Conceals mistakes, denies them, laughs them off, or covers up

  All Alzheimer's Symptoms

When it happens Mild- to moderate-stage dementia

Why it happens The person with early dementia is usually well aware of many gaffes and glitches in memory and thinking skills. Because these can be embarrassing, the natural tendency is to disguise or deny them.

What you can do

  • Don't point out the error or dwell on it. You both know the score.

  • Do take steps to keep the person safe, if the mistakes could be dangerous if repeated (like forgetting to turn off a burner).

  • Laugh along, if appropriate. Some things that happen are funny, and laughter is normalizing.

  • Be reassuring: "I know you're worried, but we'll manage."

  • Keep track (mentally or on paper) of the errors, so you can describe them later to a doctor, if necessary.

  • Do suggest a cognitive evaluation if one hasn't been done yet. While many little mistakes are harmless, their increasing frequency is a sign of a problem, and early interventions can help maintain thinking skills.