How do I respond to my 82-year-old mom who thinks she has young children? Sometimes we have to go look for them and other times she wants to purchase clothing.
There is no simple answer for dealing with a loved one who is hallucinating or having delusions. Please reassure your Mom that she is safe and you are there with her. To keep from arguing, instead of telling her she doesn’t have young children, you may choose to distract her or tell her you haven’t met her young children or don’t see them. If she gets upset, you may want to consult with her physician to find the best course of action geared specifically for her. If you can distract her by walking into another room or bringing up another topic, that may help alleviate some symptoms. Check with her doctor as well to make sure her delusions are not being caused by an infection. If you are able to play along, ask her about her children and let her tell you stories. You can also choose to humor her by purchasing clothes, keep the receipt and take them back. Or talk to the sales clerk and just not actually purchase anything, depending on how observant your Mom would be leaving the store without the items she was wanting to buy. It can be frustrating to have your Mom insist she has young children, but a sense of humor can go along way in making this all much easier for everyone involved.