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Published on: February 16, 2014
by Katie Gilstrap for times Dispatch:
Try not to be surprised if you find some uncharacteristic things coming out of your loved one’s mouth. Eccentric behaviors that range from exaggerations to bold-faced lies can become common for someone with advancing Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Misrepresentations and distortions of reality are often ways that a person with dementia copes with a world that is confusing, changing and doesn’t always make sense.
Consider how these realities can become something different in the mind of someone who lives in a world that is constantly changing:
• I don’t know where something is. The home health aide must have taken it!
• How did the remote get in the cabinet? My grandchild must have put it there!
• Who is that unfamiliar woman at the door? She must be having an affair with my husband!
These conclusions (although misguided) can help someone who is feeling scared, embarrassed or anxious preserve a sense of dignity because they help the person find a way to make sense out of something that is causing confusion and anxiety.
It is best to ignore the falsehoods or to gloss over them quickly if you can. If you try to correct your loved one, you are likely only to make him or her feel even more confused, embarrassed or anxious.
Try to remember that it is the disease talking. Your loved one still loves you and is only trying to make sense out of what seems like nonsense.
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