Lying to the ones we love.

Thought provoking post from Kay Bransford on whether or not honesty is always the best policy when caring for someone with dementia.

Dealing with Dementia

Two things that should be a part of every caregiver bootcamp:

  1. An introduction to the medical reality that our loved ones may not be able to recognize that they are having cognitive issues. It’s called Anosognosia and if someone in your life has had a stroke, or been diagnosed with dementia it is something you should understand. The individual is not purposefully dismissing you as I thought of my mother. I assumed she knew something was wrong but decided to ignore it and dismiss my concerns. However, the reality is that most likely she really had no idea that she was failing cognitively. One report cited that a “categorical diagnosis of anosognosia was made in 42% of patients with mild AD” (Alzheimer’s Dementia). Another report cited that over 80% of those diagnosed with varied dementia had anosognosia.
  2. There are times when honesty is painful for everyone when a…

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23 thoughts on “Lying to the ones we love.

  1. That’s a good reblog, Mary. When my Mum was confused after multiple strokes, I also insisted on honesty, which led to confrontation and upset. Later on, I just went with her train of thought, and life became much simpler.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Pete. It was a topic which caused a lot of debate, especially when Dad’s wife walked out on him. Did we tell him, when he asked where she was, that she’d left him or say she’d gone to visit her sister for a few days? I couldn’t bear the thought of telling him something so hurtful because even if he forgot, it would have hurt deeply at the time.

      Liked by 2 people

      • ‘Pathological denial’ is a symptom of most serious illnesses that affect cognition and judgment. I think of schizophrenia as the Alzheimer’s of the youth; the symptoms usually begin in adolescence. Most of the people I’ve worked with who had a diagnosis of chronic schizophrenia are glad to get mandated treatment. I worked with a young man who spent a year hallucinating and living in his own filth. One day he started assaulting people so ‘Behavioral Court’ ordered him into treatment so he came to my facility. All it took to get him cleaned up and back into class at Yale was a daily anti-psychotic. He’s fine when he stays on his medication. He came back to say thank you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Rob, I’m sorry, I thought I’d acknowledged this comment but just realised I hadn’t. I like that the young man came back to say thank you. I have a friend who has chronic schizophrenia but unfortunately after years on medication – which they keep changing – she is not doing well. It seems every time they change her medication in an attempt to find something which work better they just end up making it all worse. Last time I saw her, she was all bloated, which she must hate as she’s always been on the verge of anorexia. She used to come to a survivors’ poetry group I ran (survivors of the mental health system) but now she isn’t writing.

          Liked by 1 person

          • If she’s always on the verge of anorexia she’s guaranteed to have horrible side effects because her body can’t properly metabolize her psychotropics. This is where a six-month hospital stay focused on stabilizing weight and medications would save the system money and spare this suffering. Both of our nations need fully funded public mental health systems. We can have it, too, if we can get the parasites out of our governments.

            Liked by 1 person

    • No pressure, eh, Lea? I am working on it. It took me ages to find the starting point and how to get into it but I’m on it 🙂 Also had many debates about names – not names – Goldfish or Dad – Stepmonster/Stepmother (I didn’t want it to come over like a revenge story) but I think I’ve made a decision. Glad you still want to read the book. I hope you are keeping safe and well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I do apologize. It was not my intention to pressure you. I just want to know as soon as it is available. I’ve been looking forward to reading it since you first mentioned it. Remember, I have nearly all your books so far and have enjoyed every one.
        As one who has survived more than one monster, I do appreciate that struggle and will take notice of that as I read Goldfish!
        France is under a tight lock-down but most are accepting it gracefully. Actually, it seems that they appreciate the fact that their safety is a priority as it isn’t that way everywhere… Take care of yourself and bon sante.

        Liked by 1 person

        • No need to apologise, Lea, I was joking about the pressure. I feel I should be using this strange ‘free’ time to be getting on with the book but it is such a strange time it’s not always easy to focus. We are also under lockdown though not everyone seems to appreciate the importance of following the rules. I do feel some sympathy for the sunbathers in London – if you live in a high rise apartment and have no garden it must be horrible. Stay safe and well.

          Liked by 1 person

          • While it is difficult not to spend more time walking about our gorgeous village or a sidewalk cafe in town, people here are very respectful of the lockdown. I’m most fortunate to live in a house that has stacks of books covering many of the walls and a new one is waiting for me. All the best and keep us posted on the Goldfish!

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome and stirring post. When I was young, I used to do this a lot and felt so bad afterward. It’s a good thing I don’t feel I have to lie anymore. Self-acceptance has a way of driving away the need to lie.


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