? This is the Question I was trying to get at, sorry for being un clear.
 
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Quite contrary

Registered User
Jan 5, 2020
71
Ilford, Essex
I've done a lot of research an understand the difference between confabulation an lying. I honestly don't understand why my nan lies on purpose to get out of trouble for doing things she knows is not allowed? For example, this morning she decided to make toast which is fine. What has me stumped is when asked how much toast she had she originally said two I asked are you lying to me? She looked down shamefully then looked up an said no, I then calmly said that is impossible cause there's ten pieces missing, also my son already told on you.... She then looked at me an said I'll eat what I want and don't have to answer to you. I told her that I wasn't mad that she made or ate the toast, I'm upset that you lied to me. Not getting ahead of myself I asked if she was aware she had made that much toast, she answered yes, I was hungry an know I'm not allowed to cook on the stove. So, I then calmly asked why do you keep lying to get away with things? She then answered with it's easier to lie an act like I don't know better to get you to stop talking to me.... What do I do?
Sounds rather like when a child lies to avoid getting into trouble!
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
11,630
South coast
She may have genuinely forgotten how much she had eaten and the rest was sheer bravado to cover up the fact that she had forgotten.
Why did you ask her about it if you already knew the answer? As the disease progresses you will find that she will become more and more confused. Much better to avoid questions that depend on memory like where, when, why, how many, etc
 

Shyness143

Registered User
Jan 23, 2020
23
cocoa fl
She may have genuinely forgotten how much she had eaten and the rest was sheer bravado to cover up the fact that she had forgotten.
Why did you ask her about it if you already knew the answer? As the disease progresses you will find that she will become more and more confused. Much better to avoid questions that depend on memory like where, when, why, how many, etc
The thing is, is that she has always lied to get out of trouble. I've watched her do it my whole life, I only asked when already knowing the answer to see the reaction. She literally was caught telling my nine year old how to lie and get away with it. She was a compulsive liar an horrible alcoholic before the disease. I am the only one in my family who would even take her in due to the way she has always been with family. I do however understand that she thinks I still live with her an not the only way around. Thus for her not wanting to be told what to do in her own house because my house is very similar to the one I grew up in. My issue is that lying is not acceptable in my house due to what she put me through as a child having me also lie for her to back up her lies. The first time she tried to lie and get away with it, my oldest daughter went to check on her cause we were worried that we might had upset her an that she was going through confabulation. She expressed to my daughter an in detail told her what she had done and why.... Then told her to try it sometimes its fun, an now its even more fun cause she can use the fact that her mind is going when she knows shes doing wrong an ppl just accept it. This is why I'm asking for help...
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
1,782
In some cases dementia tends to 'magnify' a person's existing personality traits so if your Mum is behaving as she did before she got dementia then it's going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to change her behaviour now. Unfortunately, as you have discovered, having young children living in the same house as your Mum is not going to be good for them either. I agree with Canary that it's better to avoid questioning your Mum, and I'd avoid accusing her of lying, but I'm not sure what else to suggest as trying to change her behaviour is just going to get you both frustrated and upset. Is your Mum in the house all day or does she go out to somewhere like a day centre? Maybe something like that might give you some breathing space and give her an opportunity to mix with others?
 

Linbrusco

Registered User
Mar 4, 2013
1,606
Auckland...... New Zealand
My Dad is 82, has mild mixed dementia but I still feel Frontal Temporal Lobe dementia... judgement, reasoning, planning, impulsive behaviour, no social skills, poor language skills.

Dads always been a habitual liar too. Its very hard to know where the lying & dementia stops and starts.
He also likes to joke, so between the two traits hes a bit like boy who cried wolf. One day he will lie about something and we wont actually know if hes being serious or not.
eg 2 years ago he badly burnt his hand, and sat there in agony for 6 hrs, until my brother got home and saw him. I only live next door too.
So now occasionally when say my sister calls him to see how he is, he will tell you ( cos he thinks its a joke) that hes burnt himself.
When my sister asks him questions he tells an elaborate story, and then tells you no he didnt and starts laughing.
So she calls me to go and check up on him.
I question him about it, check him over, and then denies he said anything to my sister, because he knows Ive found him out and doesn't want to be caught out.
Drives me crazy!
Sometimes i do have to hold my tounge alot.
 
