Dementia patient with wild stories .

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  • Janet Hildreth

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    • My mother has some of the wildest stories. Partly true and I guess rest from dreams and part of what she thinks she heard. I try my best just to let her have them but lately she is telling me she is getting gift cards in mail. I know she hasn't. I take care of her finances and get her mail. She said i ask to see the cards and I put them in my purse which never happen. This has been going on for a few weeks and she even brought it up in front of other people at Wal-Mart . Seems she is getting worse and makes me feel like she thinks I'm stealing her money and also hurts my feelings . Also nothing new. Been taking care of her for 3years now. Maybe someone else has the same problem.

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    • Janet Hildreth Yes, my husband thinks he has an upcoming  knee replacement and ankle surgery  with his cousin, who is a doctor. His cousin lives miles away from us, is retired, and I think was a general practitioner, not a surgeon.  Fortunately, so far, I’ve been able to reason him out of it. I showed him the scar on his knee where he’d had his surgery. He was shocked. He didn’t remember it at all. I “reminded” him that the orthopedic surgeon said that if he performed surgery on his ankle, it would likely mess up something else. He didn’t remember any of this, but fortunately he trusts me never to lie to him, so he believed me. I think that helps, for now. (He did still think that his cousin was his doctor at one time.)

      What if you bought her some “gift” cards from her favorite eating places or stores to keep in your purse - places you might shop for her anyway? Then when she asks, you can pull one out and ask her when she wants to use it? After a time or two, you can say, “These are your gift cards, but we’ve already used them up.” Or you could buy more.

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    • Janet Hildreth Oh yes. My husband has many delusions. God yes! I do the best I can with ignoring much of what he does. Even when he treats me bad with smart remarks.

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  • My wife thinks people are coming in and out of our home all the time. Tonight I’m sleeping on the couch in the den because she doesn’t recognize me as her husband ((of 48 years this Feb)  She thinks her husband might return home and find us in bed together, plus she has her own morals. This happens everyday. 

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    • Steve Drake  It is very difficult, my friend, I was in the same situation as you, but sometimes she remembers me as her husband, sometimes she sees me as her friend, she does not remember that our house we live in belongs to us,  my wife wants to go her own house,she dont't have an another home.

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  • My dad keeps telling me the police are coming to get him.  For not paying for a snack, for harassment, for not paying a bill.  I pay his bills and he lives in an adult care home.  It's difficult to talk with him, because that's all he really talks about.  He's on an anti-hallucination drug, but I'm not sure it's helping.  And I am the only one in his family.  Literally.  This has been been the most difficult year of my life.  I don't know what to say to help make him feel better.  At first I just went with it, then said that he was okay.  But now it's all the time.

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    • Sherri Hedger I think dementia must be like a dream where you’re facing a problem you don’t know how to solve and you can’t wake up from it.  It’s possible that he just needs reassurance that somebody’s looking out for him. Maybe you could say something like, “Don’t you worry about it. I’ll take care of you. We’ll get it figured out.” Or maybe, “Have the police call me the next time. I’ll take care of it for you.” 
       

      My husband woke up the other morning wanted me to teach him the math I had been working on. (I haven’t had a math book in the house for 40 years.) He was very frustrated (as was I) and upset that I was unwilling to teach him. I told him I’d be glad to teach him if I knew what math he wanted. Finally I decided to prompt him. I asked if he meant Algebra. He replied, “yes, that’s it!” So I told him there were actually some YouTube videos on that, if he wanted me to find them. That satisfied him and he never mentioned it again.

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  • In 2018, my wife suffered from frontotemporal dementia and a year later, Alzhaimer disease was added. Esim is just 51 years old, she is very young for this disease, her doctor said that her brain age is 95, in fact, I have been feeding her food like a child for 3 years and drinking water with my hand,  Her own She can not meet any of her needs, I am alone, on household chores, gardening, all payments, all work, I feel very tired, my wife has started to urinate in the bed, I am tired of washing bed covers everyday, she has started not to eat her meals, She don't want  eat when I feed her. , refuses to take his medicines, I don't know what to do, if I don't lose my mind, it's fine. If anyone has any information about how she to drink these dementia pills to my wife, must write me, She was drinking the her pills until the last week, there was no problem, the mood has changed a lot in the last week, she is doing much setback, she doesn't listen any words. I have much stres.

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  • Thank you for asking this question. I am heartbroken. I’m pretty sure my mom has dementia- but she’s told everyone for years she’s scared of me- which I don’t understand. I called her last night (first time in years bc she usually ends up screaming at me). I don’t know what I was thinking.

    she’s in a retirement home now- so I called and asked a nurse to help me contact her. The nurse strangely sounded excited I was calling her. (Strange right?) 

    yes she started screaming at me the moment she heard my voice....screaming that she hates me....but also that she wants the “things back that (I) stole when I broke into (her) house.”

    She claimed I had my toddler outside the door as a “lookout” and I took valuable things. 
     

    I havent seen her in years - and I’m also disabled- so I can’t walk let alone run anywhere. 
     

