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Confabulation in Dementia Can Feel Like Hurtful Lies

Photo credit Anleale Najera OldWoman_anelale-najera--p_HZ1et98U-unsplash

When a person develops any form of dementia, it is difficult for family and friends to witness their diminishing capacity and the unbearable frustration it brings. One of the worst things we dementia caregivers must cope with is the fact that a loved one’s brain is broken and may cause them to tell terrible “lies” about us. Neurological damage can cause patients to make up hurtful stories and level false accusations toward their caregivers. No matter how far-fetched the untruths and accusations might be, a dementia patient believes these things are true. As much as these untruths may hurt, it is important to remember that there is no ill intent; the disease is causing your loved one to fabricate stories. 

What is Confabulation? The neurodegenerative processes that cause dementia have pronounced effects on a senior’s behavior, emotions, and ability to think rationally. However, even as the brain incurs damage, it still struggles to make sense of the information and stimuli it receives and to work around lapses in memory and cognitive ability. Many dementia patients rely on confabulation to fill gaps in their memories, especially when compensating for memory loss in the early stages of the disease. According to a review article published in the International Journal 

Continue reading on Agingcare to learn more about confabulation and how to take that into consideration when you consider the behavior of someone living with dementia:

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