Latest wrinkle: Accusing me.

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Last night, shortly before her bedtime, Mom had me turn off the music and come sit by her, and she proceeded to tell me that the night before, sometime between 3:30 and 4:30 AM, she was certain that I had "a man in the house" because she HEARD me close the front door when he left, and also the dog barked when he left.


Uhh ... I'm happily married, and although my husband lives at our place 85 miles away and we don't get to see each other as often as we'd like, there's no way I would let anyone take his place. Plus, I'm almost 67 years old, if that counts, LOL! The fact is, there WAS and IS no such man coming to the house as Mom is claiming. I told her that whatever she heard, she was wrong about the interpretation, and then she told me not to argue with her.


This morning, I contacted both my sisters about this, and they told me that about a month ago when they last were here to look after Mom so I could get a weekend to go spend with my husband, Mom told them the same thing about me. They apparently told her that it was very unlikely, but if she had a question she should ask me. Well, now she has but she's not accepting my answer.


The larger issue here is that I'm her only Caregiver 24/7, and my concern is that a belief on her part of this type will lead to her not trusting me in other ways. My Mom is occasionally forgetful, but she's of sound mind, and I don't know whether something like this is an example of age-related dementia starting up, or is just a product of her imagination at night. Up until the last 3 months or so, she slept well at night but no longer does ... she will sleep for an hour or two, then sit up on the side of her bed for long periods of time. The house is quiet although I'm sure there are noises of this or that type, and her hearing is not good so quite likely she is misinterpreting at least some of those sounds.


Any ideas? She is on an anti-anxiety medication that worked well for her last spring, and her doctor put her back on it last week. She has stopped the fidgeting and picking at her skin, but it's also supposed to help her sleep and so far is not doing that for her at night.

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two things, document EVERYTHING that has been said and done for the last few months, and get her to a qualified geriatrician, a doctor who actually SPECIALIZES in testing for dementia related issues. The right doctor is key!
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Az, I'm glad that your sister is around, and that mom still responds at times to logic. It seems to me that the mourning is endless in this disease.
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God bless you for doing what you do. Hopefully your sisters can give you a break and rotate time with her. It is hard being a caregiver and watching the decline. It is easier when you are away from it because it is not in your face 24/7.
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I don't blame you a bit for getting out of the caregiving role. Yes, let the sisters take a turn. But a word of caution. Dementia can come on very gradually. When I think back about my Dads case I now realize that he wasn't being a d.....head 5 years ago, he was developing dementia which is now clearly evident. I had a couple huge, get up in your face fights with him over my Moms care. As I saw him decline and learned about dementia I felt terrible about the fights. He was losing his ability to reason and I didn't realize it.
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I wanted to update: I am still here, looking after Mom. One of my sisters jumped in to lend a hand and called Mom on the phone. This sister used to be a police officer, and I could tell by hearing Mom's end of the conversation that my sister was using some of her police training to question Mom about the claim that I'd had a "man in the house". It took over an hour for my sister to finally convince Mom that she was accusing me based only on an assumption and without actual evidence. At that point, Mom was willing to apologize to me sincerely, and I accepted it. My sister and I then talked together about this type of issue (wrong ideas, thinking) being more likely to come up as time goes along, and my sister pointed out to me that my need to have Mom be "okay" and doing well is probably contributing to my anger and frustration when something like this crops up -- it's evidence of our pending loss of Mom, and it hits me harder because I'm the one caring for her. So I'm trying to work on that. There have been no further accusations or mental-type issues since this one, other than ordinary forgetfulness. Thanks so much for all the support.
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Guesthop and JessiBelle---Regarding kidney failure contributing to dementia, that is one of my mother's comorbid conditions along with chf, diabetes, & asthma. ------Thanks for pointing it out.-------
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Some years ago now and years before I moved my mother into assisted living she had, shall we say, "auditory hallucinations". She would hear the phone ringing at night, she would hear someone pounding on her windows and doors. I was concerned but Mom's apartment was in a safe neighborhood with good neighbors. I questioned her if perhaps someone was calling the wrong number? Wrong address? I spoke with neighbors to see if they had seen or heard noises at night and no one had. Once, I went to stay with Mom for a week following a minor surgery she had had. During my week-long stay, I twice overheard her in the wee hours speaking into her phone saying "hello, hello". The phone's extension was right by my bed and the phone had not rung, no one had called.

I live in another state from the state where Mom resides but I was concerned so I arranged for her to have her cognitive function tested. At that time she passed the test. In the ensuing months, as I noticed a continuing decline in her "executive function", I hired a part time caregiver for Mom to help her out and to be a companion. This woman was truly a "visiting angel" to Mom and to me. Mom's caregiver too heard the stories about the late night phone calls, callers at the door and the pounding on the windows. With the help and recommendation of Mom's caregiver we found a new geriatric Dr. for Mom. This Dr. did a more thorough testing for dementia and found that she does indeed suffer from dementia. This Dr. also said, though not common, that sometimes dementia sufferers will have these sorts of auditory hallucinations most frequently at night.

Now Mom lives in ALF and she sometimes, in the wee hours of the morning, will hear the phone ring or she goes to the door of her apartment because she thinks she hears someone knocking at her door. She is very comfortable where she lives and she is not fearful but the sounds she hears are real to her. I try to reassure her that it was just a dream and, for the most part, she has learned to accept that.

Hope this helps...hope this can shed some light...
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AZ - mom has dementia, or at least mild cognitive impairment, not Alzheimer's but probably vascular in origin. Her judgement and reasoning are faulty, and her empathy is slipping. And, you are taking it deeply to heart, because you think if she can be rational and logical at some times she can be rational and logical all the time therefore it seems like deliberate cruelty. But you needed to be back with hubby in any event. Jessie Belle has the right take on it.
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guestshopadmin, thank you for posting that. People with failing kidneys are very prone to metabolic dementia, because toxic byproducts can build in the blood. AZLife, if her kidneys continue to fail and her memory and behavior continue to get more bizarre, it would be good to just let it slide off your back and pay no attention. You will all know that it is a product of your mother's altered mental state.

My mother has come up with all kind of stories. If I challenge them, she sticks to them as gospel truth. Her mind takes little pieces of fact and fills in the gaps she doesn't remember with all kinds of things. History is rewritten. Her new version remains true until she changes it again. I don't say anything unless someone would be harmed.

I had to chuckle a bit when I thought what I would do if my mother said I had a man sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night. I know I would burst out laughing and say "We wish!" Of course, I'm divorced, so it makes a big difference.

Personally, I am glad you're back home with your husband. He sounds like a good one.
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Ask the doctor that if mother did have a course of dialysis, would her delusions clear up?
So sorry she is ill.
Not many could continue caring under those circumstances. That would really hurt, deeply. My sympathies for what you are going through.
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