Confabulation is a term that refers to the telling of untruths. Whilst often when we’re younger, we may confabulate to escape punishment or suit a situation to our circumstances, as we age, we may confabulate for entirely different reasons. For instance, confabulation is a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease and may be the result of affected memories or thought processes. In this article, we cover the process of confabulation in seniors and offer some tips on how you can deal with them.
The Causes of Confabulation
As mentioned, earlier one common reason why we confabulate is when we’re placed in pressurizing situations. For instance, rather than admit we’re unsure about something to someone important to us, we may confabulate. However, another reason may be due to the damage of the brain due to illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s affects the frontal lobe, which is the part of the brain responsible for memory. This may lead us to remember or imagine situations that never happened.
Someone with Alzheimer’s for instance may recall a childhood event that never occurred or even a recent holiday that they never went for. They may never even realize that they are confabulation and may resist evidence to the contrary. It is important to note that this isn’t the same as a deliberate lie, however. The individual in question may entirely believe what they are saying, and you shouldn’t take it is as them attempting to deceive or trick you.
What Can You Do?
The first step you can do is to control your own emotions. You should always attempt to stay calm and focused on the person confabulating. Avoid heated emotions or the need to correct them, the most important thing you can offer is comfort and reassurance. So, rather than immediately point out errors in their story when the person in question is confabulating, what you can focus on is acknowledging their emotions and joining them in reminiscing about the past.
A pre-emptive tool you can use to help when your loved ones are confabulating is a memory book. A memory book is a scrapbook of sorts that you and your loved one can create together. Having a memory book can offer a great reference point to the past and allow both you and the person who is confabulating a healthy and safe way to remember positive events and people in their life.
Why Choose Discovery Commons Cypress Point?
At Discovery Commons Cypress Point By Discovery Senior Living, our team members are trained specifically in interacting and working with people with mental illnesses such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. Our Memory Care Community is specifically designed to cater to their needs, and our 24/7 in-house team of medical staff and professionals are trained in how to react in the event of an emergency. Residents at our Memory Care Centre can still enjoy our resort-style facilities and exclusive senior lifestyle programs. Contact us here to schedule a tour, or find out more about whether Discovery Commons Cypress Point is right for you!