Why it’s Totally Ok To Shamelessly Lie, Cajole, and Steal From Your Elderly Parents

…a one minute read

elderly parents

I asked you a few posts ago to “forget logic” with a parent suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia …didn’t I?

We all know that lying and stealing are generally bad things, and you are right, under normal circumstances telling lies is pretty much a bad personal policy in general.

Except, there’s nothing normal or traditional about caring for a parent suffering from dementia. So nothing you think would normally work will apply here!

So yes, you may have to lie your a** off among other deceiving practices to make sure your Mom doesn’t have a bad day.

Bending the truth a bit, sometimes referred to as ” Therapeutic fibbing” …is something you may have to get really good at.

For example… How would you deal with your Mom regarding taking her car keys away?

Remember, there maybe a few reasons why someone needs to stop driving, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have dementia. If the person’s at full mental capacity but they can’t see very well, the task of taking car keys away may be just as challenging.

For the purposes of this post we’ll choose someone whom you suspect they have early-onset Alzheimer’s or dementia, but it’s not official yet.

I can tell you that saying to her:

“Mom, you are starting to forget shit, I’m sorry but your driving days are over, please hand over the car keys.” is not the way to go.

The first step is to bring in a few accomplices to your scheme like her doctor, siblings, and friends, and discuss options with them before you do anything.

Getting her to agree to go to the Doctor will also be a challenge, the approach here might be:

“Mom, Dr. Smith just wants to make sure your memory loss is nothing to worry about, a few simple tests will do the job and we’ll be back home in no time. In fact I may take the test myself. What do you say?”

Are you lying? Yes… is it necessary, yes! Should you feel guilty about it? No.

You should feel worried and concerned, but not guilty.

There maybe times where you take advantage of the fact that elderly parents forget things all the time. Use their early condition to your own advantage, and test them constantly.

If they totally refuse to, use misdirection but never argue, and buy yourself some time. Then redirect, one step at a time, “…let’s enjoy the day and go for a drive. Let’s visit Dr. Smith and pick up your meds. Isn’t it a beautiful day out?”

Gotta get to know the times of the day when they are more prone to spacing out and having mini episodes, this is especially difficult to do at the beginning. You have to be vigilant!

Worse case scenario, hide and steal the keys, matches, scissors, knitting kit, cleaning supplies, and guns if any …anything you believe they can get in trouble with.

“Have you seen my car keys sweetheart?”

“No I haven’t Mom, where did you put’em?” …make sure you also get the spare keys.

And if all fails, get in the car with them and document how they do…

This is a very difficult period because you are always wondering if something’s going on or not. A doctor’s visit is the way to go and stay vigilant thereafter!

Check out this post about 17 unmistakable signs your parents are declining in cognitive function overall.

And one more thing, remember there are other caregivers going through a similar daily routine with their elderly parents, just like you. If you need to talk to someone, vent your frustration, or just hit the crap out of something …here’s a link that can help!

As always if you found these tips useful, please share 🙂

Untitled designClaudio Alegre is the CEO & Chief Content Writer for Angel Home Care Services on the Web and Patient and Family Advocate off the Web. He lives in Miami with his wife and 3 boys. He's passionate about healthcare and all things caregiving. He can be reached at [email protected] or directly at 305.220.4544
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