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Question
Posted by: Peas | 2012/01/11

Dementia

Hello Doc,

I think my 60 year old mother has early signs of Dementia. She remembers incidents from her childhood, but cannot remember recent events. She will ask me if I remember her cutting off her pony tail when she was at school or if I remember her spitting her food out when she was sitting on her high chair...

She also has bizarre stories coming out of her mouth and she is 100% convinced they are true. She says that her brothers and sisters are trying to steal her money and has turned against them. Previously she did not want to talk to me because I was apparently doing drugs...

She says she is well and refuses to go for any help. In the meantime I am suffering as I have to carry these bizarre stories around with me and don''t feel comfortable asking the family if they are true.

Any ideas on how to handle this?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Dementia is a real possibility for many of us. The pattern of remembering the distant past more than recent events is recognizeable. But there's a greater degree of failuire to reality check in assuming that her daughter would remember events from before the daughter was born. The paranoid suspiciousness is a common pattern - both general suspicions of others, and blaming others for stealing things you have simply mislaid. If she was convinced you were doing drugs when this was not so, that's part of the same problem.
This is a difficult situation to deal with here the person refuses to seek help. Sometimes one can manage gently and over time, to persuade her, not that you don't believe her tales, but that you are concerned at how unpleasant this situation must be for her, and to gently and gradually suggest seeing a shrink ( maybe described tactfully ) could help her deal better with how these strange and unpleasant experiences are affecting her.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/01/11

Dementia is a real possibility for many of us. The pattern of remembering the distant past more than recent events is recognizeable. But there's a greater degree of failuire to reality check in assuming that her daughter would remember events from before the daughter was born. The paranoid suspiciousness is a common pattern - both general suspicions of others, and blaming others for stealing things you have simply mislaid. If she was convinced you were doing drugs when this was not so, that's part of the same problem.
This is a difficult situation to deal with here the person refuses to seek help. Sometimes one can manage gently and over time, to persuade her, not that you don't believe her tales, but that you are concerned at how unpleasant this situation must be for her, and to gently and gradually suggest seeing a shrink ( maybe described tactfully ) could help her deal better with how these strange and unpleasant experiences are affecting her.

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