At some point, you may start to realize that always being honest with your elderly family member causes more strife than you expect. You may want to consider a technique in which you go along with your senior’s version of events, even if that feels like you’re lying to her.
It’s Called Therapeutic Fibbing
There’s a form of “lying” that caregivers use called therapeutic fibbing. While it feels like an out and out lie, what you’re really doing is going along with something that your elderly family member believes. This technique can be most helpful for aging adults who are dealing with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, although it can work in other cases as well. Insisting on sticking with the cold, hard truth can lead to pain and confusion for your senior.
You’re Embracing Her Reality
What’s happening when you’re in a position to use therapeutic fibbing is that your elderly family member’s reality is different from actual reality. She may believe that she’s a child again or that she needs to do something specific that she really doesn’t need to do. By going along with her current reality, you’re validating her feelings and you’re letting her process what she can.
The Truth Can Hurt
For instance, if your senior believes that she’s going home soon to see her father, it can hurt to be told that she’s actually an adult and that her father died years ago. It’s painful to get that news and the worst part is that if your senior has cognitive difficulties, she won’t remember this truth. So you’ll likely have to go over this story more than a few times, witnessing her pain each time. There’s no reason to put yourself or your loved one through this.
This Takes Practice
It is not easy to go along with these different versions of reality. Elder care providers can help you to learn how to use this technique easily. As they model therapeutic fibbing for you, pay close attention to your senior’s reactions. You may be able to see how much calmer your elderly family member is when you’re going along with her version of what is happening.
Therapeutic fibbing doesn’t always feel good to you as a caregiver and that’s okay. Your ultimate goal as a caregiver is to keep your senior as safe and as happy as possible. Sometimes that means that you use techniques that work to bring her what she needs most in that moment.
If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Elder Care in St. Pete Beach, FL, Please Contact The Caring Staff At Assisting Hands Home Care Today! 727-748-4211.
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