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Is it excuses, or does she actually believe the TV and computer aren't working properly?
Posted: Friday, March 4, 2022 7:56 AM
Joined: 2/19/2022
Posts: 7

My mom is saying she must not have paid her cable bill on time and that's why sometimes the TV goes off and she struggles to get it to come back on (there is nothing wrong with the TV). And she has stopped emailing (used to email daily) and says something is wrong with her computer and "it won't let me send links anymore and my emails don't send". 

I realize this isn't true - I've checked both devices. But I'm just curious - do they make excuses or do they really think it's the devices?

May flowers
Posted: Friday, March 4, 2022 8:06 AM
Joined: 4/9/2021
Posts: 715

Computer and TV issues were the number one (sometimes frantic) calls from my FIL to my DH in the middle dementia stages. He was convinced for the computer that it was an application causing the problem, but we checked every time and it was fine. Who knows what he was clicking on. At one point he stopped being able to double click so we switched the mouse to open things with a single click and that helped for a short while. Eventually, it was just his not being able to process how to work the computer, or TV remote (he would often hit the “input” button which would switch from cable to AV or something). Anyway, he always blamed the devices and it was almost always user error.

The second problematic issue was the thermostat. He would turn it way up or way down and made himself miserable. We ended up buying one that we could control from our house remotely and fix the temp after he would change it.

We did many things to allow him to live alone as long as he could, and safety measures like an auto cutoff for the stove. But eventually the microwave became too much and he could not heat up dinners we provided for him. He also could not remember to take his meds. That was about the time we realized he could no longer live alone. 

Posted: Friday, March 4, 2022 8:23 AM
Joined: 8/22/2020
Posts: 2850

I think they really believe it, in their world it's the only reason they can see why something might not function properly.  Sounds like your mom has a good case of anosognosia, where she can't perceive her deficits.  Interestingly, as my partner has worsened, her anosognosia has changed.  In some areas now, she's very aware she's not functioning properly and it causes her much distress and sadness--such as word-finding difficulty, which is now profound; she'll say "just shoot me now" or "I can see why people kill themselves."  But in other areas, she still doesn't see her limitations:  such as, we really need outside help on the farm, but she'll still say "I'll take care of it" or "we can do that."  Hah.  But struggling with the TV and telephones and remotes has gone on for years.  The very first problem I every noticed (probably 2012 or 13) was that when she couldn't figure out how to work an unfamiliar shower in a hotel (she was a contractor and had installed all kinds of plumbing for 30 years).
Posted: Friday, March 4, 2022 10:04 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 3825

JenniferPaige wrote:

I realize this isn't true - I've checked both devices. But I'm just curious - do they make excuses or do they really think it's the devices?

The ability to use technology went in the middle stages of the disease for my dad. He truly believed the devices were broken or defective and replaced them. He had at least half a dozen security suites on auto-renew by the time he died. 

I suspect you mom has anosognosia and that them being broken is her reality. It's interesting, in the middle stages when dad was losing the ability to use a computer (he once forgot his password and demanded that I "call the Google" and get him back on. When I failed because I could not confirm certain security questions relating to his initial set-up (they split the year between MD and FL and had changed ISPs several times over the years), he took over my mom's FB and email for a time before losing the ability entirely. Around this time he sensed he had memory issues but didn't have the executive function to put the pieces together and recognize this was why the computers didn't work. 

In many respects, the time before anosognosia took over all aspects of his life were the most difficult for all of us. 


Posted: Friday, March 4, 2022 10:25 AM
Joined: 6/3/2019
Posts: 138

This sounds so familiar. All of the cell phones we purchased and tried to teach Dad to use were defective. The remote control didn't work. Whenever I could get it to work, I was a genius and he wanted me to teach him how I had worked around the obviously defects in the device and gotten it to work. The computer was a piece of garbage that kept eating his emails. The violin needed to go to the shop because it was impossible to tune it without taking all of the strings off. 

Yes, there is always something else or someone else to blame. 

mommyandme (m&m)
Posted: Friday, March 4, 2022 1:46 PM
Joined: 2/16/2020
Posts: 758

My opinion is they truly believe the devices are the problem.
Posted: Friday, March 4, 2022 3:35 PM
Joined: 6/3/2013
Posts: 1206

Jennifer:  based on the questions you are asking, I believe you could benefit from reading:  Understanding the Dementia Experience, free from Google.
Posted: Friday, March 4, 2022 8:41 PM
Joined: 4/7/2019
Posts: 422

I agree with Marta - give Understanding the Dementia Experience a read if you have the time. It's been my "go to" since almost the beginning.

And yes, Jennifer, I think they truly believe the devices are to blame, not them. My sister fought with the TV all through her middle stages (she's later stage now) - "someone" always changed the channel so that she couldn't watch the tv shows she wanted to see.  In reality, it was her.  The next battle was the phone and her iPad - they were just way too complicated for her to navigate.  It was really sad because I swear, her phone was an extension of her hand.  I gave her an easy way out -- "hey Peggy, let me take them to the Apple store where I can get them fixed." "Okay", says Peggy.  I just tucked them away. She hasn't mentioned either of them in two months. This is also sad, but way better than her being frustrated over things she can no longer manage.


Posted: Saturday, March 5, 2022 12:46 AM
Joined: 12/11/2018
Posts: 1093

Hi Jennifer - she really believes it. 

Here is a link to the article the members recommended, and another to explain anosognosia, when our PWD LOs don’t realize what’s happening to their thinking and other changes. Sorry you are joining us on this journey. But this forum is a huge source of experience and compassion. 

Electronics were a recurring challenge for my DH in the mid stages. The computer and iPhone — omg.  Making a royal mess of the finances was another big one even before the tech challenges. Please look into, and secure your mom’s accounts, bills, insurance payments, credit use (abuse) and monitor spending if you haven’t already. She’s not making it up. They really need our help as skills and reasoning fail them.

Anosognosia is a real thing. This article helped me a lot.  6 Ways to Help Someone Who Doesn’t Know They’re Ill: Anosognosia in Dementia – DailyCaring

Do read this excellent article and share with interested family and friends:  


Posted: Saturday, September 17, 2022 8:25 AM
Joined: 4/24/2022
Posts: 12

To be honest, I'm not sure
Posted: Saturday, September 17, 2022 8:40 AM
Joined: 4/24/2022
Posts: 12

To be honest, I'm not sure
Posted: Saturday, September 17, 2022 8:46 AM
Joined: 1/3/2022
Posts: 20

And I think that they are not really pretending. Recently I read frndly tv on https://frndly-tv.pissedconsumer.com/review.html and I decided to connect it for my friend so that she could watch interesting programs for her. The first time everything was fine, but several months have passed and she says she doesn't know how to turn it on. It's sad to hear that, to be honest
Rescue mom
Posted: Saturday, September 17, 2022 9:41 AM
Joined: 10/12/2018
Posts: 2708

Oh wow this is a pretty old thread. I saw a post by someone who’s been MIA and got so excited. Then I saw the date   Could still be useful info for some, regardless.
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