Last night was a tough night. Mom set off the alarm trying to escape. Woke up several times and claimed there was someone in her shower.
At first I thought it was just the nightly stuff that people talk about. Today she wandered off.
I have a deck that she likes to go out on. She apparently saw some girls running by outside and decided that one of them was the great grandchild that my niece had her raising.
I noticed that she wasn’t on the deck anymore and realized that she had wandered away from the house. I went out calling for her and saw her wandering back to the house. It was pretty scary. But, it got worse. She was delusional.
She said that she had chased down the children and one of the women came out of the house and confronted her. Mom said she didn’t want to fight with the woman and started walking back.
After I got her back home I put a zip tie on the gate so that she can’t get out that way again. Our doors beep when someone comes in or out so I know when she leaves. The deck was a place that she enjoyed sitting out on and enjoying the sites.
She started talking nonsense. She started saying she saw children on the course. Then she said she saw her sister out on the course but she disappeared so I couldn’t see her. Her delusions went on and on and eventually after a couple of hours I was able to get her interested in a movie.
It has been a couple of scary days for me. My first experience with a delusional person. She was treated for a UTI a couple weeks ago and she has to go back in a week or so to be retested. I don’t think it was that.
I’m wondering if it has to do with the fact that she is getting comfortable being here (she’s been here 3 weeks) and some of this odd behavior is coming out.
Dementia is such a strange disease.

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JB, I've had a couple of people suggest possibly a mini stroke. She did have that conk on the head where she was trying to duck under a poster on a glass door and walked into the door. It was a pretty good zonk on the head but she had been acting strange prior to that.
This morning/afternoon she is doing a bit better.
I too wish I had one of those "Walton-type" families but I guess I chose poorly LOL.

Captain, I ended up giving her a double dose of her trazadone to get her to sleep. She didn't get up and didn't set off the house alarm so many of us were able to get some sleep last night. Her delusions were crazy. As for your mom's, too cool. Headless pricks LOL

my mom was trippin balls one day and doing battle with imaginary people on 4 sides of her . once she looked up at the cieling and told one guy to get out of here cause he didnt even have a head. gotta appreciate her cynicism even at such a frightening time in her life. i didnt need the headless pricks interferance at this time either. a shot of haldol worked wonders for mom. i guess it calmed her overstimulated imagination.

If it changed suddenly, I would revisit the UTI test, as you already planned. Even a slight bladder infection can have profound effects on their personalities. My mother had a bladder infection once that was not caught on the first urine analysis. It did show up on a second and third. Her behavior was almost psychotic when she had the bladder infection.

Another thing I wonder is if she may have had a small stroke. That would cause a rapid shift.

It would be nice if you had one or two of your siblings living near you so you could share the responsibility. Sometimes I think how nice it would be to have a Walton-like family, with everyone helping. It can get lonely out on Caregiver Island with just us and our loved one.

My mother isn't going to be able to qualify for Medicaid until April of 2014. I am speaking to the center on aging here in Central Oregon which has a fund for respite care. I'm going to speak to them to see if those funds are still available.
I do know that I will need some help at some point. That's one more thing on my list of things to do. Right now I'm trying to get all her medications and doctors appointments nailed down. It's been a tough adjustment.

I wish I could get her qualified sooner but we have to wait out the penalty period because we sold her home in June.
It's been weird because she was doing well. Was coherent and just needed some assistance with things. Then BAM, it changed.

Thank you.

PinkLA, you have really had a triple dose of some frightening things. You handled it all so well. Your story reminds me so much of some people I met a year or so back -- a woman with Alzheimer's and her personal caregiver. The caregiver and I became fast friends. The woman was a very sweet person, but had a habit of wandering off. She would do it very quickly, so if no one was watching, she would dash out the door and be gone. She had delusions, though I don't know about hallucinations. The family had hired the caregiver 8 hours a day 5 days a week. It was a very good arrangement until the woman reached a point where she had to go into memory care. The sad thing was that an excellent caregiver was left without a job, but that happens.

I wondered how the Medicaid application is coming along. Medicaid will cover some costs for caregivers in the home, though I am not sure how much. Your mother sounds like she needs intensive care, either with a caregiver or in memory care. Caregiving can be so much for one person. It is nice to have a helper when it gets bad.

I don't know why some times it is worse than others. With my mother, we can go along for a few days with no problems, then all of a sudden we switch over to another dimension full of delusions and obsessions. Fortunately for me there is no wandering yet, just aimless walking in the house on occasion.

Let us know how it is going with your mother. I hope the Medicaid application clears fast. Having dependable help is so important when things get bad.

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