I wonder how others on this forum are coping with caregiving for an elderly person with dementia who is living in their own imagined world that is not based in reality. My MIL moved in with us three years ago and sees and hear things that are just not there. And on a rational level, I understand that her brain in broken; pieces of information get really jumbled in her mind. And I also believe with all my heart and soul that they are very real to her.
But I am exhausted by hearing this endless loop of delusions all day long, and it sometimes makes me feel like I am in crazytown. I have learned it's better to agree and be empathetic than argue with her.
Usually though I haven't even had my first cup of coffee when it starts. The morning begins with complaints about a neighbor who is running washing machines all night long that is preventing her from sleeping. Heck, she even thought it was a laundromat operating out of our backyard. We live far from other houses or any laundromats. Then there's the strangers entering her room and stealing her personal items including her cigarettes, combs, wash cloths, old socks - and even the most coveted of all, her 89-year-old woman's bras. And I hear her screaming outside on the patio to the disrespectful children that are supposedly standing on opposite sides of our property yelling to each other who refuse to get together and talk. They are birds. The topic of conversation at dinner is often about the washing machine and the thievery. This is a typical day that also includes a host of other complaints including her health ailments and her past.
I am coping and staying strong, but it does not prevent me from thinking that my world of living with someone with dementia feels cuckoo. I so understand people on this forum who say that they want to escape their 24/7 toxic caregiving situation.
When she was here though, she was determined that there were people outside watching her trying to break in and kill her, or steal my purse (because they wanted her insurance cards), etc. This was at different times of the day, and worse at night or first thing in the morning. She didn't want to sleep in the room here because even with blackout curtains, "they" could still see her through a little place where light comes in. We were outside one morning at 4 am so she could check to see that there was no one there.
Perhaps your mom would do well in an AL or memory care. It seems like with mine the change of environment and being around her peers with activities to keep her busy and a more structured routine has helped her (and me too!). It's more manageable not having to be the sole caregiver 24/7 and feeling like I'm in an asylum.
the stories you're telling sound all too familiar
I have a hard enough time dealing with my own problems. :/