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Shyness143

Registered User
Jan 23, 2020
23
cocoa fl
What I really am trying to ask, an I should had been more clear is. Is it going to get worse or will it maybe get easier? The studies say that over time they loose main character traits. I was going to make a new post an explain that.
In some cases dementia tends to 'magnify' a person's existing personality traits so if your Mum is behaving as she did before she got dementia then it's going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to change her behaviour now. Unfortunately, as you have discovered, having young children living in the same house as your Mum is not going to be good for them either. I agree with Canary that it's better to avoid questioning your Mum, and I'd avoid accusing her of lying, but I'm not sure what else to suggest as trying to change her behaviour is just going to get you both frustrated and upset. Is your Mum in the house all day or does she go out to somewhere like a day centre? Maybe something like that might give you some breathing space and give her an opportunity to mix with others?
Shes my nan as in my grandmother, my mom won't take care of her own mom. She literally told me to leave her at the home an if I chose to go get her that I was on my own. No one in my family calls or even comes by now that my nan is with me, this is due to the woman she was an the way she was. She doesn't go to an adult day care, but we have outings all week an I do her physical therapy. I also do projects with her of things she used to like to do like her favorite hobbies. It is suppose to help. So, no she does not stay cooped up all the time.
 

DesperateofDevon

Registered User
Jul 7, 2019
2,658
What I really am trying to ask, an I should had been more clear is. Is it going to get worse or will it maybe get easier? The studies say that over time they loose main character traits. I was going to make a new post an explain that.
Shes my nan as in my grandmother, my mom won't take care of her own mom. She literally told me to leave her at the home an if I chose to go get her that I was on my own. No one in my family calls or even comes by now that my nan is with me, this is due to the woman she was an the way she was. She doesn't go to an adult day care, but we have outings all week an I do her physical therapy. I also do projects with her of things she used to like to do like her favorite hobbies. It is suppose to help. So, no she does not stay cooped up all the time.
I admire you immensely, but you need to contact social services & herGP. you will not be able to do this alone & asking for support early on will be helpful later.
also contact age uk as they can help fill in paperwork & forms
You need to be organised & firm in what care aspects you will & wont do.
Good luck & keep posting
Xx
 

Shyness143

Registered User
Jan 23, 2020
23
cocoa fl
My Dad is 82, has mild mixed dementia but I still feel Frontal Temporal Lobe dementia... judgement, reasoning, planning, impulsive behaviour, no social skills, poor language skills.

Dads always been a habitual liar too. Its very hard to know where the lying & dementia stops and starts.
He also likes to joke, so between the two traits hes a bit like boy who cried wolf. One day he will lie about something and we wont actually know if hes being serious or not.
eg 2 years ago he badly burnt his hand, and sat there in agony for 6 hrs, until my brother got home and saw him. I only live next door too.
So now occasionally when say my sister calls him to see how he is, he will tell you ( cos he thinks its a joke) that hes burnt himself.
When my sister asks him questions he tells an elaborate story, and then tells you no he didnt and starts laughing.
So she calls me to go and check up on him.
I question him about it, check him over, and then denies he said anything to my sister, because he knows Ive found him out and doesn't want to be caught out.
Drives me crazy!
Sometimes i do have to hold my tounge alot.
It's nice to know I am not loosing my mind. I'm all alone taking care of her due to her old ways, her roommates before all of this when I found out that she was in a rehab, had gotten in touch with me an all they did was talk so bad about my nan, then the rehab had nothing but bad reports on my nan, an last but not least the home I went an removed my nan from with a sheriff had told me she was the worst person they had ever had there that she in general was a horrible woman. None of my family comes an visit me anymore an my own mother told me if I brought her home with me I was on my own, my mom has not talked to her mom in twenty years an seems relieved that my nan doesn't realize who she is an thus for doesn't talk to her. So, I'm left alone to take care of my nan.
 

