My 88-year-old mother believes a family lives under her house and they speak to her. She even hears them while driving with my dad. How should this be handled?

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She says they can see her through the floor and call her on the phone. They threaten to come in her house and take her money and jewelry so she hides them but later doesn't remember doing so and thinks the people took her things. My 90 year old Dad is trying to take care of her and the houe doing all the shopping, cleaning and driving. They both refuse to get help in the house to clean, cook or have a health worker check in on her. They don't want strangers in their house.
Please tell me how what to do when my Mom starts talking about these people? She says she doesn't want them living under her house. They have a washing machine and a car and recently had a baby that died and had the funeral yesterday. All in her head. Mad at my Dad for not believing her and for not hearing the voices. No medication has helped yet. Her shrink said that if this last dosage doesn't help, she will probably need to be hospitalized. This seems very extreme at this point. I live 3000 miles away so my brother tries to keep an eye on things but they won't let him het them a cleaning crew to help out or a nurse to look in on my Mom. Would love some feedback please.

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Mom is 99 years old. About a week ago she started thinking that the people on tv could see her and that she could talk to them. She would say "That man is looking at me". I tried to tell her that the tv is not real and they are actors making a film for us to watch. She insists that I don't believe her. Any ideas or will she be this way forever. She hasn't changed any medication.
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Noreaster,
Daddy had a family of elves living in the middle bedroom. There were 2 adults, 3 small children and a cat. They all had Christmas lights in their hair and all had leprosy. They had take wood from the wood pile and made little beds. They wouldn't open the door for him (though there were no locks on that door). Finally I asked in a casual way "What are their names? What things do they say to you? Are you sure they had leprosy?" It was not confrontational. Just like talking about the neighbors who just moved in. Finally I told him to use his superpowers and get a broom and sweep them away. He did. A few days later he went to the Doctor and it was discovered he had a urinary tract infection. They make older people with dimentia or Alzheimers have these types of episodes. You really need to have someone in at least 3 times a week, perhaps a half day. This would be 'under the direct supervision of your father'. He will thank you for it in the long run. Get her jewelry to a safety deposit box and give her one of the keys. We had the 'elves' & the home health care givers literally steal over $100,000.00 worth of jewelry, uninsured. It will give her peace of mind on thievery and a concrete place to know where they are. I don't know about a broom under the house but maybe a hose? Also have your Dad ask her what they are saying. "Can he join in the conversation?"
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Oh, boy, Bellajoy nailed it. Don't argue with them or try to convince them of anything. If you can think of any way to reassure her, do it. Even if it doesn't make a bit of sense to you, they are in torment and questioning them will cause them to be even more fearful.

A UTI should be ruled out. When my mother is particularly tormented and is hallucinating, about half the time it is a UTI instead of her schizophrenia now that she is elderly.

Mom's schizophrenia is somewhat controlled with meds and we are so thankful for that bit of peace that she has now and then. Now the mental illness is so tangled up with the dementia. I do know that a combination of the meds and the fact that we don't argue with her, but try to reassure her - no matter how irrational she is - calms her.

I'm so sorry - I know how hard this is.
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Hey, Noreaster, everyone has good advice. I was just wondering if your mom had survived anything traumatic. Because my mom always told me her home & phone was (and still is) bugged (by someone) or that it is a party line. But then, she survived the Nazis in WWII Germany - just barely, & had a couple of technical drafting jobs when I was a child.
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My mother who is 88 had been hallucinating something terrible for the last year saying there are people in the house, the house is on fire, there are babies flying around the room and on and on. We took her off her pain medication called TRAMADOL and within 2 weeks the hallucinations completely stopped. She is back on Tylenol and Ibuprofen for arthritis pain which doesn't work as well as the Tramadol did for pain but mentally, she has improved 100%!! I totally agree with N1K2R3 that stated "At the age of 88/90, is it necessary to impolode the elderly with drugs?" I keep hearing from more and more caregivers how drugs have sometimes caused more complications than they are worth and how taking some drugs away has helped more than hurt. I had no idea that a pain medication could cause hallucinations. Looking back years ago, I'm remembering that my mother also had a problem with another pain medication so maybe her system can't tolerate them for some reason.
My mother had been under Hospice care for the last six months and because she has improved so much after taking away the Tramadol, the Hospice people have stopped giving Tramadol to a few other people that were taking it and I'm waiting to hear if they're having any good results. I am happy to say that we have been totally blessed and my mom has been taken off of Hospice and moved back to an assisted living facility where she is having a great time!
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kids have make believe friends, and we encourage them to play with dolls, trucks and such and engage in make believe activities; so what is the difference? No harm seems to be done. I would suggest applying for Meals On Wheels. The cost is little for someone that checks on them daily and brings them a hot meal. Also the Aging Agency with the Red Cross also does Home Phone Calls to the elderly. Several Opportunities for you to explore without worrying about who lives in the basement of their house. Apparently they are comfortable or they would ask to move. HUGS.
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Hi there! this is Dementia for sure. My mom would see people in the closet and I would go in with a flyswatter and chew them all out. I'd tell them that they picked the wrong closet and if they thought they were going to mess with my mom, blah blah blah and I would swing the flyswatter around and reallyput on a show.
Mom would be happy and go to sleep.
Everybody's Dementia is different and I wish you the best of luck. I had to move across the country to care for my mom and it was devastating for me.
I told my mom every day that I thought she was the bravest person I had ever met to go through what she was with this terrible disease.
lovbob
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Is your mom on the anti-psychotic Risperadol? A low dosage made my father's false beliefs less frequent and intense. But we also had to put him in assisted living for my mom's safety. I wish you well. It's very tough to make these decisions.
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I know how hard this is to deal with because my mom 90 is also delusional. She is always rearranging her belongings and then forgets that she is the one moving things around. She is convinced that someone is invading her house. We changed the keys and put up a nannycam. To no avail. You cannot convince them by using logic. It is the dementia causing it. My mom's Dr. said to validate her feelings-- keep expressing your uderstanding about how this bothers her and that you ar working on the matter. Try to change the subject and divert their attention to something of interest. Maybe take out pix from years ago that she can relate to. Do not try to convince her that she is imagining it.
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Your story reminds me of when my mom was in the hospital after having a stroke. She would not stay there by herself so I stayed overnight. I slept in a very uncomfortable sleep chair with little covers (freezing for the most part). While she was sleeping I was watching Greys Anatamony - I don't know if any of you have watched it but there are always Dr.s sleeping with each other in the hospital. Anyway, my mom must have awaken and saw some of the action, and I had already fallen asleep. I woke up because I heard her crying - I could not console her and neither could the nurses and she wanted nothing to do with me. When one of my sisters came to relieve me - she told her that me and one of the doctors where in her bed with her having sex! My sister was laughing so hard when she told me that she could barely get it all out - As soon as she told me, I realized that she had seen the episode of Greys Anatomy that I was watching - It was funny and we could not convince her that what she saw was on TV - she did not speak to me for a week! This happened 2 yrs ago and my sister and I still laugh about it!
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