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What is confabulation?

Shelley Webb
Nursing
A confabulation is not a lie. It is an inability to differentiate between what really happened, what didn't, and when or where it happened. A person may take pieces of information and link them together in a way that is false. Typically, confabulation is done in order to answer a question or contribute to the conversation. To those who don't know the person well or weren't present during the event (that didn't take place), the statements may seem perfectly plausible. Confabulation can sometimes cause embarrassment or even problems for a caregiver. Dementia patients have been known to confabulate events which might lead to caregivers being questioned about their caregiving practices. However, the person who is doing the confabulation believes what they are saying and should be treated with respect and dignity.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.