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View Diary: Lessons from the Dementia Diner (88 comments)

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  •  I recently learned that "confabulation" is a real (0+ / 0-)

    clinical term, and not a fanciful word invented by Mark Twain.

    Confabulation is a memory disturbance, defined as the production of fabricated, distorted or misinterpreted memories about oneself or the world, without the conscious intention to deceive. Confabulation is distinguished from lying as there is no intent to deceive and the person is unaware the information is false. Although individuals can present blatantly false information, confabulation can also seem to be coherent, internally consistent, and relatively normal. Individuals who confabulate present incorrect memories ranging from "subtle alternations to bizarre fabrications", and are generally very confident about their recollections, despite contradictory evidence.
    This perfectly describes my mother's "conversation". Now, what is the clinical term for the family member who is going mad from listening to a "tossed salad" of memories offered up as the gospel truth?

    Remarkably, my mother can remember the correct spelling of words like "constitution" without fail. But when I ask her to give me a word to spell, she's at a complete loss to reply.

    She's still surprisingly functional at age 93, despite being baffled by everything all the time, and resides in an assisted-living unit rather than memory-care.

    “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
    he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

    by jjohnjj on Mon May 27, 2013 at 11:54:00 PM PDT

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