Dementia Care: Why Some Experts Recommend Lying to Your Loved One

April 7, 2023

Honesty isn’t always the best policy when it comes to someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Therapeutic fibbing is a technique often recommended by dementia care experts when dealing with Alzheimer's, dementia, or memory-impaired patients. It is also called “creative communication techniques,” which include diverting the attention of people with cognitive impairments or distracting them. Always being honest may not be the best policy, as dementia damages the brain and hampers one's ability to process information, causing confusion, pain, anxiety, fear, and anger. Therapeutic fibbing involves stepping into the patient's reality and using white lies to validate their feelings and reassure them. While it may initially seem wrong, this technique aims to prevent agitation and provide comfort by avoiding repetitive and distressing confrontations. Therapeutic fibbing ultimately prioritizes the emotional well-being of the person with dementia.

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