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Dad's been having hallucinations a few months, but they have suddenly escalated from "someone putting newspaper clippings on his wall" to "someone is going to kill me and your sister tonight and burn down the assisted living building". The facility is sending him to the hospital tonight for his safety. I live out of town. one of my sisters lives in his town. She is keeping us informed. Has anyone seen this, and what does it mean? What did the doctors do for your loved one? I'm very afraid and know I should wait for the doctor's report, but I feel like I should rush down there and be with him. I guess I feel guilt as well as fear for not being there for him. We live a day's drive away, and I was there just two weeks ago. I don't want to not be there for him, but he's a healthy 92 and I can't move there.

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Yes, mother had vascular dementia and as it progressed she developed hallucinations from telling me I had put chicken in her freezer and "I'll get you for that to thinking the aides were trying to poison her thinking she had been taken somewhere for surgery and had her insides taken out. I lived 5 -6 hours drive away. She was taken to a geriatric psychiatric hospital and thoroughly evaluated and eventually put on Risperdal, an antipsychotic, which helped her enormously, Then she was placed in a facility specializing in geriatric mental health issues.

It's nothing for you to feel guilty about. You didn't cause this disease. He is not a healthy 92 year old. He is exhibiting symptoms of a serious disease. He may function well physically for his age but he is not healthy. Mother was the same. Even up to age 100 she got around very well but the dementia eventually took her mobility and then her life at age 106.

In terms of being there for him - do what you reasonably can. Don't wear yourself out with worry or trips. It doesn't help anyone. You are fortunate your sister is there to be with him.

I am sorry you lost your mum and your dad is so ill. (((((Hugs))) I know this is very difficult. BTDT.
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Reply to golden23
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Yes, they escalate for a time, then diminish as dementia progresses. My mom was beyond bad for 6-8 months. A calming med should help.
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Reply to bowgirl
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My mother was having hallucinations last year this time ...she saw fires & floods in the house (there was none..thank G-d) ...but I called ambulance & sent her to ER after she tried climbing out of bed to escape the imaginary fires & floods. They did NOTHING for her!!! A waste of time. I feel it was due to me stopping some of her meds that were doing nothing. Ask them at the facility if he recently stopped or started meds. These hallucinations pass, but you just have to wait them out. Sending them to ER for these things .... unless there is something they can give to calm them down. At the time, I gave more than the usual dosage and also something new the telemed dr. prescribed...but both did NOTHING!!! I'm telling you...whatever you do, it's useless, at least in my mother's case. Then after the hallucinations are over, she lethargic, listless and sleeps all day. It's like a tornado or hurricane passes and then it's over. It's inexplicable. HUGS
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Reply to CaregiverL
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It also depends on the type of dementia. My Papa had Lewy Body Dementia which has paranoid hallucinations as a symptom. He imagined all sorts of things and accused us of kidnapping him and financial crimes - none of which were true. He lived alone and took care of his own financial dealings at the time.

Medicine can control the hallucinations. It may take a bit of adjustment to get the dose absolutely correct, but that usually doesn’t take very long.

I know it’s very scary while you’re in the midst of it. Trust that the doctors will do their best to help him, after a physical exam to rule out any other findings.
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Reply to BeckyT
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Buddysgirl1: Confabulation is very common in an individual with dementia. Perhaps he should be checked for a U.T.I. that could, in all likelihood, make his hallucinations worse.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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I totally agree; the drug Ativan caused hallucinations and strange dreams for my Mom. We discontinued the drug and she was fine. A UTI also caused hallucinations for her.
Best wishes.
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Reply to LightJoy
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My mother was in a facility for a couple weeks after being hospitalized and becoming non ambulatory. She had only mild cognitive dysfunction, but was not happy about being there and doing a lot of OT and PT. She was having very vivid dreams/hallucinations during this period. I found out that they give many of their patients (including my mother) the drug Ativan to make them more compliant. As soon as she left the facility, and thus stopped the ativan, she returned to normal mentation for her.
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Reply to outwest
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Hallucinations and paranoia are common with Alzheimer's/Dementia. If dad has something wrong with him organically like an infection, that can greatly exacerbate the hallucinations and the paranoia. Confabulation is very common with dementia too, which is making up stories to support their feelings. My mother would tell me long, convoluted takes of how her girls at the Memory Care would move her to a new "hotel" every night after taking her to a lovely restaurant and a club with entertainment!

The doctor can likely prescribe meds for dad to help him with his hallucinations. After he's checked for a UTI or other infections that may be at play in his body.

You would do well to learn all you can about dementia so you'll know what to expect with dad. Google "Understanding the Dementia Experience"by Jennifer Ghent Fuller. It's a great 33pg booklet that should help you. You can order her nook of the same name on Amazon, too. A move to Memory Care Assisted Living might be the next best step for dad. It was for my mom bc it offered her a greatly shrunken down world which was a lot easier for her to manage. More 1 to 1 help and attention was provided as well.

Best of luck to you
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Reply to lealonnie1
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A black out stage is similar to blacking out from alcohol except this is a mental health issue. Another example comes from the peak of a manic episode from bipolar disease. The person will have no knowlege of the behavior.
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Reply to MACinCT
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Buddysgirl1 Nov 18, 2022
I never heard of that. Sounds like it would reoccur regularly without treatment. He does remember the hallucinations. He's happy now because the "voice" was arrested while he was away and safe, and is now in jail. And he also has learned that he can control it with the remote control. They were having an adjustable conversation when my sister left today (I guess they still talk, even from jail).
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There are medications that may help Dad with hallucinations. Its part of the Dementia. He may not be able to remain at the AL. He may need more care than the AL can provide. Usually, with Dementia, they go to Memory Care or Longterm care depending on how much money Dad has.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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My dad had a raging UTI , blood clots , at the hospital talked about where they were making him fried chicken in the building next door. My mom and aunt leaving him naked to hold onto a pole in a tornado, did not recognize me… my dr said this was not uncommon. It straightened out with treatment for his illness…

in the other hand my mom who had senility of the brain ( catch all diagnosis??? ) started having hallucinations, that escalated to a murder across the street etc.. the NP gave her medications to intervene
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Reply to babsjvd
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Buddysgirl1 Nov 18, 2022
Was the treatment just for the UTI, or did they do other treatments? I'm glad he got better.
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Mare sure they test for a UTI. They can be the cause of a sudden mental status change.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Buddysgirl1 Nov 18, 2022
He did have a UTI that they caught early maybe a month ago. I know they took a sample last night. Pretty sure it was clean.
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Being there wouldn’t accomplish anything but exhaustion and frazzled nerves for you. Sit tight, let sister handle it, and consider alternative plans for him. Based on your post, he isn’t a healthy 92 any more. That’s going to require a turnaround in your thinking, so you need this time to reflect, regroup and look after yourself before the spit hits the fan. Good luck to all of you.
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Reply to Fawnby
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Buddysgirl1 Nov 18, 2022
Thank you. I am concerned that this means more troubles to come. I guess I should prepare myself for whatever the new reality will be. I appreciate your honesty.
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At this point you will have no meaningful conversations with him until he gets treated. If he has dementia, there are some who behave like him. It might be the blackout stage. You cannot yet help him.Give some time and let doctors figure what medications He needs to settle before visiting.
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Reply to MACinCT
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Buddysgirl1 Nov 18, 2022
What is the black out stage? I'm going to do as the first responder suggested, and try to direct my energy into thoughts of what may be and how I will react to that once I go see him. Thank you.
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