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Confused Memory Retrieval

Spontaneous confabulations

This is fascinating; there are 3 different types of confabulations Spontaneous, momentary and other false forms of memories. It’s related to traumas to the brain and includes Alzheimer’s disease, basically it refers to inaccurate or false memories arising from neurological diseases of the brain, in Dementia this would be frontotemporal dementia. An example would be when I am talking about something from my past, I get events muddled up to the point where I am referring to a completely different time period and story. So I went on holiday to Morocco with my Mum last week (I am 83) and I describe the trip in quite a bit of detail and also mix into this recollections of other memories jumbling them all into one account. This is a spontaneous outpouring of muddled and inaccurate recollections. So I have just provided a false memory without conscious knowledge of its falsehood.

It is argued that confabulations are the effect of three contributing factors, a vivid imagination, and an inability to retrieve historic memories systematically and source monitoring deficits (a metacognitive process involved in making judgements about original memories, knowledge and beliefs). A knowledge corruption. Studies have shown that these false recollections show a self-serving bias which is greater than encountered in healthy volunteers. Meaning showing a selective bias in distorting the recall of original negative self-image memory although this was also found in healthy individuals showing that past memory is often positive biased.

Momentary confabulations
This is believed to be caused by provocation such as being questioned and probed about your memory. This would include where memory tests are done and patients are asked to recall a story and are pushed to answer. This can cause confusion with events, names and incidents but within this they remain satisfied and happy with their answers unaware of any false recollections. This has been concluded to be a lack of control over memory retrieval.

Other form of false memories
This is due to specific circumstances if lying is a behaviour or habit, quantified as a pathological liar.

For more information please visit dementia care website or call Larchfield House on 01628 639428 and speak to Kelly/Jane. We run regular Dementia Friends session which explain in plain and simple terminology with interactive examples, which really helps to give you a good basic understanding of what happens through the process of Dementia.

Sundowners Syndrome

Sundowners Syndrome

This is a fascinating syndrome, symptoms can be from, agitation, mood changes, being emotional, being afraid, pacing up and down, restlessness and depression. It is expected that a high percentage of people living with Alzheimer’s will experience Sundowners.

This is usually associated with the sun setting but can happen much earlier. It’s generally related to middle stages of Alzheimer’s and mixed Dementia. Patients are generally unable to understand their behaviour pattern as abnormal but then what quantifies abnormal when it’s normal for them.

Sundowners Syndrome causes are unknown but it is thought by some experts to be linked with the bodies natural day and night cycles. There are plenty of articles to be found on this with no proved conclusions but the light element features highly as a probable cause.

Having worked with ladies and gentlemen who show a typical symptoms of the syndrome, I have often wondered about life’s past routines which strangely are connected to light. What if I used to collected my children from school every day and hurry home to get their tea, or I finish work and rush off to get my train home. All based around time routines and light, quite clearly this is mere hypothesis but surely food for thought?

At Larchfield House we are seeking information related to this subject and any experience or examples you would care to share would be very valuable to us.

Contact Jane on 01628 639428 Ext 205 or visit our website dementia care home

Aggressive behaviours with Dementia

This can be either verbal or sometimes physical. But there is always a reason, first if I am in pain how do I communicate this, then if I don’t like a situation or a person how do I tell you. If behaviours change very suddenly then it needs to be checked by a doctor to see if there is any underlying causes such as a urinary tract or chest infection. It is surprising how much impact this can have on someone’s behaviour. Both conditions can cause from aggressive symptoms to hallucinations. Early diagnosis is very important to ensure medication can be issued to prevent complications.
Aggression can also be caused by poor communication, body language, loud noises, and large groups of people. I experienced a lady who got very agitated because she couldn’t understand whilst in a group setting, why all these people were invading her home. I agree, I wouldn’t like that and from her perspective it was a reality.

There is always a reason behind behaviours, but being on the front end of aggression can be very hard, this is where standing back and understanding that something is wrong and giving the person some space truly helps, (as long as they are in a safe environment). If you are telling me constantly to eat my cake and I don’t want to, my prerogative, then I need to react as we all would, but perhaps in a different way.

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It is always important to share issues such as aggression to help you through and understand the reasons behind this. Remembering, that any person on the end of aggression needs support, understanding and advice.

Larchfield House specialise in Dementia Care and all its facets. If you require any further information do not hesitate to contact the Larchfield Team on 01628 639428 or pop in to see us for a confidential chat with one of our staff about the services that Larchfield has to offer. Or visit our web site dementia care homes


Denial may seem like a strange subject but it’s very common when a loved one is diagnosed with Dementia. It is I believe a self-protection mechanism because not only is your loved ones life changing but so is yours and quite dramatically. My example of Jim who looked after his wife Fran in the last article was a true example of denial. He would not accept any help because he thought it would all go away and get better. His and Fran’s life became a regimented string of routine, which was his way of controlling something as he had no control over Fran’s dementia and the path it took. We should take a step back and try and understand as best we can about dementia although every single person living with dementia’s journey is different. The forgetfulness, the word confusion, incontinence and eventually even the ability to feed ourselves and communicate as just a few examples.

Acceptance although hard will help not only the carer but the person living with dementia. I have experienced people getting frustrated and exasperated even angry when they are trying to convey information which is forgotten in minutes. Whereas if you try to understand and accept the journey it would make it not only easier on yourself but also on the person. Jim decided that Fran did not like milk on her cereals and she struggled to eat them dry and difficult to chew his daughter intervened and put milk on them for her. Fran then ate them with ease, Jim on the other hand got very angry as he thought he knew best. Jim was losing control and didn’t know what to do or how to act. They had a glass of wine every evening which Jim continued to give to Fran and would shout at her to drink, because not to was so not the norm. Eventually he realised, when she had collapsed and broken her hip that perhaps his methods of care were not appropriate.

Acceptance is so much better than denial, so you can work together for the best interests of both of you and your family. Seeking help can be in various forms in the earlier stage having respite for yourself and finding a day care centre specialising in dementia care, giving you that much needed break. Then as things progress consider a specialist care home for the needs of your loved one and yourself, which is a very hard decision but coping on your own 24hrs a day is a very hard request on anyone.

If you would like to discuss this with a member of the Larchfield House Care Home, Specialist Dementia Team, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 01628 639428 or pop in and see us to have a chat. All conversations are strictly confidential and they are not shared with anyone.

Living well with Dementia

“Living well with Dementia”

This is a quote used by Dementia Friends sessions that explains in descriptive, plain language about dementia. But I have been challenged on this quote as to how this is possible. It’s very easy to take a negative view on dementia or Alzheimer’s but your approach and perspective is critical within reason to how a person’s life can actually be enriched and happy within this condition. Fran never had the chance to get the help and care of a care home such as Larchfield. She sadly only had her opinionated husband and her daughter to look after her.

Her husband didn’t understand her dementia and treated her with what he thought was the very best but turned out to be with anger and resentment. Fran was a gentle soul and never became agitated which was amazing as the lack of understanding and dominance from her husband was quite overbearing. This is where we have to stand back and look at what is best for our loved ones, should we struggle or should we get the very best support and help from a care home. Larchfield pride itself in the person centred, caring and professional approach they take for each and every resident. Living well with dementia is about having the best care, stimulation, respect and individual understanding of my needs. This is something Fran never had!

If you would like to come along to a Dementia Friends session or visit us and speak to a member of the team on an individual and confidential basis, join us for a coffee in the Reflections Café at Larchfield House. For further information Contact us on 01628 639428 Ext: 205 or visit our website Dementia care home

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