Truth or Kindness: Which Is More Important in Dementia Care?

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In most cases, telling a lie is unwise. However, in dementia care, lying is sometimes the kindest thing caregivers can do. Lying is also a key component of habilitation therapy, a mode of dementia treatment popular with many psychological experts. If you’re wondering whether it’s better to use truth or kindness in dementia care, here are a few things you should know.

Living in the Reality of Dementia

Many seniors with dementia live in a different reality. As the condition progresses, they may have a difficult time processing information and understanding time and place. Some caregivers instinctively want to pull their loved one back into the real world. When a senior is confused, the caregiver may try to counter the confusion with hard facts. However, seniors with dementia are unlikely to get better, which is why many experts recommend being compassionate rather than speaking the inconvenient truth. 

If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of home care. Mississauga Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.

Habilitation Therapy

Habilitation therapies aim to return seniors to previous levels of function. The therapies focus on the skills and abilities seniors with dementia still retain. Habilitation therapy can enhance a senior’s capabilities and independence and boost his or her emotional wellbeing.

How to Engage with Your Loved One’s Reality

In the event your loved one inquires about his or her mother, you might gently say that she died several years ago. However, in your loved one’s version of reality, his or her mother is still alive and well. Habilitation therapy states there’s no reason to ruin these comforting bits of fiction. Instead of stating the painful truth, try to engage with your loved one’s version of reality. For example, if your loved one asks, “Is my mother coming to my school play?” don’t simply tell the truth. Instead, divert him or her toward another goal by saying, “Yes, she’s coming to your play. But you can’t go on stage until you drink your water and eat your lunch.”

Caring for an older adult with dementia can be a challenging task, especially if you have other important tasks to tend to. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior loved one in Mississauga, respite care is available when you need time away from your important caregiving duties. At Home Care Assistance, our respite caregivers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help your loved one manage everyday tasks in the comfort of home while you have the chance to take a much-needed break.

Information Processing and Unpleasant Truths

Therapeutic fibbing allows caregivers to divert their loved one’s attention toward meaningful activities, and it also insulates seniors from unpleasant truths. Because seniors with dementia have difficulty creating new memories, they’re unlikely to remember their mother has been dead for quite some time. If you remind your loved one of this fact regularly, he or she may experience the accompanying pain over and over again. In such situations, using therapeutic fibbing is an act of kindness.

If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Mississauga senior home care- agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. Call us at (519) 590-2792 to learn about our high-quality in-home care options.