My fiance's grandmother, who has dementia, is telling lies about me. What can I do to protect myself legally?

1 answer | Last updated: Jun 03, 2012
Aline328 asked...

I have moved in with my fiance and taken over the care of his grandmother who lives with him and has dementia. From what I've been told, she's always been a very difficult and just plain mean woman and a pathological liar, but this is becoming worse as the dementia worsens. In the short time she has been under my care, she has already told neighbors that I lock her in her bedroom when I have company, that I am "kicking her out on the street," I am hiding her food, stealing from her, beating her dogs, etc. Of course these things are completely untrue and most people know this, we live in a small town and her reputation precedes her. My concern is that someone will believe these stories she is telling and the possible legal actions that could be taken against me. Of course, we have tried talking to her about telling stories, but she just denies telling the stories. Any advice?

Expert Answers

A social worker and geriatric consultant who specializes in dementia care, Joyce Simard is based in Land O' Lakes, Florida, and in Prague. She is a well-known speaker and has written two books, one focusing on end-of-life care and the other, entitled The Magic Tape Recorder, explaining aging, memory loss, and how children can be helpers to their elders.

You are right that her comments could be taken seriously and that this could be a problem for you.   Please make an appointment with her physician and relay the concerns you have.  Also contact the Alzheimer's Association in your area as they will know the appropriate state agency that could help you.