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Dementia & Alzheimer's

Should you correct someone with Alzheimer’s?

29 replies

Turnedouttoes · 13/02/2021 14:35

My grandma has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
Her only family member other than me is my dad who is a nasty man and so I have minimal contact with him. He is totally uncaring about her and I have to admit I did think he may be lying about her condition getting worse because putting her in a home would suit him and he’s been suggesting it for years. At present she lives in a warden controlled block of flats with carers twice a day.

Because of my dad twisting things to suit his prerogative it’s often difficult to tell how bad my grandmas Alzheimer’s actually is. For example, he tells me she’s been calling people in the middle of the night and wandering around the flats. But I am in regular contact with her and she’s never called me at an unsociable time and always seems quite lucid when we speak.

However, today she’s called me to say she’s been in hospital for the last 10 days. I know this to be untrue because she called me on Tuesday from her landline. What I suspect has happened is that she’s had chest pains in the night, an ambulance took her to hospital for tests and then has brought her back home. I don’t think she spent even one night in hospital.

So my question is, should I put her right and tell her she can’t possibly have been in hospital for 10 days as we spoke a few days ago and she was fine or is it best to just go along with what she tells me?

I have no experience of Alzheimer’s and between her and my arsehole dad it’s difficult to get the true picture so I’ll be reading these boards with interest.

OP posts:

Hellvelyn · 12/08/2021 15:52

Also, remember that if you spend time with a person with dementia chatting, going out, watching tv etc, please don’t feel bad if the person quickly forgets details of the time. The pleasant emotion will likely stay with them even if they can’t remember why they feel good. It’s like the nice feeling we have after a good day. We don’t necessarily remember every detail but the warm, pleasant feeling is there. For the person with dementia the warm feeling will hopefully be there even if they have absolutely no recollection of what caused it.Hope that makes some sense.


PhoboPhobia · 12/08/2021 15:58

Something that has always stuck with me from some training is that, after you leave, a person with dementia may not remember any of what you talked about but they will remember the feelings they experienced. So for example, if you had a disagreement and you were cross, they won't remember why but they will know that someone was cross and will continue to feel the shame/embarassment/whatever it made them feel. In the same way, if you were kind/made them laugh/genreally made them feel good, they won't necessarily remember why but they will remember that good feeling after you leave.

I always try to remember this when we see MIL. She doesn't have dementia but does have the completely reasonable memory issues of many 92 years olds. I always try to leave her having made her feel happy as best I can.


PhoboPhobia · 12/08/2021 15:59

@Hellvelyn sorry - it took me so long to type my post on my shitty phone that I have said what you said!


Hellvelyn · 12/08/2021 18:20

Many years ago I worked in a day hospital (ex Occupational Therapist) A patient was constantly distressed and tearful - looking for various family members and an old house. She had told me about a particular cake she used to like baking so I spent an hour in the therapy kitchen where she produced these cakes with no problems. I just needed to make sure everything she needed was immediately on hand, turn unfamiliar oven on etc. She was quiet and content all afternoon after this in a way we had never really seen before. Later on, the cakes were brought out to share. She had absolutely no recollection she had baked them but her content mood lasted for hours. I’ll always remember this as a prime example of emotions being “remembered” even when actions and details aren’t. Lovely lady. Her name was Lila.

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