When someone with dementia believes something untrue.

Uncategorized Mar 21, 2021

Welcome back, Careblazer. What are you supposed to do if your loved one is living in another reality and has some delusions that aren’t true? How do you respond to them when what they are thinking is so off the wall but you don’t want to make them more upset?  

If you would rather watch a video on this topic, click here.


I was recently answering member questions inside my Care Course Q & A session and one Careblazer shared a really frustrating situation with her mom where her mom was believing something that wasn’t true. When the mom asked this Careblazer for her input, the Careblazer rationally explained why her mom’s belief wasn’t true. This led to an argument. The Careblazer had to walk away. 


Now this amazing Careblazer, much like all my Care Course members, knows her stuff. She knows that I teach the importance of “joining their world.” I’ve talked about that in several other videos. So she asked, "In a situation where their truth (aka world)  is awful, how should I respond?" However, going into her reality in that situation seemed unacceptable. 

What do you do? Especially if your loved one wants a response from you as did the Careblazer’s mom in this situation. 

I’m going to tell you exactly what and give you example responses that you can tweak to use with your loved one. 

Joining their reality is still valid here. BUT the biggest hiccup Careblazers think is that somehow by joining their reality, you are agreeing with their delusion or belief. It was unacceptable for this careblazer to join her mother’s world when her mother's world was based in such awful ideas. 

But, that is NOT the case at all. There is a huge difference between agreeing with what your loved one says and joining their world. 

Agreeing with your loved one may look like, “You’re right, that’s totally true.” 

Joining their world may sound like, “Wow, I never thought of that.” 

Agreeing with your loved one may sound like, “Right, that shouldn’t have happened.” 

Joining their world sounds like, “You don’t think that should’ve happened.”

Agreeing with your loved one may sound like, “You were lied to, that’s awful.”

Joining their world sounds like, “You don’t like being lied to.”

Notice the subtle but important difference. Joining your loved one’s world  no  matter how awful or difficult doesn’t mean you agree with everything, especially if you’re like this Careblazer whose mother was believing something so disturbing to the Careblazer. But trying to tell them they are wrong, showing them all the evidence they are wrong, pointing them to all the news sources that they are wrong will only make your loved one more upset, it will make you more upset, and it will add strain on your relationship. 


If I thought trying to convince your loved one of the truth worked, I’d say 100% go for it. Tell them why they are wrong. But I’m guessing you already know that does not work 


So join their world. No matter how out there or insane it may seem. Doing so doesn’t mean you agree, it means you are trying to understand their point of view, that you are trying to be understanding, you are trying to maintain peace. Never ever does it mean that you condone, agree, or believe any of what they say. You have to be really clear on that, otherwise, you’ll respond in ways that try to prove a point and leave you, your loved one, and the relationship worse off. 


I hope that helps you Careblazer.


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