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My father is getting obsessed over his dogs and the fact that he thinks they are lost and that the neighbors have called him and told him that they have the dogs. The dogs are right there with him. Dad's caregivers do not know what to do with him and I am far away and can't do anything but call and talk to him. How does one handle the delusions/hallucinations? We are worried that he may do something bad.

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Hi, my husband is looking after his grandad and they are very close. All of a sudden out of nowhere he accused my husband of stealing his plates and got quite violent he is 84. He asked my husband for his key and has now said he wants nothing to do with us. We are in total shock!
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I have noticed that slowly my mother's confusion has increased. She is 92 and came to live with my husband and I sevreral ities north of where she was living. When going to her eye doctor one day she exclaimed how fast we got to her hometown when we were in the same town we currently live in.
I have taken her to a neurologist who after doing a CAT scan, determined that she has mild Alzheimer's type dementia.
Last week she was relating a story about how my dad and she were driving back from a town out in the countryside on a named road and he had a heart attack and she had to drive him into town to the local hospital.
All of this had occurred but it had occurred with my stepfather whom she had been married to over 25 years before he passed away. My father passed away hen I was 14 and had never lived in the state we live in for over 35 years!
At that time I'd not know how to handle this so I questioned her about specifics which were true and tried to logically reason with her that it couldn't have happened withmy father and was most assuredly something that happened with my stepfather. She became more insistent and gave more evidence that it was with my father. We haven't spoken about it since, but a friend said that I should not argue with her. This is tough to deal with since she has always been so with it
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Hi, this is an update on what I did about my 94 y/o mother with hallucinations and delusions that she was getting married. Mom has a great internist so we problem solved: 1) Turns out she had a low-grade urinary tract infection for which she was given antibiotics - that can make seniors confused; 2) Turns out there are neighbors across the way that fit the description of what mom was recounting, less her involvement -so there was some basis, just not in fact. She recounted feeling very lonely and wanting a happier life (so she formed one in her head). Turns out the aide was ignoring her all day, so I got rid of the aide and found a nicer more engaging aide and tried to make her feel special; 3) Turns out she had bed bug bites (thank you new boxspring!) so we got rid of them, her bites and her rash - that would make me nuts!; 4) Her thyroid levels were off so we adjusted her med 4) We put her on a low dose of Risperidone 0.25mg (an anti-psychotic approved for seniors with hallucinations and aggitation) that seems to have helped; 5) I had noticed that when the manufacturer of her Lexapro generic was changed it did not seem to have the same positive effect, so I went back to the Lexapro dispensed by CVS and her mood improved - I learned sometimes not all generic drugs are alike or as effective fr certain individuals. And, there is the fact that at such an advanced age the brain short circuits. So I have been learning to go along when she is agitated and in calmer moments gently guide her towards reality with support, love and DISTRACTION! If she is engaged in other things, her mind doesn't go there. It is sad, though, all her friends and siblings have pre-deceased her, so she does get lonely. We spend a great deal of time cooing and occupying babies and small children - we don't spend enough time doing the same for the vulnerable elderly, who in some ways go back to being just as needy. Hope this helps and gives some ideas!
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My father who is 84 has recently over the past two months told us that the people on the tv are talking to him ie the news football politics they have to be live disscussions not pre recorded. He has recently had a mini mmi and a ct scan which came back clear but these dillusions have been getting more frequent we as a family confided in his GP so he arranged for an appointmment with the old age physacriaty and he got a letter and we have just found out he cancelled it ,he has also over the last four days not mentioned about the tv which we thought was strange can you advise how to deal with this as we are worried but would make him do something he dosent want to do , thanks
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My 94 y/o mother with moderate dementia has suddenly started making up friendships with people that don't exist in her life. This has quickly progressed to one of the friendships asking her to marry him and she accepted. She sees him in the trees and he communicates by writing to her and she reads what he writes from the window. It is so detailed, quite romantic, and progressing quickly. She is homebound and was on the way out the door (and down the stairs unassisted) to meet him and his family - she was staying overnight with them at another relatives. I took her downstairs, no one showed up (naturally). The whole story is growing more and more detailed. She carries on conversations with him (two-sided) proclaiming their love and need to be together. She convinced he is going to take her away and care for her. They even discussed adopting children (in her world). It is of such intense and sudden onset - any inference that it is not true creates instant intense aggression. I keep her hydrated,she is well-noursighed and although on Lexapro (depression), just standard cardiac meds. The problem is that this now creates a safety/flight risk.
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My Mom used to insist that there were bugs crawling all over. At first we tried convincing her that there were none, but that would just make her more agitated. Then her doctor advised us to go along with the hallucination. Agree with her and try to "fix" the problem. And that worked. She stayed calm. I would go and grab a bottle of windex, pretend to spray the bugs away, and she immediately felt better.

