Is there anyway to cure or reduce my Mother's auditory hallucinations of a baby (or babies) crying?

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My 93 yr old mother has been thinking she hears babies crying for the last half dozen years. This happens day and night. She searches relentlessly for them and asks others to help her find them. She becomes very angry when someone doesn't help her. We have given her a doll which she cares for. At times she seems to think it is really a baby, but other times she laughs and admits it is just a doll. Yet she still hears other babies crying elsewhere. We have learned to tell her that "someone will feed (or change) (or rock) that baby soon." This seems to help. When she does not hear the babies crying, she will comment on how nice it is that they are quiet now. So actually she is living this scenario whether she hears the babies or not. When we take her out to eat, she makes sure we find someone to take care of the babies, and while we are out she comments that she hopes they are taken care of.


Beyond that, she does have some other memory problems, but also can live in the moment quite well. She is great with quips and wise cracks and plays on words. She can talk about recipes and can pick tomatoes and other vegetables, and loves it. She can do crafts and is very exacting about her work. She recognizes her husband, the dog, all her nine kids and many of their spouses. She can tell stories of the olden days with no problem. Usually she knows her stories are about long ago times. But other times she comes up with some whoppers. She may point at a jacket and say "My brother, Leo, made that for me." Leo is her son, not her brother. Leo couldn't sew a button on his underwear. Yet she tells a very vivid story about how she remembers watching him make it. She can describe the room, the machine, etc., to a form of exactness. If we didn't know it weren't true, we would believe it as if it were one of her other stories (that we know are true, having heard them before.)
Then she will hear babies crying...
And we go searching...
And she gets angry...
What can be done? It isn't that we mind looking for babies with her. Instead, we are upset that she feels this frustration, this pain, this sense of helplessness. She is suffering because of the babies, and there is nothing we can do about it.
Or is there?

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Thank you. We are making a list of questions for her doctor and this will be on it! She falls frequently and had one done not too long ago but we will definitely pursue it.
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My Dad complained off and on about loud noise in his head (not his ears..his head). In recent years it was "someone in the house at night yelling and throwing things around".

I learned of this 2 months ago when I came to help my parents after my Mom had a stroke.

I told the VA nurse about this. A CAT scan was done of his head...and he has hydrocephalus! Oh geez! In his case, due to heart failure, it cannot be treated. But, if only it had been treated earlier ...he might never have developed dementia and paranoia.

Please...have a cat scan done!
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No, she often asks for a sleep aid but her doc only provided a tricyclic antidepressant. He OK'd and she will sometimes take an OTC sleep aid (diphenhydramine) but it only "works" sporadically.
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Farmerswife, does she take Ambien, occasionally or regularly? It can cause hallucinations.
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My MIL (89) takes Ativan for anxiety and has been having auditory hallucinations at night. Shes convinced there are people in the porch outside her room and she swears and threatens them loudly all night long. I am convinced there is a connection to the Ativan. She has been on it for YEARS, 3x/daily and shows other signs of benzo dependency (insomnia, increasing anxiety, unstable gait and poor balance resulting in frequent falls. Also relentless med seeking -- regardless of what her condition it "makes her nervous" and,she,tries yo work the doctors for more benzos). She almost seems,in some kind of fugue state or waking sleep when it happens. She responds when spoken to but doesnt identify us,correctly and is kind of out of it -- and resolutely convinced her imaginary friends are real. We had a huge battle this morning -- she was convinced the people were real alternating with denying any knowledge of the whole incident.
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Yes. Did the music thing. I brought a radio and tuned it to the local station she always listened to. She called it 'Noise.' We also got her some long playing CDs of music and she didn't want them on.

I know I may sometimes make it sound as if Mom is always negative, but she's not. She loves to visit with people. She'll do whatever crafts she can and participates in games. She loves to go out. She shares stories about baking, working, raising kids, etc. That is, until she hears the baby crying...
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GB have you tried having background music playing all the time? Maybe if there is other noise she won't focus on babies crying as much or often. Maybe a recording of chain saws if something pleasant will not work. LOL
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Yes, a baby that "cries" could be a fix for Mom at times, unless she would still Hear that other babying crying out-there-somewhere.
Yes, Mom has had tinnitus for the last 20+ years. I brought this up to the Drs a couple times, but they just said there was no cure for tinnitus. They seem to think there isn't a connection between the tinnitus and the babies. I think they are wrong and have told them so. Because she has high blood pressure when taken on one arm, and low when taken on the other, I believe the various degrees of blood pulsing through her veins could cause a variation in the tinnitus that used to be just a ringing in her ears. (That seems to be too simple an explanation for the Drs, though. Maybe it is.)
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Cwillie, great thought! My tinnitus is like kettle drums. Someone in this forum has galloping horses. And so much ear ringing could very well sound like a baby crying!
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While there can be no doubt her obsession with crying babies is a cognitive issue I'm wondering if she could have tinnitus, and the crying babies is her interpretation of the noise in her ears?
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