Shyness143

Registered User
Jan 23, 2020
23
cocoa fl
Shes my nan as in my grandmother, my mom won't take care of her own mom. She literally told me to leave her at the home an if I chose to go get her that I was on my own. No one in my family calls or even comes by now that my nan is with me, this is due to the woman she was an the way she was. She doesn't go to an adult day care, but we have outings all week an I do her physical therapy. I also do projects with her of things she used to like to do like her favorite hobbies. It is suppose to help. So, no she does not stay cooped up all the time.
I admire you immensely, but you need to contact social services & herGP. you will not be able to do this alone & asking for support early on will be helpful later.
also contact age uk as they can help fill in paperwork & forms
You need to be organised & firm in what care aspects you will & wont do.
Good luck & keep posting
Xx

I'm in the US, this seemed like the only really helpful forum.
 

Jessbow

Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
2,989
West Hertfordshire
Will it get better or worse? That depends, and i dont think there is a definative answer.

What will help things is avoiding conflict- was there really any point in asking her something when you knew the answer, and knew what she'd day? What did it achieve? Not a lot.

If eating 10 slices of bread as toast is unacceptable, dont leave 10 slices accessible.

Not sure as the set up really sounds like the best for any of you.

iff she is diagnosed with dementia, then a lot of it she really cannot help.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
659
High Peak
I don't think it is helpful to treat your nan, who has dementia, in the same way you would a young child telling lies. The child will remember what you say and learn from it, your nan cannot. Your child will learn and understand more every day, your nan is doing the reverse. It is completely different. It's as if you believe if you confront her and tell her off about the number of slices of toast she had today, she will remember your rules next week. Well, she won't. Unfortunately, next week she will be worse than she is this week.

I appreciate your nan has been 'a liar all her life' and can only imagine how frustrating and annoying that has been. It's also true that often a person's 'bad' traits seem to get worse when dementia appears. But I am wondering about the distinction you are making between deliberate lies and confabulation. A person with dementia will often use 'lies' to cover up behaviour they either don't remember or don't want to admit to. On one occasion when my mother defecated on the floor, she claimed a man had come in and done it. This was the first thing that came into her head because she was mortified. But as she told me about this 'man' she began to believe it. She invented a whole load of background story about the event and why he had been there. Later she referred back to it - will that man be coming again? This morphed into 'those men have been in the house again' - a complete confabulation that came out of an original lie.

The point I'm making is that everything becomes very blurred with dementia. Going forward, as your nan's cognition deteriorates, she will become less able to 'lie' effectively. It actually takes a lot of brain power to tell lies - advance planning, logic, insight, consistency, good memory, etc - all skills that people with dementia lose pretty quickly.

Finally, what is it achieving in confronting your nan with her 'lies'? Clearly she's not going to change the habits of a lifetime just because you have told her off and treated her like a child. Why would you do that? Have a heart - the poor woman is old and has dementia! She has no insight into her behaviour now (even if the behaviour is similar to how she has been in her earlier life) so please don't expect that of her. You cannot discipline a person with dementia.
 

Shyness143

Registered User
Jan 23, 2020
23
cocoa fl
I don't think it is helpful to treat your nan, who has dementia, in the same way you would a young child telling lies. The child will remember what you say and learn from it, your nan cannot. Your child will learn and understand more every day, your nan is doing the reverse. It is completely different. It's as if you believe if you confront her and tell her off about the number of slices of toast she had today, she will remember your rules next week. Well, she won't. Unfortunately, next week she will be worse than she is this week.