    I said I didn’t know what she was talking about- and she just kept repeating it.

    I finally just told her I called to tell her how much I love her and hope we could talk and meet up to discuss moving on.

    she told me unless I admitted to stealing the things and give them back- we had nothing left to talk about. 
    then hung up on me. 
     

    so how does this work- dementia? Do they say how they really feel or .....

     

    im gutted. I really can’t move today. She’s my mom and said she hates me and never wanted to see or speak to me again. 
     

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    • Steve Drake CS I would talk to the administrator and ask for guidance.  Someone is managing her care, could they help?  It’s so painful.  My husband told me our marriage was “all trauma” and he doesn’t remember any of it.  We live apart as his behavior had become terrifying and I believed it was his feelings not his mind.   I’ve had to let go of us and yet I’m married.  It’s very hard but you can distance enough to relive it is your need.  The ill person cannot respond normally.  

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    • Hackie Foster 

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    • CS Maybe try explaining that it was not you, but rather a criminal -- "Mom, dont you remember all the break-ins that went on - it was a women with <insert your hair color> who was stealing people's things so she could buy drugs. It happened all over the neighborhood. Is there anything I can get you that you don't have that will make things more comfortable in your home now?"  Sometimes I feel like acknowledging some of the delusion helps bring them back to reality.

      Sadly, with dementia there is such a strong feeling for a person that a event happened, their logic cannot get around it.  So you have to agree in some fashion.  My grandfather would be adamant that people were coming into the house...at first he would question himself though, and would ask me "how do they walk through doors like that?" and we would further discuss that maybe they were not real, maybe he was seeing spirits.  Eventually though, that logical side of his brain lost strength, and the 'people' he saw were as real to him as you and me. We would have to try to acknowledge them in some way.  For example, he believed there was a runaway living in his room for a while and would put sandwiches on the floor of his bedroom.  My mother would fight with him so much because she denied that the girl existed.  When I talked to him, I acknowledged the girl, but told him he is wasting food (something he hated) because she was not eating what he made.  Instead, he should just make sure that we kept his fridge full of good food so that she can help herself when she got hungry.  Maybe we should leave a plate on the counter for her to use when she gets hungry, and maybe we will make sure we always have ice cream in the freezer (his favorite treat at the time). He would calm down and then talk about the girl and what a horrible life she had run away from.

      I hope you can find a way to reconnect with your mom, even if it is in a weird world half-way between reality and fiction.

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    • Jennifer Vasconcellos , That’s a great answer. Teepa Snow has some really good videos that help you deal with accusations. Most importantly is to be her friend who sympathizes and not her defensive daughter. Maybe something like, “Oh, my! I’m so sorry that happened to you. Maybe we should report it to [the supervisor of her living facility or an authority figure she trusts]. Now you’re on her side.

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  • My grandfather once sat my mother down for a serious talk (which was very out or his nature).  He started to explain that she would probably see a bill in the mail soon from the women that has been coming to the house.  My mom was confused, and started asking questions because she was imaging a homeless women or a drug addict sneaking in at night...it took her a minute to realize my grandfather kept saying "I don't do anything with her. She keeps coming into my bedroom, but I swear I don't do anything with her".  Finally my mom realized he was having delusions of a prostitute coming in at night!!!!

    Another delusion related story - my grandfather, who had his own in-law apartment, had been very grumpy for several days.  I went in to visit with him and he immediately starts complaining that my parents had hosted a party with hundreds of guests, who entered the house through his apartment, and were in the backyard making noise all night.  He expressed that he was not as mad about the party itself, but that they had never given him the heads up so that he could clean up and make sure he had a dessert on hand to share. 

    Sometimes you have to laugh so that you dont cry!

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  • I found the best book, “Creating Moments of Joy,” that helped me deal with my husband’s delusions. Now, I play along. Often I’m our daughter. I used to try to convince him I was me, but it stressed him. He told me, “I can’t wrap my mind around that”

    Now he doesn’t have to. When he said, “I’m so glad you could come over today,” I replied, “Thank you! I’m really enjoying being here.” When he said, “When are we going to go home?” I said, “I thought this was such a great place, we might just spend the night here.” Or I postpone it. “Why don’t we watch a movie, first?” Or, “I thought we might have a bowl of ice cream, first.” Or, “It’s getting so late, I’d just like to stay here for the night. We’ve already paid for the night.” (We have. We paid for it when we bought it.) Or I take him for a ride, then come back home. That usually resets his thinking.

    When he think I’m our daughter, he sometimes wants to find me. I literally walk out of the room for a few minutes, then I walk back in and say, “Hi! Did you miss me?” That often resets his thinking. Of course then he wants to know where his daughter went. (Sometimes you can’t win. I haven’t found a way to clone myself.) I usually tell him she isn’t here and I don’t know where she went.

    This attitude has helped both of us. I’m more relaxed. I don’t have to convince him he lives here. And he isn’t confused trying to fit his reality with mine. And he isn’t upset  with me for trying to make all of his decisions. It has really lowered our stress level.

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