Paranoid schizophrenia with dementia, now what.

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7 weeks ago I took in my Mother and I am her last resort, she's burned her bridges. Her ex boyfriend, my sister and my aunt all tried to help her and they have given up. They all felt like it is dementia. I had counseling with the case worker a the geriatric part mental hospital and she thinks it's Paranoid schizophrenia instead of or with dementia. Now what. I might have to hospitalize her eventually but in the mean time she's still in my house and hard to handle. Definition of paranoid schizophrenia. irritability, sudden anger, fearfulness, and suspicion. That's my mother, along with the memory loss and forgetfulness. Y can't get her in for another month to get her evaluated unlss I give up and take her to the hospital and have her admitted. She'll run away like she did to my sister when she took Mom to the hospital. My God. That why she's so mean. I need some help here, thanks.


3930 helpful answers
It is entirely possible that this is mental illness along with dementia. You may have no choice but to have her admitted if you have to wait a whole month. It's obvious that she needs help and you can't do it all alone. A nursing home may take her but they may not until her mental illness is addressed. It may seem "mean" but she is in danger the way she is, so hospitalization could be your only choice. My heart is with you.
My mom is schizophrenic and her meds don't work so well anymore. I always have to have her put in the hospital for them to adjust her meds when she has an episode. Its a hard thing to do for everybody but if I didn't she would very likely have a stroke or hurt someone. She gets so out of control.
My heart goes out to you.

What does the doctor you talked to who thinks it is Paranoid schizophrenia think the best course of action is?

This behavior is hard to deal with even by skilled, trained professionals in a hospital setting. You should not be hard on yourself (or your sister or the boyfriend) for not being able to deal with it single-handed.

Is this diganosis fairly new? Is Mom now on some medications for this condition?
Obviously this is an older post, but my family and I have long been laboring under the assumption that our mother had some sort of dementia. And she does, but in the last couple of years she began hallucinating and acting out horribly. FINALLY had a neurology appointment yesterday, prepared to hear Lewy Body Dementia, and instead, she was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia with fronto-temporal dementia and *possibly* Alzheimer's. Our next steps are in place, but I'm still completely flummoxed. I hope you found help and support in dealing with your own mother.
This is a very old post BUT, to the original poster (and any others in a similar situation here), our lives are nearly running parallel in ways, here. My mother has vascular dementia and, although not formally diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, her neuropsychiatrist suspects that is what she suffers from, as well as some bipolar OR borderline personality disorder. There are severe abandonment issues and definite aggressive, paranoid, and hallucinogenic tendencies. As you probably know well, it's very difficult to diagnose after the dementia has set in and she never had any treatment prior. He needed her to go into a facility so she could get cleared of some of the medication cocktail that she was on and, as one other poster mentioned, she wanted nothing if it as her generation simply didn't seek out mental health help. Long story short, I was able to convince her to check in voluntarily and they made the decision to admit her based on her four-hour, grueling evaluation. It's taken a long time and it requires a bit of a battle but she is getting treatment and is finally in a beautiful long-term care facility that accepts Medicaid. Now just to get her on it...

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, my dear. Let's talk!
NotTheBaby - We have been in the same boat together! My mother also has this complicated diagnosis. At some point it won't even matter if it's dementia or the schizoid disorder causing her problem behaviors. My mom is in a secure memory care facility for geriatric dementia & mental illness patients. Best thing that ever happened to her.

She lived with me & my family for a few weeks and it was h*ll on earth. She is a real handful to take care of, even for the professionals, but they have psychiatric nurses & doctors right there and I do not.

My mom came along during the post-WW2 era where there was not much mental help to get. What there was, was pretty barbaric and many were afraid to ask for help, lest they be committed. There were other social code words for it. Difficult. Odd. Eccentric. Kooky.

Mom had several hospitalizations last year that turned the tide for her. Thank the heavens the sharp doctors and nurses who picked up on it and didn't fall for her "act". There were so many along the way there is no way I can contact them all to let them know it mattered, what they did. Their decisions to keep her for observation, to ask her real cognitive eval questions, and recommend treatment. It made ALL the difference.
3930 helpful answers
Sandwich42plus, You've said so much in your post. Thank you.

Your mother has led a difficult life (likely your whole family did), but she didn't have the help she needed. Our system still lacks much in providing for those with mental illness, but at least your mother is in a facility that is appropriate for her needs.

You've been through so much yourself as you've tried to help her. Stay strong and do try to take care of yourself.
Since November, I have been going crazy having to handle finances and house problems from a distance (4 hours away) for my wheelchair bound 86 year dad with a schizophrenic abusive wife at 80 years old, who lies to him about everything. Just recently, she had been diagnosed with dementia, but they released her to go home at 9 pm after a psychiatrist eval with Resperidone .25 mg. 2x daily for 2 days. She refused to go for a 2 week mental eval with the hospital, so they deemed as competent, when she wasn't. Help! My dad had 3 unreported falls with repeated hip fractures and ankle fractures and the investigator deemed it accident when she pushed him down 3 times. He was in a nursing home and they said he was of a sound mind, so they let him go home to a pyscho who abuses him. Please Help to keep him alive and safe!!
Suzy56Snowflake - Wow. So many problems there! I think we're missing some info & here's why I say that:

She should not be starting Risperidone without a lot of doctor follow up. It's a very powerful anti-psychotic drug with a LOT of very dangerous side effects. It is not a magic pill, that's for sure. And it is not to be taken outside a very highly monitored situation. It's not Tylenol. It also is not prescribed for 2 days' worth and that's it because it's not a drug you can just stop & start without side effects. I can see how a doctor might want to re-check her after 2 days to adjust the dosage or taper her off it if it's not helping, or try a different drug. But not just take four doses and be done.

Something is broken in the system if they are really just classifying people who don't show up for mental evals as competent. Sounds like there's more going on there. If you don't have durable power of attorney specifically for your step-mother, you are not going to get the real information from any doctor or hospital. The HIPAA rules prevent them from disclosing that kind of information to anyone without the proper authority.

If your dad was in a nursing home and of sound mind, he would have had to purposefully end his rental agreement there to move out. Is there more going on around this point? Was he only there for a rehab period instead of as a permanent resident? A rehab stay would come to an end and you either go home or check in as a permanent resident - depends on the facility.

Sounds like they need an in-home assessment by social services to evaluate the situation. You do not want to tee this up to look like you are just the disagreeable step-daughter. You can report your suspicion of elder abuse to their local adult social services office. They are required by law to investigate and to keep the reporter's name anonymous. There is usually a hotline to call to report abuse of elders. Contact your local agency on aging to get some advice.

If you don't have durable power of attorney for your dad as well, then you may not be getting all the info from the doctors, hospitals, nursing home, anyone. If you are only getting the news from your dad or his wife, you might have to receive this information with a strong "does this make sense" filter on.

It doesn't make sense that someone in the hospital for psychiatric eval would just be cleared with no follow up at all.
wow, I have been dealing with all these situations foe 10 years now and still going. I would or could not think of putting my aunt in a hospital or facility still at this point. s
She has a lot of problems her illnesses which is paranoid-schizophrenia and dementia. Lately she has more outbursts of anger and is very verbal also, she throws things. I'm not saying its easy because it is definitely not. I have researched many issues regarding this illness combination and found nothing to help me understand what I'm up against, not even a basic line of information. So I felt as if I was on my own on how to care for her without putting her in some home. All I know its not easy to take care of family members who are ill buy a long shot and its very frustrating, I thank God I have other family members who also help me out. So I give a high five to all those who hang in there a take care of family. Hope to find more answers to help us out with these illnesses.

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