My mother "sees" imaginary people.

Started by

Is this common in people who have memory loss? I have cared for my 95 year old Mother for three years. This is a new symptom. What (if anything) should I do?


Betsy7 - This is common especially in people with dementia. My dad can carry on both sides of a conversation for a long time. He gestures and nods his head like he's talking to someone. If I ask him about it he just laughs and says he was talking to himself but I know he thinks he sees people. Sometimes it's my mom but here lately it's been his mom and dad. I don't think there is anything you can do. My doctor said this will get worse as the dementia progresses. I wish there was better news but this is what we're dealing with.
Betsy7, it's probably dementia as stated above but I for sure would check her meds to see if there is any possibility one or more of them are contributing to the problem. My mother went through this, I talked with her doctor then with the druggist and came to the conclusion a pill for depression that had been described some time in the past was supposed to have been stopped but got overlooked. We stopped it, the problem went away. I hope your solution is that simple, but it may be as dahuser stated. Sometimes meds taken over a long period of time seem to accumulate in there or start conflicting with other drugs and cause problems instead of solving problems. Good luck.
I think that's a good place to start, with the medication. My dad was put on Aricept for dementia but I found it made him worse. If you go online and read the symptoms for mid-stage dementia, it lists hallucinations as one of the symptoms. When my dad was at his worst, he thought there were little people living under his furniture! I don't know if your mother has been diagnosed with dementia, but it explains alot. I've found the best thing to do is just ignore it. Sometimes it's pretty funny the things he talk about!
Betsy, thanks for the post. It reminded me of more thing i need to discuss with my moms doctor tomorrow. It doesnt happen all time, but ive noticed more frequently that my mom is imagining people are here. She comes out of her room or the kitchen and she says that her companion is here and if she and i had a good chat. is a little upset that she didnt get to see her. one night, she was upset and i ran in her room. seems a man with a dog was in there. she was SO upset that i would have the nerve to bring a man into her home(im evidently 12 again not going on 32). She insisted and still does not believe there was no one here. i keep trying to tell myself that these are just dreams, but when she came out of the KITCHEN that one day, it made me rethink.

I was going to talk to her doctor about her meds. Since i have taken over every aspect of her care, ive noticed meds that she has been taking for years. Isnt there anything new? anything for the dementia? it doesnt add up. so talking to your moms doctor about her meds is the first step. and yes, for now, unless your mom gets highly upset over something, sometimes leaving them in their little world is best. sounds horrible to some, but you have to pick your battles. with dementia this is going to get worse. theres no way around it.
I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who is amused by some things that we hear older people say. I don't laugh AT my mother, but at what she says. If a comedian said these things, we'd laugh until our sides hurt, so guess it's OK to laugh a little at what we hear at home.
dahuser.. ask your dad if he wouldnt mind telling the little people under the furniture to help sweep sometime. (thought you could use a little joke here and there)
I am caring for my 97 year old mother. She was doing fine till she started seeing
other people. She had no medical problems besides arthritis. Come home one night
and she was rambling about people in her room. Decided to take her to the doctor and the diagnosis was UTI (uninary tract infection). They said that was a comon
symton. It could be that, so get that checked.

Boy that would be great!! And while they're at it they could live in the washing machine and help with the laundry!! No, we don't laugh at them but at what they say. Dad is sinking more and more into his own little world and he doesn't seem to come out as easily as he once did. I find that the more tired he is, the more deluded he becomes. And about the dreams - sometimes if dad has a dream he will swear that it was actually real. You can't tell him it was a dream. He doesn't believe you. I too pick my battles. It saves my sanity!
I had heard somewhere that UTI's could cause this symptom. Thanks for reminding me of that. Dad has a doctor's appt. this week so I'll have it checked out. Doesn't it seem like there are so many things to watch for?
any bacterial infection can cause this, honestly. MRSA is the worst. my mom has had it several times. abnormal slurred speech, low voice, abnormal taste for foods. and other stuff im sure, but those are my moms symptoms.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support