Maybe if you agree with your Dad that the dogs are away. Do you think your neighbors would agree to check in on him? They could pop over and pretend that they've brought the dogs back after walking them or something. Just anything that will go along with his delusion to help calm him.

Much love to you and your Dad.
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Oh, my! This all sounds so familiar! My mother has Lewy Body dementia, is in a nursing home now. (She thinks stuffed animals are real and tries to feed them. I wish I could bring some big beautiful stuffed cats and dogs there for her to hold, and pet, and talk to but such an item would disappear as so many other things I brought her have. :-( They 'run away - more like someone walks off with them!) Mom had a lot of interesting hallucinations when she was still home. She didn't know she was living in her house of 65 years, we had to put up signs and tell her over and over. She had 'visitors' constantly, and insisted my brother was working in 'an office he goes into through the fireplace'. She was on an anti-depressant and none of her hallucinations were very frightening, thank the lord! I'd talk to the parents doctor and make sure he understands the situation.
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Our Mom is now in AL(3weeks) Since our Dad's passing 4 years ago, she has been trying to feed our Dad's photo. To her, the photo is really living and she is very distressed that he won't get enough to eat when she can't get the photo out of the frame. Her comments are always the same" it is a well known fact if we don't get enough nutrition our body will die" We remind her of Dad's passing and she says she knows he died but still every day she becomes very upset that he doesn't have enough nutrition. The AL is being asked to make him up a plate of food, or she wants to bring the photo to the dining room and tries to feed the photo.
Any ideas of what might relieve her distress?
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The delusions are called "confabulations" and are pretty common in dementia patients. Recently, Mum was crying and anxious because she thought my ex wouldn't let me come visit her at the nursing home. I asked her how she knew this, and she said she heard "them" talking in the hall. "Who, Mum?" "I don't know, I just heard them talking in the hall and they said 'His wife* won't let him visit his mother.'"

Of course that's totally false, but I learned that you don't argue with dementia sufferers, you have to support or at least not dismantle their reality. So I just told Mum not to worry, that I was here now and would see her just about every day. She felt a lot better. Maybe try this sort of thing and then redirect the conversation to a happier topic.

*Mum has no recollection that I'm divorced. It's a pain having to occasionally talk about my ex with her.
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My mother is continually looking up on the wall or ceiling to see things. She won't focus on me or what's happening around her. I talk to her, sing to her and tell her oh don't pay attention to that man in a cage; however, she just can't seem to focus on what is in front of her. I did tell her the other night that I made that man go away and that I would protect her. It finally worked after reassuring her for about 15 minutes.
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My dad thinks my Mum is trying to poison him and is not eating all his meals. He also thinks my Mum is sleeping with everyone she can and that me and my sister have sold their house and he's living in a hotel. She often struggles helping him up as he does not assist with this. He doesn't trust any of us and my Mum is so exhausted and doesn't know how long she can go on! She daren't go out anymore as when he can walk he sets off and she has to find him. He has tried to close their bank account and talked of selling the house. What steps should be taken now?
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Oh Jules, I am so very sorry for your situation! Paranoia is just awful to work with. Has this been discussed with his doctor?

In general, it is best not to argue with delusions, and reasoning and logic don't work (as I am sure you know!) But going along with paranoid delusions doesn't seem very helpful, either! Your mom is certainly not going to agree she is sleeping around! Perhaps a sympathetic approach that acknowledges his feelings would be best. "Oh Dad! How awful it must make you feel to think Mom is being unfaithful. I don't know what gave you that idea but it must hurt very deeply, after 42 years of marriage. But Dad, I know Mom has not done these things. Whatever is giving you this idea is a huge mistake. Mom loves you very much and is working very hard to take care of you.

My husband thought he lived in a hotel or a railroad station or a high school. This went on for a few months. It was early in the dementia and I had not yet learned to just go along. I tried to convince him he was home. No-go. You might go along with the hotel idea, "isn't this a nice hotel, Dad? And they keep it so nice and clean." On the house sale idea try a little creativity ... "Oh, no, Dad we didn't sell the house! It is just having some repairs made to the foundation while you stay in this nice hotel. It is still your house and you'll be moving back soon."

Hugs to you. This is hard! If it is dementia your dad has, this phase won't last forever.

