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My parents live together in an independent living place. Dad has Parkinson's Disease (later stage) and is deaf. My mother has been his primary caretaker, but has been going down the dementia road. She is convinced that rapists are there, and that the residents are sitting around talking about sex. She is terrified that she is going to be attacked, and has started barricading the door (not very effectively - I can still get in).
She refuses to leave Dad alone, because she fears that someone will harm him in her absence, and I believe she is just making mental state even worse by confining herself.
Of course, I cannot convince her that people don't just sit around talking about sex, or that there is not violent criminal behavior going on there. She is otherwise healthy, takes no medication, and won't take anti-depressants, even though her doc has filled a prescription for her 3 times in the last year. She takes 3 or 4 of them, then refuses to take any more.
When my parents moved to my town 2 years ago, I expected Dad to be the big challenge. Instead, it's turned out to be Mom. Any suggestions on how I can ease Mom's terrifying thoughts?

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It's not depression - something has sent her anxiety levels off the scale. And apart from the odd (and potentially risky) behaviour this is leading to, the poor love! - Can you imagine what it feels like to be in her head right now???

I'd get back to her doctor, describe what she's doing, and ask for short-term help to get her over the hump until such time as you can get her to a neurologist, maybe? Although it could be that caregiving has stressed her out and exacerbated an underlying problem. In any case, I agree with Sunnygirl - seek advice urgently.
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Sunnygirl1's answer is excellent. A former client was acting out in her assisted living facility, with aggression, paranoia and hostility. Her children transferred her to a special unit at John Hopkins Hospital for observation. After adjusting her meds and taking her away from a harmful outside caregiver who was feeding her paranoia, she is no even-tempered and pleasant again.
Your situation makes me ask if there was anything unusual in her environment to precipitate this change in behavior?
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Adding that I would agree with Sunny that it's an emergency; this kind of fear can seriously affect not only her emotional stability but her physical health.

I'm also wondering if there's been a change in your father's health or anything else that might be frightening her. I ask this because when my sister was in the terminal months of cancer, her oncologist had a frank discussion with both of us one day trying to address the denial that was affecting our outlook. Her oncologist wasn't very tactful, and we both left that appointment with very unsettling and depressing thoughts. It was as if we had been hit by high winds, slapped around, picked up and dumped down on the ground and left alone in the middle of a violent storm.

That night I had what I'd call an anxiety episode, hearing the sounds around the house as loud ones, sufficient to suggest someone was prowling and/or attempting to break in. This went on for hours until I finally gave in and called the police, who found nothing.

After I calmed down the next day, I heard the sounds again that night. It was the lilac bush being brushed against the house, something I had heard for months, but in the heightened state of fear and anxiety, the sounds were so much louder that it literally scared the wits out of me.

I'm wondering if your mother is in a similar state, for whatever reason, perhaps the change in living environment and the fact that she and your father are living in a facility shared by a lot of people they don't know. Coupled with dementia, being surrounded by people she doesn't know could be scaring her to the point of delusions.
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What a horrible situation. I agree with Sunnygirl1. They shouldn't be left alone. Granted, I don't know that much about Parkinsons but if she has hallucinations and be paranoid, she could inadvertently hurt herself of your father.
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Is there anything in her past that could be resurfacing now? Was anyone in your family assaulted, raped, or victim of a violent crime?
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It's not likely you will ease her fears. You can't talk someone out of believing a delusion or hallucination. I would immediately get her to her doctor to see what the trouble is. It could be a UTI or some other illness. It could be dementia. It's not uncommon in dementia patients to have these.

Until it's resolved, I would not think it is safe for her to be left alone or the caretaker for another person. She and your dad may be at risk. I'd see that they are supervised until the hallucinations and delusions are resolved. That might be done with medication, but if she is resistant to taking medication, then she may not be able to live unsupervised. Her medication would have to properly administered by someone else.

I'd quickly look for places for placement or somewhere she can stay until she gets diagnosed and the hallucinations under control. I would treat it as an emergency. I wish you all the best.
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