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Should I tell the truth or lie to my G'ma?
traci1124 posted:
I'm caring for my Grandmother that we think is in the last stages of Dementia, getting ready to cross the line into Alzheimers....
When she asks me a question, it always turns into 20 questions, (or more)...It seems that if I answer her truthfully about her situation, et.....
why can't I drive?..
who said I couldn't live by myself?..
who says I quit smoking?...
what do you mean I was in the nursing home?....
then she gets more and more confused about the answers, hence more questions....I don't want to lie to her, because I wouldn't want to be lied to...,,
I moved from Florida to Indiana to take care of her so she could be at home and have better quality of life, not that the nursing home was bad, she just cried all the time about wanting to go home....
So I guess my question is....
Should I lie to G'ma, since most of the questions are not 'life or death' to keep her from being go confused? and she's not gonna remember anyway....
Feeling incapable in Indiana
cjh1203 responded:
Hi, Traci-

You sound like a wonderful granddaughter!

I just want to clarify that a person doesn't go from dementia to Alzheimer's -- Alzheimer's is a form of dementia. Has she been diagnosed? Is she taking any medications for Alzheimer's?

One of the most important things for an Alzheimer's patient is to keep her on an even keel as much as possible. If telling your grandmother the truth about certain things is going to upset her, then it may be better to tell her something that will appease her, depending on what it is. At this point, there's no need to tell her the truth just for the sake of it.

I'm sure you feel very alone in this, but please don't feel incapable. With Alzheimer's, every day is a new challenge and you're dealing with things that you've never encountered before.

It would be a great help to you if you contact your local Alzheimer's Association. Talk with someone there about your grandmother, and ask questions. They have vast experience with this disease, and resources that can make your life easier. They also offer support groups that will make you feel less alone and overwhelmed. They are people who are all going down the same path as you and your grandmother. Some are farther along that path, and they can give you advice about whatever problems you may be having. Others are right where you are. Everyone can offer you emotional and practical support.

Please also feel free to come here whenever you need to. We don't have too many active members right now, but we'll try to respond to you as soon as we can.

You're doing a great thing for your grandmother -- please don't feel that you have to do it alone.

Best wishes.

davedsel57 responded:
Hello traci112 and welcome.

You are quite a wonderful granddaughter to move across the country to take care of your grandmother.

Carol has given you excellent advice as always.

My dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in early 2011. I had to find an assisted living facility for him, and then empty out and sell his mobile home. When my wife and I talked to him initially and told him he had Alzheimer's, he refused to believe us and got angry. So, he has convinced himself that he needs an ALF to help him with his Type 2 Diabetes. We just go with that and it is easier for all. I did convince him to give me his car, simply stating that the doctors have said he can no longer drive. He has periods when he wants to leave the ALF and we tell him the doctors have said he needs to live in one. So, our reasoning with him is simply "the doctors have said..." and he accepts that.

I agree with Carol - tell your grandmother something that will appeal to her like we do with my dad. She will eventually accept this and let you take care of her.

Bless you for being such a wonderful care giver.
Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.

Blessings, Dave
cjh1203 responded:
I want to second what Dave said about using "the doctor said so..." That also worked very well with my uncle, who had Alzheimer's. When he was told that the doctor said something, he accepted it much better, and that's how he was able to quit smoking cold turkey. It's also how we got him to use a walker, when he started falling once in a while.

Judith L London, PhD responded:
Hi Traci,

You are a loving and caring person to help out your grandmother this way.

I underscore Carol's comments: it is important for your grandmother to have a proper diagnosis. Alzheimer's accounts for 70% of why people have dementia symptoms. Alzheimer's occurs gradually, over years whereas other types of dementia such as vascular dementia usually occur rmore rapidly, stay at a level, and then may get worse if the vasular condition worsens. A physician could rule out vascular dementia. Also, physical illness such as a bladder infection start out as increased confusion for someone as she gets older. Have a physician determine whether she has an infection.

Current treatment for Alzheimer's delays the deterioration to some extent so that the individual functions better than without the medication.

Your grandmother's questions signify her anxiety about the confusion and memory loss she is experiencing. You can focus on reassuring her that you are there to help her; her questions are the way she expresses her anxiety, as well as revealing confusion.

The Alzheimer's Assn. is a great resource - - and I also recommend my book which explains what is going on and how to approach your grandmother in a meaningful way.

Keep us posted -there's lots of support here,
traci1124 replied to cjh1203's response:
Thank You!
I have a lot to learn about dementia and Alzheimers, thanks for the suggestions!!.
traci1124 replied to davedsel57's response:
Thanks grandma never went to the doctor on a regular basis, so when I tell her that the doctors said so, she usually has a pretty colorful reply...I'm learning as I go along...I'm sure this site will help, it's nice to be able to talk to others that are going thru similar situations
traci1124 replied to Judith L London, PhD's response:
Thanks Judy,
I've went to the doctor with G'ma twice, next time I'll ask if they have determined the actual cause...G'ma was diagnosed about 6 or 7 years ago with dementia, right after G'pa died. She broke her hip shortly after that. I've heard that it sometimes starts after hospital stays...I think that genetics play a role in my G'ma's case....quite a few of her 9 siblings had Alzheimers.....
I'm glad I found this site, thanks to all who replied!!

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