There are growing numbers of people who have Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. In the middle and advanced stages, those with dementia may tell you or others stories they believe are true - however, the entire story is false.
Sometimes the untruth is just a tiny detail; perhaps the entire story is completely fabricated. Don't think these people with dementia are lying. When someone's mind confabulates, they believe everything they are saying. There is no intent to mislead.
Not Lies - But Stories They Believe
Author Julie Fleming says they are just sharing memories that never actually happened, at least not in how they're telling the story - Confabulation: When what appears to be a lie actually isn't. - The Purple Sherpa.
Most known cases of confabulation are symptomatic of brain damage or dementia—people who have suffered from an aneurysm or Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome can also experience this syndrome.
When someone suffers from a brain disorder such as Alzheimer's, their brain can sometimes make fake memories from the pieces of information it already had.
The website Alzheimer's DementiaHelp explains that the brain forms memories with pieces of stored information, then assembles and stitches them together when they recall that memory. They don't remember the fact per se, but a collection of data assembled to form the thing you experienced. It is like building with Lego pieces.
The brain may substitute a piece of information it did not understand properly with a similar piece it already had, leading to fake memories that didn't actually happen.
Best to Go Along with the Story
Experts recommend not arguing with someone with dementia as they tell their story as it will rarely help. Most times, just go along with them in their story and join them in their reality.
However, when explaining health problems, you must try to find the truth. Often, those with dementia will have other health problems that need to be addressed. If your loved one is confabulating, you will have to determine if their health-related stories are true - or just a story.
The long-term care services that someone with dementia who is confabulating can be more complicated, especially for untrained family caregivers. Professional in-home providers or facilities with staffing for dementia patients like this may be best for everyone involved.
Dementiacare is expensive, even with in-home care. The costs continue to rise as demand is growing every year. Family members are unable to provide the quality care most people need due to aging and declining health.
Since health insurance, including Medicare, won't pay for this type of health care, you will need affordable Long-Term Care Insurance. An LTC policy will give you access to your choice of quality care options, including in-home care.
Some states plan to follow Washington State's lead in taxing you unless you own a qualified Long-Term Care policy, so you should start planning soon.
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You can compare the major insurance companies that offer Long-Term Care Insurance products here - Top Insurers for Long-Term Care Insurance | LTC News.
The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide is an outstanding read to help you get a good overview of the topic area. There are also available tax incentives. See if these tax incentives are helpful - Long-Term Care Tax Benefits Guide.
Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.
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LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News. You can also help find caregivers and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy or not.
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