Jun 17, 2014

In Alzheimer's World There is No Such Thing as Lying

I understand why dementia caregivers feel guilty when they find it necessary to lie or "fib' to a person living with dementia. Who wants to be labeled as a liar?

Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

In Alzheimer's World There is No Such Thing as Lying

Rachael Wonderlin wrote a wonderful article in the Alzheimer's Reading Room that dealt with one of the most difficult issues that Alzheimer's caregivers can face


I suggest that you take the time to read the article and also to read the comments below the article - Don't Want to Lie to a Person Living with Dementia, Why Not Embrace Reality Instead.

I understand why dementia caregivers feel guilty when they find it necessary to lie or "fib' to a person living with dementia. Who wants to be labeled as a liar? None of us.

Unfortunately, when you find it necessary to tell the truth in all situations you are making it all about your and not about the person is increasingly becoming

Deeply Forgetful.

It is important to ask yourself this question when caring,

What is reality?

Does reality change for a person living with Dementia? I think you already know the answer? Yes.

So should you remain hung up on your perception of reality - the real world - or should you adjust (change really) to the reality of the person living with dementia.

Do you have the courage and understanding to step into the new world in which your loved one is living?

I call this place

Alzheimer's World.

When I finally made it to Alzheimer's World I finally realized that most of the challenging behaviors, the crazy statements, and the misunderstanding of the present that my mother was expressing were now a very real part of her new reality.

Instead of fighting, correcting, or unintentionally making her feel miserable I decided to join her in her new world. I decided to accept her reality.

As soon as I stepped into Alzheimer's World for the first time I felt kinder, gentler and more understanding.

Amazingly, as I became more understanding of my mother's new found reality and accepted it, she became kinder, gentler, and most importantly happier.

Instead of correcting my mother when she told one of her many Fractured Fairy Tales and then watching her get all confused, unhappy, and then dull I just went along with her for the ride.

Here is a simple example.

My mother told anyone that would listen that she had never taken a medication in her life. She literally told this story hundreds of times while I was caring for her.

In the early years I would correct her right in front of the people she was speaking too. Basically, I was calling her a liar. This always resulted in a

Deep Sadness

for both of us.

After I made it to Alzheimer's World I just stood back and let her go. Guess what happened?

The people my mother was speaking too listened on in amazement.
They asked how old she was? Over 90. They asked, and you never took any medication? My mother answered the same way every time.

No, I am a healthy old broad.

The listeners were smiling, laughing and they were truly delighted by her story.

My mother was delighted by the smiles on their faces and their delight.

As for me, I felt enormous happiness, Joy really, as I looked on. Everyone, including mother and including me, were so very happy.

Alzheimer's World is truly a wonderful place.

So instead of deep sadness and heartache, I felt wonderful. This was a very different feeling than what I experienced when I found it necessary to correct my mother.

What is reality anyway? Your reality? The reality of your loved one? What is reality?

If you remain living in the past you will have heartache while caring.

If you adjust you will eventually step off the path of burden and onto the path of Joy.

I know this to be true because I have thousands of emails from readers that told me how dramatically their live changed when they finally accepted the new reality that comes with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's or a related dementia.

Rachael's article explains how you might adjust when you deal with your own very difficult problem

I don't want to lie to her (him).

She suggests that you

“Embrace his or her reality.”

I embraced Dotty's new reality.

The simple acts of understanding and kindness changed my life.

Not only at the time while I was caring for my mother, but for the rest of my life.

It feels very good, and, I continue to believe that it was Dotty that gave me this great gift.

Allow yourself to feel the Joy. Reject the pain.

Related Articles in the Alzheimer's Reading Room

Bob DeMarco
About Author. Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). Bob is a recognized expert, writer, speaker, and influencer in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community worldwide. The ARR Knowledge Base contains more than 4,700 articles. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room

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