Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

White lies: those little untruths my mother believes are perfectly acceptable in polite society. Usually involving birthday and Christmas gifts. Or telling my father it was “orange” cake not carrot cake, because she knew he would not eat a cake if he thought those bits of orange in the cake were actually a vegetable. To this day, I am still not sure what she used to tell him about her zucchini bread. Unless she called it her “nutty” bread, since her recipe called for a ton of nuts.

My current challenge is catching onto the little white lies she has been telling me lately. And trying to determine if they are simply a part of her personality profile, or a by-product of her dementia.

Case in point: laundry duty. In a previous post, I illustrated my recent experiences with my mother and the laundry saga. And how I had pinged her repeatedly, inquiring if she now needed help keeping up with the pile of dirty laundry rapidly invading her closet.

She swears she does not need help. She swears she just was not in the mood to do it. And she swore to me that she had done it.

When I visited her the other day and opened her closet door to put away some of the personal care items I had brought her, I tripped over a pile of sheets and pillowcases. The same pile of bed linens that was there during my last few visits. The same pile she swore to me that she had laundered.

So, I found myself on a quest to discover the most appropriate methodology of dealing with the Laundry Monster growing in her closet. And after much deliberation, I have decided to take the laundry with me next time I visit, quietly and without fanfare. And make this a habit during each of my visits.

One thing I have learned when dealing with the beast I have labeled as Missy Dementia, is not to make a big deal out of something if it can, instead, be done without a fuss. But rather, slide it in under my mother’s radar.

Yet I am now faced with a new realization. I seem to fall not too terribly far from my mother’s tree. Seems I have embraced the idea of the little white lie. To allow my mother to keep a sense of dignity while still making sure she is taken care of. And to avoid yet another battle in the war with dementia.


4 thoughts on “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

  1. Reality to them has changed. Just doing quietly what needs to be done is probably the best route…she’ll swear she did it not you. Just roll with it

  2. You are so right. And I have learned to roll with the punches. As long as I see more bright smiles on her face than frowns, I am a happy camper.

  3. I agree. Challenging a person with dementia doesn’t help anyone, just causes stress all around. It is a kindness to quietly solve the problem and move on.

  4. Yes it is. And is one of the most powerful lessons I have learned on this journey.

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