Why Do Some Aging Adults Who Have Dementia Lie?

By 9  am 0n


Lying is a normal symptom of dementia, and it happens for many reasons. Most of the time, lying is merely a symptom of the disease and not intentional deception. Lying may occur at any stage of dementia, but this symptom generally is more common among seniors with mid- to late-stage dementia and can worsen as the disease progresses. 

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, medication reminders, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care Miami families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Here’s information to help family members better understand why some seniors with dementia lie. 


Seniors living with dementia are aware their memory is slipping away, and this leads to a great deal of confusion and turmoil. Many times, lying is just an unconscious defense mechanism called confabulation, which means your aging loved one is unconsciously replacing his or her lost memories with false ones. This happens because our brains constantly try to make sense of what’s happening around us, and when memories become lost, the brain maintains a sense of what’s going on by filling in missing moments with alternatives. 

One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide senior home care. Turn to Assisting Hands Home Care for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.

Anxiety & Paranoia

Seniors with dementia often have diminished short-term memory capacity. This can lead to paranoia and anxiety when, for example, a senior can’t find an item he or she is looking for. It’s not uncommon for seniors with dementia to blame family members or professional caregivers for losing or stealing “missing” items. Some seniors with dementia begin to suspect the people around them of stealing their belongings or money as their short-term memory diminishes and they cannot remember spending the money or moving the items to other rooms. 

It’s also possible for seniors with dementia to tell outright lies, such as saying they need to go to a meeting with the president or lying about their former employment, when they feel embarrassed or scared or they become aware they’re doing things that aren’t quite right. Telling these untruths is often a way of preserving their dignity and trying to fit in. 

Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. Miami families can rely on Assisting Hands Home Care to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life. To learn more about our premier in-home care plans, call us today.