Dad thinks Mom someone else - how do we handle this?
The Capgras delusion theory (or Capgras syndrome) is a disorder in which a person holds a delusion that a friend, spouse, parent, or other close family member has been replaced by an identical-looking impostor.... My 84 year old Father has these types of episodes, he thinks my mother is missing even though she is with him...he thinks my mother is someone else, and that my real mother is missing. He calls me to ask if she is with me, or If i know where she is, or if he did anything wrong to make her leave him...I don't want to cause any additional stress for him by challenging him...how do I respond to this?
Delusions are very difficult for everyone to handle. I have never heard of Capgras, so you have taught me something.
Unfortunately, these delusions seem to be his reality. Rationalizing the truth is really not an option. It may further agitate him. First thing I typically do is find out if these delusions scare him. In this case, it sounds like they might, but they definitely confuse him. Sometimes, you have to roll with the punches and meet him where he is at.
Most important is to get his doctor involved to determine if medication (not desirable, but may help) or psychiatric consult will help. Be aggressive if the doctor dismisses this. Although I'm not familiar with the syndrom itself, I have experienced those with delusions. I do hope this helps, even a little. I'd love to hear any updates as to how he is doing. Hang in there.
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