I speak to my mom every day, but she has been talking nonsense for a while now. How should my sister and I respond?

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My 91-year-old mom lives 1,000 miles away. For the last 2 weeks, she’s absolutely convinced that she’s having a baby. My sister and I don’t know how to respond. Is this a normal part of aging? It's so difficult talking to her.

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My 94 yr old mom swears that her cat speaks to her -- in complete sentences now. She also thinks someone keeps breaking into her apartment (independent adult living) and stealing her Kraft cheese slices. This is the first inkling we've had that she is succumbing to dementia. She absolutely will not ever go to a doctor, so no hope of someone of authority convincing her she needs help. If we try to gently tell her those things aren't happening, she becomes absolutely violent and says we are the crazy ones, not her. Sounds like you are in that same rocky boat.
Top Answer
Does your mom live alone in her home?
She may have had a stroke. Also she may have a urinary tract infection (UTI). A simple pee test can diagnose. Does your sister live near by? Perhaps she can get her in for a checkup.
Read Atul Gawande’s book “Being Mortal. Medication and what matters in the end “.
My mil said she had her "period" to get out of taking a shower, and it wasn't long ago.

But I have no answers for that. I'm sure some will.

Best of luck to you all!
Dusty, I agree with others about how it's important to get your mom checked out by her doctor, so you know what is causing this belief or delusion. She could have a UTI or some other illness that can be treated. If it turns out to be dementia, then, you need to know that too, because, that will allow you to evaluate her living situation, especially, if she is living alone. People with dementia who live alone, have many risks that need to be considered for their own safety.

Sometimes, the delusions are harmless and it's no harm to play along and just agree with the patient, because, you really can't convince a person of something that they see a real. But, sometimes the delusions and/or hallucinations can frighten them and cause them to hurt themselves. Or it can cause the great emotional distress. So, I'd try to figure it out, then consider if she needs more supervision.

I had a family friend who thought that children were in his house and it scared him, so he ran into the street, fell and broke his hip. He never recovered. His family knew he had dementia, but, they thought that he was okay living alone. They did not anticipate how he would handle things mentally.
My mom lives in AL and has been a very private person not telling us any information about finances, health, etc. My sister and I live in MD and we have a brother in OH, but he’s pretty much left the daily calls to us. She decided to move into an Independent Living facility about 4 years ago. This past March she fell. She may have had a minor stroke at that time, but thankfully, she seemed ok. The facility put her into Skilled Care with the hope that she would do PT and go back to her apt. Unfortunately, we were informed in May that her cognitive skills would not allow her to return to the apt. My sister and I went down, had to clean out her apt (what a mess!) and visit her. We were emotionally and physically drained by the time we got home. She was a bit confused at that point, but there were moments of clarity. I have asked the doctor to perform a UTI test on her, but the communication between this facility has been terrible. No one returns calls, no one seems to know what’s going on. Just a terrible experience. Anyway, she now is never lucid, though if you just listened to her, you’d think she was ok. She’s been stuck on 3 things the last few weeks....she’s having a baby, she’s painting her room because the painters keep putting eye lashes on the top of the wall and they fall into the tub, and she went to a beautiful dinner with my Dad (passed in 2004) but is so upset that she can’t remember who gave the party so she can send a thank you. This is just so upsetting for my sister and I. We’ve just been going along with her so as not to get her agitated. I call in the afternoon after lunch and my sister calls after dinner. We compare notes, and it’s just so upsetting. We tried (unsuccessfully) for years to try to get her to move closer to us. At least she’ll be able to stay in the Skilled Care and won’t get kicked out!
Mom has always been mean, but at least now, she seems nice and doesn’t seem to be in pain. It’s just so difficult being so far away. We feel like thieves going through the stuff that was in her apt. I ended up shipping over $500 of papers back home because we just didn’t have time to go through them while in AL. So, I guess we’re feeling guilty, but at the same time, we did what we had to.
Oh, Dusty, I feel so bad for you. My mom was Uber delusional and paranoid as well. She claimed a young boy was sleeping inside her bed under her mattress and parading around with her dirty underwear. On and on. I couldn’t keep up with it. I had to pull her phone because she had day and night confused and would call me at 3AM. She didn’t make much sense on the phone anyway. She called on Christmas Day, sobbing because I hadn’t come to pick her up. The entire family had been in her room on Christmas Eve, decorating her room, exchanging gifts, etc. She didn’t remember. She ruined my Christmas.

Communication could be lax at her facility as well, but I was the squeaky wheel. Constantly squeaky. When they realized I wasn’t going away, I began to get answers promptly. Any way you could possibly move Mom closer?
Thanks for all the comments. It helps to know that we’re not alone in this situation. We tried to talk Mom into moving closer for years to no avail. At this point, she’s not able to travel at all. She’s basically in a hospital room.

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