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My Mom is 90. I have taken care of her daily since 1996, when her live-in boyfriend died of a heart attack. I helped her daily so she could stay living in her house. She didn't want to go to an ALF. She has had lifelong arthritis, stage 4 breast cancer 2011, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, many TIAs, stroke 2014, massive stroke 2014, heart attack 2014, vascular dementia, pacemaker, AFIB, visual impairment, hallucinations and extreme hearing loss. I have been staying with her since I brought her home from the rehab center in August 2014 and assumed the role of 24/7 caregiver.
Mom needs assistance to do virtually everything; sitting up, standing up, walking, washing, dressing. When she is walking or standing I have to hold her so she won't fall over. I usually set her up to brush her teeth in bed at night so she doesn't have to stand up. She has been in bed for about 2 years, except to go to the bathroom or when I take her out to a doctor's appointment.
She doesn't think anything belongs to her; won't believe this is her house, thinks her teeth and hair belong to someone else. She doesn't like to brush her teeth or comb her hair because she insists they are not hers. She thinks her mother and father are still alive. I explain it to her usually 3 times a day. Her father died in 1967 and her mother in 1985. She usually calls me by her sister's name who died in 1972. She doesn't acknowledge that I am her son.
She didn't sleep at all last night. She has been up for about 24 hours. Her brain needs rest. Usually she isn't up for more than 6-7 hours at a time. Today she is agitated and hallucinating. She was talking to imaginary people in the bedroom. She thinks people are in the house. I walked her through the house so she could see no one else is here. Now she thinks they just left. She keeps talking about people who have died like she has talked to them within the past couple of days. She puts the burden on me to tell her where they are. I explain it to her but 2 minutes later she is asking the same question. It is getting very stressful for me. She is usually confused, but she has bouts like this when she is much worse about every 3-4 weeks lately. A month ago she refused to come in the house after a doctor's appointment because she said I took her to the wrong house and she doesn't live here. I ended up having to take her to the crisis center. The doctor said she has late-stage dementia. After she seemed stable I took her home and she came in the house. I am afraid to take her out because I don't know if I will have the same issue when we get home.
I don't even know what my question would be at this point. Any advice or comments.

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John, with the sudden agitation and seeing people who are not there, sounds like it could be an urinary tract infection [UTI] which can cause such symptoms. A quick trip to her primary doctor or an urgent care center they can run a very easy test.

I can just imagine all the stress you are going through, plus it is so hard to see one's parents mind just fall apart like that. I know it was sad watching my Mom's brain do that. The best thing is to play along with whatever Mom says. Don't tell her anyone had died, just say so & so is busy they will call her later in the week. Otherwise she will grieve each time you tell her of the death.

Maybe it is now the time to place Mom into a Memory Care facility. Don't worry about her first day there, the Staff has been on that rodeo hundreds of time.... they know what to do. Otherwise you will crash and burn from all the stress, then what? Who would take care of your Mom?
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I would report her condition to her doctor and inquire what is causing it and request a referral for a geriatric psychiatrist. She needs help addressing her mental distress.
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John, is she on any medication to help her sleep or to help with the agitation? If not, ask about it, if she already is then she may need a review. Also a lot of people have mentioned that infections, especially urinary tract ones (UTI), or untreated pain can bring on behavioural changes in the elderly. Having the doc tell you she has late stage dementia wasn't very helpful, you need to insist she gets some relief from her symptoms!
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Continue the meds that made her stable, there should be prescriptions for them. Ask the primary MD if he can send a visiting nurse once a week. Please, please, please take care of yourself!! That means getting a sitter once a week and taking a day off, leave the house and get fresh air.
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