Latest wrinkle: Accusing me.

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Last night, shortly before her bedtime, Mom had me turn off the music and come sit by her, and she proceeded to tell me that the night before, sometime between 3:30 and 4:30 AM, she was certain that I had "a man in the house" because she HEARD me close the front door when he left, and also the dog barked when he left.

Uhh ... I'm happily married, and although my husband lives at our place 85 miles away and we don't get to see each other as often as we'd like, there's no way I would let anyone take his place. Plus, I'm almost 67 years old, if that counts, LOL! The fact is, there WAS and IS no such man coming to the house as Mom is claiming. I told her that whatever she heard, she was wrong about the interpretation, and then she told me not to argue with her.

This morning, I contacted both my sisters about this, and they told me that about a month ago when they last were here to look after Mom so I could get a weekend to go spend with my husband, Mom told them the same thing about me. They apparently told her that it was very unlikely, but if she had a question she should ask me. Well, now she has but she's not accepting my answer.

The larger issue here is that I'm her only Caregiver 24/7, and my concern is that a belief on her part of this type will lead to her not trusting me in other ways. My Mom is occasionally forgetful, but she's of sound mind, and I don't know whether something like this is an example of age-related dementia starting up, or is just a product of her imagination at night. Up until the last 3 months or so, she slept well at night but no longer does ... she will sleep for an hour or two, then sit up on the side of her bed for long periods of time. The house is quiet although I'm sure there are noises of this or that type, and her hearing is not good so quite likely she is misinterpreting at least some of those sounds.

Any ideas? She is on an anti-anxiety medication that worked well for her last spring, and her doctor put her back on it last week. She has stopped the fidgeting and picking at her skin, but it's also supposed to help her sleep and so far is not doing that for her at night.


Well, call the doc and tell him she's not sleeping well. Probably need to kick up her dosage.

I could always straighten mom out by very patiently telling her that her mind was playing tricks on her . . . She was not thinking clearly because of her meds. Actually, she had dementia, but the meds story sounded true to her. Whatever works.

You might try that, and you might add TO that explanation that you want her to call you when she thinks something untoward is going on. "Then we can figure it out together, mom."
"Age related dementia"? I'm not sure what you mean by that.

Dementia, I believe, is a physical conditional of brain deterioration (of various etiologies), that affects memory, reasoning, language, cognition and sequencing, among other processes. It is NOT a normal part of aging.

You are correct, that your mother, whose ability to reason from facts has deteriorated, may start to not trust you in other ways.

You might want to get her in to have her checked for a uti. You most likely want her to have a full workup for dementia.
Good idea, MaggieMarshall -- I can tell her to just call me and wake me up when she thinks she hears the front door closing and what-not, and hopefully that would relieve her concern.

Also, I agree with you too, Babalou, that she may need a full workup for dementia. A couple of months ago, she thought that I was giving her silverware that was not hers, and this misconception just came up "out of the blue". I assured her that all her silverware is still here, she was using the same spoon she used the day before, etc., and she has not brought it up again. So it's just these occasional "things" that she comes up with that make me wonder.

Who would do a full dementia workup, a geriatric doctor?
It's a moot point now. Mom won't back down, she apparently prefers to think that her daughter is a tramp than that she misinterpreted some sound she heard in the night, my husband backs me 110% and is livid with her. I'm apparently good enough to wipe her ass but not be believed when I've done nothing wrong. I'm outta here and her other 2 daughters can take over. I'm done.
I'm so sorry to hear this, AZ. It sounds like dementia, or a UTI.

If it's dementia, her brain is broken. It's heartbreaking, and she can't be blamed for not being able to reason any longer. From all you've written over the past few months, someone needs to get her to a geriatric neurologist, perhaps one who works with a geriatric neuropsychologist. It's not mom's memory that is going so much as it's her reasoning ability.

You've given up so much for your mom until now. Go home to your husband, get reoriented in your life and help your sisters figure out where mom will do best, most likely a facility that can care for her over the course of her illness.
Bullhockey that "her brain in broken". She pulled this out of her head a month a go to my sisters, and no one bothered to even let me know. A few months ago, she thought that the household silverware was not hers -- for about a day. Those are the only 2 "broken brain" moments she has had. I refuse to excuse her behavior based on her age. She's certainly old enough to know better.
AZ, I suggest that you encourage your sisters to have her worked up for dementia. You need to disconnect from her right now.
It's not something to do with age. It's everything to do with the dysfunction of her thinking processes.

I'm not thinking I'm going to convince you, however.
There's another possibility - is she taking Ambien? My sister, one of her nursing co-workers and my nurse niece all had hallucinations on Ambien and D'C'ed it as soon as they recognized the power to cause them to hallucinate.

My sister made a similar accusation about entertaining men in her house.
She's not taking Ambien.

Funny how none of her other thinking processes are affected.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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