I appreciate your nan has been 'a liar all her life' and can only imagine how frustrating and annoying that has been. It's also true that often a person's 'bad' traits seem to get worse when dementia appears. But I am wondering about the distinction you are making between deliberate lies and confabulation. A person with dementia will often use 'lies' to cover up behaviour they either don't remember or don't want to admit to. On one occasion when my mother defecated on the floor, she claimed a man had come in and done it. This was the first thing that came into her head because she was mortified. But as she told me about this 'man' she began to believe it. She invented a whole load of background story about the event and why he had been there. Later she referred back to it - will that man be coming again? This morphed into 'those men have been in the house again' - a complete confabulation that came out of an original lie.

The point I'm making is that everything becomes very blurred with dementia. Going forward, as your nan's cognition deteriorates, she will become less able to 'lie' effectively. It actually takes a lot of brain power to tell lies - advance planning, logic, insight, consistency, good memory, etc - all skills that people with dementia lose pretty quickly.

Finally, what is it achieving in confronting your nan with her 'lies'? Clearly she's not going to change the habits of a lifetime just because you have told her off and treated her like a child. Why would you do that? Have a heart - the poor woman is old and has dementia! She has no insight into her behaviour now (even if the behaviour is similar to how she has been in her earlier life) so please don't expect that of her. You cannot discipline a person with dementia.
Where in my post did I say I told her off, I have yet to act in any sort of manner. I also have not disciplined her as she is still an adult an I feel that would be wrong. I have a background in physical therapy an psychology as well. I am a registered CNA so, I'm fully aware of how to properly take care of my nan. I did take the extra time to also educate myself further on this particular disease. Please don't try to make it sound like i'm treating my nan in a bad manner, I came here for advice not to be shamed. No case is the same cause no one person is the same. I did not appreciate your assumption of "telling her off or discipline."
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
659
High Peak
I'm sorry. Reading your original post, it certainly sounded like telling off/treating her like a child to me.

It is of course entirely up to you how you communicate with your nan (and I do admire you for taking on her care - from what you have said she is not an easy person to live with and she is lucky to have you.) I just don't think it is helpful to have constant confrontation. If you don't want her to have so much bread, you could easily make sure she doesn't. It almost seems like you are setting her up to fail.

I just don't understand what you hope to gain by pointing out her lies to her all the time. And yes, I do think confronting someone with their lies and reproaching them for it is telling off/discipline!

Just my opinion - I'm trying to be helpful here, not attack you. (But I will keep further opinions to myself - I really don't want to upset or annoy you.)
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,168
The thing is, is that she has always lied to get out of trouble. I've watched her do it my whole life, I only asked when already knowing the answer to see the reaction. She literally was caught telling my nine year old how to lie and get away with it. She was a compulsive liar an horrible alcoholic before the disease. I am the only one in my family who would even take her in due to the way she has always been with family. I do however understand that she thinks I still live with her an not the only way around. Thus for her not wanting to be told what to do in her own house because my house is very similar to the one I grew up in. My issue is that lying is not acceptable in my house due to what she put me through as a child having me also lie for her to back up her lies. The first time she tried to lie and get away with it, my oldest daughter went to check on her cause we were worried that we might had upset her an that she was going through confabulation. She expressed to my daughter an in detail told her what she had done and why.... Then told her to try it sometimes its fun, an now its even more fun cause she can use the fact that her mind is going when she knows shes doing wrong an ppl just accept it. This is why I'm asking for help...
My mother-in-law was a lying manipulative woman all her life , she had a personality disorder which eventually developed into dementia. That characteristic of her personality was only enhanced by the dementia.

