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.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Check with her doctor and see if there is a medication that may help. I would say this is an anxiety thing. Its not fair to her either to be like this.

Thanks, FrazzledMama for sharing your experiences. It does sometimes feel like I'm in an asylum living with someone with dementia and paranoia. And I agree on many levels that she would do better in a more structured environment like AL. But we cannot move her to a facility for a number of reasons. Neither she nor we have the financial resources, plus she does not qualify for Medicare for another 2 years. She is a French citizen and moved in with us from France in 2015 with a green card - there is a five-year residency requirement to qualify for Medicare. We also had to sign a statement of financial responsibility for her immigration. My hubby is the only son, and she could no longer live by herself. In any case, it would be really hard for her to be in an AL facility in the U.S., because she does not understand English. It was tough when she was hospitalized back a couple of months ago - my husband would not leave her side because she cannot communicate with the nurses and other health professionals.

Oh my gosh, I totally understand! Mom just recently moved into a facility after living here with us, and she still has the paranoia/delusional thinking, but it seems like being able to socialize and keep busy in a community setting has decreased her anxiety level a little. She still calls and insists that there are people listening to her through her phone.

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.

I know I couldn't be a 24/7 care giver to my mom. (or dad, deceased)

the stories you're telling sound all too familiar

I have a hard enough time dealing with my own problems. :/

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Start a Discussion
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter