The reality game

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Joy Johnston 8 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #60954 Reply

    Annie Apfelman

    Every day my sister tries to correct my mother. It just makes her confusion and her sundowners worse!

    I keep telling her that mom won’t be so confused and agitated if we work with her reality instead of ours. We’re here to make her comfortable, not tell her she’s wrong all the time. Mom asks after our dad and she’ll tell her he died 15 years ago and then mom is drying and confused. It’s easier on all of us to say he’s running late and we should eat dinner without him.

    How can I get my sister to understand this? She’s several years older, so she’s used to being the big sis, but this time I need her to understand me so we can all be better off.

  • #61072 Reply

    Joy Johnston

    Hi Annie. Communication challenges can be difficult for loved ones to accept when it comes to dementia. My mother struggled with it when it came to taking care of my father. You are absolutely right in saying that correcting a person with Alzheimer’s or other dementias is not usually helpful. Changing the topic, redirecting when a loved one becomes fearful or angry, and accepting them in their reality are tough but important lessons.

    Do you have access to a dementia specialist, a doctor, nurse or other non-family caregiver who could offer their communication tips? Maybe if it came from someone outside the family who was an authority figure on the subject it would be better received by your sister. There are many helpful resources online as well. The Purple Jacket blog just posted an excellent article on the subject.

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