Dementia: ‘Love Lies’

‘Love lies’ are one of the suggested approaches to dealing with dementia.  The strategy, I believe, is based on being economical with the truth to avoid distress.  On most occasions I have found this approach helpful and have got away with the odd ‘porkie’ or two.  It is possible that it would have been less stressful for my wife if I had dodged her question last night.  Unfortunately, I responded to her enquiries about the weekend by reminding her that family members would be visiting in the next couple of days.  This led to all sorts of anxieties and confusion about what lay ahead.

As the evening progressed M continued to probe about the arrangements for today.  She struggled to grasp who is coming and our plans for the visit.  This is nothing new in this as she is far from an ‘entertainer’ and has always almost panicked when visitors are pending.  Questions about when they would be likely to arrive and if they were staying overnight continued alongside where we might eat.  In addition she just couldn’t grasp which of my sisters, and how many of their family, would be visiting.

M woke up with a start this morning worrying if: ‘any of her kids knew where she lived?’.  She suggested that their lack of contact, in any form, might be due to them not knowing where she was.  As she was attempting to come round she had forgotten that her son had phoned last night with plans to visit on Monday.  She spoke to me in the third person unclear of my status.  I think I made appropriate noises rather than add to her confusion and  helped her get back to sleep.

I wouldn’t put money on where she will be this morning as she tries to make sense of her world.  I suppose all i can do is bring her a cup of tea in bed as soon as she needs one.  At least she will see a helpful ‘Tea Boy’ in the morning and it really doesn’t matter who he is.  You can’t be more straightforward than that!

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