You say that lying is not acceptable in your own house well you will find that your nans confusion and confabulations of covering up will only get worse as the disease progresses. Normal rules don't apply in dementia so you will find that sometimes confronting her will not actually make for an easy life. My mother-in-law constantly would tell me that she had eaten food out of the fridge when in fact I knew this wasn't the case. She would simply throw it away .If I asked her about it she would say that she had eaten it previously or the carers were taking it. For me there was little point in making a big issue over these sort of things because her aggression would escalate. All I would say was ok never mind then move on and distract her to something else. It's not easy dealing with it, we're all on a learning curve here
 

Shyness143

Registered User
Jan 23, 2020
23
cocoa fl
My mother-in-law was a lying manipulative woman all her life , she had a personality disorder which eventually developed into dementia. That characteristic of her personality was only enhanced by the dementia.

You say that lying is not acceptable in your own house well you will find that your nans confusion and confabulations of covering up will only get worse as the disease progresses. Normal rules don't apply in dementia so you will find that sometimes confronting her will not actually make for an easy life. My mother-in-law constantly would tell me that she had eaten food out of the fridge when in fact I knew this wasn't the case. She would simply throw it away .If I asked her about it she would say that she had eaten it previously or the carers were taking it. For me there was little point in making a big issue over these sort of things because her aggression would escalate. All I would say was ok never mind then move on and distract her to something else. It's not easy dealing with it, we're all on a learning curve here
Yes, you are absolutely right we are all on a learning curve. Thank you for your insight on my current situation. I know it sounds crazy that we don't tolerate any sort of lying in my house, but this rule stems from my up bringing. I do though understand some things can't be helped.
 

Jessbow

Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
2,989
West Hertfordshire
Yes, you are absolutely right we are all on a learning curve. Thank you for your insight on my current situation. I know it sounds crazy that we don't tolerate any sort of lying in my house, but this rule stems from my up bringing. I do though understand some things can't be helped.
I cannot see that you wont tollerate anything but the absolute truth in your house, that it will work for any length of time, that she lives with you. What will you feel when she doesnt have a clue what day of the week it is? Will you percieve that as lying? Maybe she doesnt knowhow many slices of toast she's had- is that any different?

my line in the sand was when my late mother urinated and opened her bowels just where she chose. Did she do it on purpose? no. Could I stop it? no. Did she do it on purpose? no.

I just had to accept that it was happening and I was the one that had to change, or arrange something else for her.
 

Shyness143

Registered User
Jan 23, 2020
23
cocoa fl
I cannot see that you wont tollerate anything but the absolute truth in your house, that it will work for any length of time, that she lives with you. What will you feel when she doesnt have a clue what day of the week it is? Will you percieve that as lying? Maybe she doesnt knowhow many slices of toast she's had- is that any different?

my line in the sand was when my late mother urinated and opened her bowels just where she chose. Did she do it on purpose? no. Could I stop it? no. Did she do it on purpose? no.

I just had to accept that it was happening and I was the one that had to change, or arrange something else for her.
I also understand your point, thankfully her doctor an case manager did their pop up today. They have been dealing with my nan longer than I, an said I'm not in the wrong but to be sure she is actually cognitive first before trying to converse with her about it. If we both seem to be feeling agitated to walk away an address the situation at a later time. We already experience days where she doesn't know what day it is or where she is and as I have expressed also thinking I'm my aunt. I have been taking care of my nan for over a year. They informed me that in fact they had realized she was doing the same to the nurses she didn't like at the rehab an feel that it has amplified this specific characteristic of her former self before the disease. Sadly this makes me feel as if my nan doesn't like me, an that's why she is doing this to me more frequently. I am the only one she has left in our family to take care of her an I don't want her to be left in a home to be forgotten she is family no matter what she has done in her past an people don't deserve that. So, please try not to judge as I am only trying to do the right thing here an honestly doing my best. It is different taking care of a loved one verses taking care of someone else's loved one. Which all my prior experience has been taking care of people I didn't know from adam. This is hard for everyone an I understand that. I have had more people come at me on here than actually give me insight on what I am going through. I think I am just going to stop my account on here. I just needed to know I was not the only one going through this an now I feel as if I am the worst person because I'm just learning what it is like to take care of someone you know everything about verses taking care of someone I don't really know anything about other than their medical history.