How do I diffuse my mom's manic delusions?

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Most nights my mom will hallucinate about dead people and I can calm her down saying that they are just hanging out. But the problem begins when she sees a giant "rat" & "kills" it with her cane. Then she won't give up on finding the carcass. She will go crazy trying to find it & wants me to go under the bed & crawl on the floor until it is found. Of course, I won't find anything so it's never ending. Almost wish I had a rat in the house! Yuck!

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If the rat occurances occur most frequently ,suddenly & forever, think about getting a big plastic rat from a store & going thru what u did last time & finding the rat this time & throwing it away,only keep it, U might need it again
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Gee, no wonder I like that dog: cute but stubborn, seeking adventure... Faith and I would get along. Keep in touch, JoAnn, and let us know what happens with Mom's meds and how she is doing:) hugs, Christina
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Thanks everyone! Its nice to have somewhere to vent cause I think my friends don't understand which isn't their fault. Christina, yes that's my beagle Faith! She keeps me sane!!! My mom loves her too! But beagles are on the stubborn side & follow their nose so a fence is a must cause they wander! But they have such a great personality!
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My heart goes out to all of you who deal with dementia. What a horrible nightmare and evil taker of lives. I can't offer much on coping with dementia, but I kind of like the idea of taking a fake rat out of the house and I also like the idea of putting a cat cut-out in the bedroom, maybe with a night light close by. Tell your mom it's there to protect against any rodents. I know this sounds silly, but when my Granddaughter was little, she had quite an imagination. We took her to the coast one time and she told us that Baby Bop (Barney fame) was under her bed. So my husband just looked under the bed, grabbed the imaginary baby bop and threw her out the door. Everything was fine. As everyone says, it's trial and error.

I'm so sorry for you and your mom and everyone dealing with dementia. My dad has it to a lesser extent. His is vascular and stroke related. He's 89 and lives with us. It's a heart breaker.
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A caregiver must become an actor & sometimes a comedian. I read an article that this behavior is an expression of fear. You might say to her, "It's ok. I took the rat out. And he won't come back". I talked to my dad's dr this morning about the Excelon patch. Dad doesn't need it yet. My heart goes out to both of you. You are a sweet daughter. Good luck.
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Often they do see sweet little kittens or children or bunnies, at least with LBD. My husband saw bats on the floor by our bed, but they didn't bother him a bit. He has also seen dead bodies and not been disturbed by them. I don't know what controls what kind of hallucinations people have, but I feel very sorry for folks who have visions that disturb them, and sorry for their caregivers, too. It is easy to play along with the friendly ones, but the terrifying ones must be harder.

I heard a caregiver tell about her husband's insistence that there was a fish hook caught in the blanket and it was driving him nuts. She said she'd get a pliers and be right back. She slipped a fishhook into her hand while she was gone, and whaddya know? she was able to pull a fishhook out of that blanket! Hubby went back to sleep and didn't remember the incident in the morning.

If the rat hallucination is a recurring theme, I think I'd invest in a halloween rat!
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Yes, I agree Jeanne about the rat scenario. Only if Mom insisted it was there say, " Got it, Mom. I'll throw it outside. No more worries."
Why do they never see sweet little kittens or something non-threatening?
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Drugs can be a godsend, or a curse! And even for a very competent specialist, it can be trial-and-error to find out which drug or combination of drugs is effective for a given patient.

My husband takes Klonopin, which can be very effective in treating sleep disorders. It is not a sleep aid in the traditional sense of helping someone fall asleep. Hubby takes it for a sleep disorder called RBD (very common in Lewy Body Dementia). It is effective in 90% of RBD cases -- but that still leaves 10% of those patients unhelped by it. Maybe it is not effective for you mother because she is not taking the right dose (Hubby takes 4x what she is taking), or because she doesn't really have one of the conditions it is applicable to, or she is just in the exception category. You can see what I mean about the trial-and-error thing. Should the doctor try increasing the dose or just drop it? It pays to have an experienced and patient doctor!

I've heard good things (and a few bad things) about the Excelon patch. My husband is on seroquel, which does require an experienced doctor, careful and slow titration, and careful monitoring, but it has been very helpful for us for about 8 years. I can't emphasize enough the value of a doctor experienced with dementia issues.

My point is, don't give up on the possibility of some relief via drugs, but it may take trying several.

Meanwhile, about the rat. What if you did have a rat? For Halloween parties my friend has a very realistic rubber rat she got at a theatrical costume place. Ugh! But if it would help ... As Christina says, this might just reenforce her obsession with rats, so this is trial-and-error, too, but in your place I would be willing to try it. Getting that rat carcass out of the house might give your mother peace.

Good luck! If something seems to work, come back and let us know. We learn from each other.
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Poor baby:( Some sleep meds make their hallucinations worse, and check her for a UTI. I would talk to a geriatric specialist ( psych or general md) , and talk to your Pharmacist!! They are on the front lines with meds and should give you accurate info about the meds or any bad interactions. If you can get her off the drugs she is on for a while--like as long as it takes to get them out of her system, halflife of the med-- as long as she is not in pain, then try something new, that can make a huge difference. Anyway, talk to doc if you can soon as possible.
Is that your dog? Cute Beagle. I don't have a dog, but beagle would be my choice if I got one. My cat would be indignant, however. Just like a cat.
I will pray for your Mom:) Hugs, Christina xo
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She has a lot of problems with meds because she is on dialysis & is very sensitive to them. Most make her immobile, almost like a stroke victim. She is on 2mg of Navane & .50mg of Klonopin to make her sleep which doesn't work great. She doesn't get treatment over the weekend so Monday is horrible due to medication build up. Maybe the exelon patch may work.??? Thanks!
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