And do talk to his doctor about these symptoms.
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My dad thinks my Mum is trying to poison him and is not eating all his meals. He also thinks my Mum is sleeping with everyone she can and that me and my sister have sold their house and he's living in a hotel. She often struggles helping him up as he does not assist with this. He doesn't trust any of us and my Mum is so exhausted and doesn't know how long she can go on! She daren't go out anymore as when he can walk he sets off and she has to find him. He has tried to close their bank account and talked of selling the house. What steps should be taken now?
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Make sure your father always has a bag of dog treats handy. When he feels the dogs are missing he can call then "Bella, come, cookie" or some such thing and they'll come arunning. My dogs do and they can hear a cheese wrapper from 500 yards away but then they're piggies :)
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Yes, I have heard of it. In fact it has a name -- Capgras delusion, or Capgras syndrome. With a name, you can now look it up and begin to understand what is going on. In addition to learning more about it, I think your first step should be contacting her doctor.
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My Mother Has lived with me and my husband for 12 years . I have been her only care giver. She woke up one day two weeks ago saying she was in a new house asking when we moved. I told her we had not moved. She has gone from not only thinking she has moved and is now living with someone who looks like me but isnt. She thinks my sister has moved her in with a person who looks like me . she cries and fights everyday saying she wants to move back with Shelbi (which is who i am) . My brother and sister have both came over and told her i was shelbi and she had lived with me and my husband for 12 yrs. she knows even my husband but doesn't think i am her real daughter. Have you ever heard of this before? i need some help quick please
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Another reason that a proper diagnosis is useful is that some drugs that work for some kinds of dementia are terrible for others. For example, Haldol can cause permanent damage or even death for persons with Lewy Body Dementia. So if possible, have Dad seen by a specialist -- geriatric psychiatrist or behavioral neurologist -- who is experienced in diagnosing and treating dementia.

Also, especially if the delusional behavior came on suddenly, have him tested for a uti.

As for dealing with a delusion while it is happening, it is generally best to go along with it, to get into the patient's reality. For example, when Dad says the neighbors have called and have the dogs, the caregiver could leave the room, go ring the doorbell, and come back into the room with the dogs. "The neighbors brought the dogs back! Isn't that great?" That may make Dad happy for a while at least. It will NOT make him happy to be told over and over that his dogs are not missing and they are in the house. That is not his reality at the time.

This must be especially hard on you being far away. If Dad has good caregivers you are comfortable with, discuss strategies of handling the delusions. Assure them that you do not blame them, and that the goal is to keep Dad comfortable and minimize his anxieties, rather than to teach him the truth.

How do you handle his medical appointments now? Arranging for a uti test seems like a good idea immediately. Perhaps getting a more specific diagnosis of his dementia would be worthwhile arranging, too, but perhaps for a time you will be visiting him.
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Getting a proper diagnosis helps. Don't just let a regular GP doctor throw medication at the symptoms. I recently found out my dad has Charles Bonnet syndrome. It's related to brain damage from stokes and compromised vision. He will hallucinate as long as he can see a little. The hallucinations will stop if he goes completely blind, but that's not likely. Also, his condition could easily cause him to suffer dementia before this condition resolves. Sometimes medications can also cause hallucinations, so read the rare side effects. Doctors sometime discount them because they are rare. Something as simple as acid reflux medication and blood pressure meds cause hallucinations in rare cases, so I imagine a mixture would increase the likely hood from rare to less rare. My point is that aging is natural. Don't kill yourself with worry. You can't solve this in the long run. Just methodically research the condition and work with a geriatric psychiatrist, or geriatric neurologist. Worry more about reassuring your parent they are safe. Ultimately, prayer helps too.
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I also have found that with my father that these things can occur if he has a Urinary tract infection. It is important to see if this is happening. I am struggling with my mother. She will have these periods where she will think about an event that happened between her and my dad and she will harp on what he did wrong. How do you help someone cope with a spouse just starting in a nursing home?
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Mom's doctor put her on a very low dose of Haldol twice daily. HUGE help!
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The drug is Ziprasidone - I've just looked it up and it sounds a drastic action (maybe your dad could benefit from some other form of treatment). My mother got really bad though over a period of about 2 weeks. It was really distressing to see her like she was. Most of the delusional thoughts seem to have gone and now the doctor is going to introduce an anti depressenant and cut down on the Ziprasidone. I do hope you dad will be able to get the proper help he needs.
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If it has been determined by a physician that there are no meds that will support his problem, then there may be little that you can do to change your father's mind. Perhaps, bringing in several caretakers would help share the responsibility and take off some of their stress so that they can deal with your father better. Perhaps the responsibility of the dogs seem overwhelming to you father and it would be helpful if someone else took one or all of the dogs. If his memory is affected, he might forget about the dogs and the issue could resolve itself. It must be frustrating for you to have to deal with this long distance. I hope this helps.
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What drugs did they put your mom on? I ask because we are not in love with the seroquil.... Just would like some more options if they are out there.
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My mother was also suffering delusional thinking - she was saying the most bizarre things that she really thought were true. She also kept saying that the nursing home staff were poisioning her. The doctor put her on anti psychotic drugs which have made a big difference. I do hope you can get the best help for your dad.
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