A dilemma for sure - should you tell your parent with Alzheimer's a white lie? This article gives you an answer and suggests alternatives to telling a lie in a compassionate way. Good read from the Washington Post, March 17, 2018, by Steven Petrow.
A reader dealing with the strains of a family member suffering from Alzheimer’s raised this interesting question: “Our father always stressed how important it was to tell the truth. Now he has dementia, and my brother says he’s been told it’s okay to tell white lies so as not to further agitate our father. This makes me really uncomfortable. How can we resolve this?”When a family member or friend begins to lose their memory and cognitive abilities because of dementia, it can be hard to know the best way to respond. What should you say, for instance, when the person with dementia repeatedly asks about a spouse or child who is no longer alive? How many times can you tell the truth and watch a loved one suffer the same loss again and again? Which is worse: telling a lie, or the harsh truth?
Your brother is describing an approach commonly called therapeutic fibbing, an effective yet controversial strategy, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. In a nutshell, it’s lying — or not correcting a misconception — to decrease agitation and anxiety in a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
This is no small problem. An estimated 5.5 million Americans were living with Alzheimer’s disease in 2017, reports the Alzheimer’s Association. Ten percent of people 65 and older have the disorder, and as the population ages, the prevalence increases: Among those 65 to 74 years old, 3 percent have Alzheimer’s; that jumps to 17 percent of those 75 to 84, and to a harrowing 32 percent in those 85 and older.
Read the whole article at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/is-it-okay-tell-an-alzheimers-patient-a-white-lie/2018/03/16/41ab4afc-221a-11e8-badd-7c9f29a55815_story.html?utm_term=.4ce809e3747b
I cared for Mom for seven years and learned so much from my experiences with her and Alzheimer's.