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I have been taking care of my 97 year old mother 24/7 for the past 2 years. This morning I woke up with the noise from her slaming her closet door. She got up very early and very upset saying: "Why did you do this to me?. I never thought you'd be so evil!". She was imagining I had taken her children (including me) to the patio. No matter how many times I explained to her that it was only a dream, and to get back in bed, she came in to my bedroom a few minutes later calling me by my father's name, who passed away 9 years ago. I opened her bedroom window to show her there was no one in the patio. She still did not calm down and took my hand to lead her into the living room. It took a while for her to calm down and relax. By this time it was time to start breakfast. A few hours later she completely forgot what happened earlier. I realize it will get worse. She has a very mild case of dementia, but, this was the very first time I saw her behaving like this. When should I contact her doctor for an evaluation?. She is in good health, except for her bad hearing and she has cataracts. She only takes two medications to control her cholesterol and blood pressure, which are normal at this time. I feel blessed for her good health at her age.

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Thanks for your responses. About 2 years ago she had the "sundowner syndrome". She was always closing the shutters and her bedroom curtains, even applying masking tape to areas where the light would come through. Her excuse was that there were people peeking through her windows spying on her. Now, she doesn't do that anymore since I moved in with her. A few years ago she had UTI. Her doctor wanted her to go to a convalescent home to administer the antibiotics. However, before she was admitted my spouse and I got to the CH before the ambulance to check the plce out. The hallways smelled like urine and her room was too small as she was to share the room with two other patients. We got approval from her Insurance and doctor to treat her ourselves before she got there via ambulance, and we brought her home. A private nurse came to show us how to administer the antibiotics and she recovered wonderfully after that. Ever since that time I didn't like the idea of placing her in a CH. As you both mention, I will take her to see her doctor again and have her check out for UTI as her urine smells very strong indeed. I am very thankful for this forum where I learned many things in caring for my mother. Thanks again.
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I'm sorry for you both that this is happening. As the others have said, now is the time to contact the doctor, to check for uti or other readily treatable causes.

If this should happen to be a progression of the dementia, the sooner you know that, the better.

Hallucinations are seeing things that are not there. Delusions are believing things that are false. Not that it matters much to you, dealing with it, but it may matter to a doctor trying to figure out what is going on. Did your mother see her children being taken to the patio? Or did she awake with the belief that is what happened? When she came into your room, did she she your father there?

Hallucinations or delusions, people having them believe strongly in their reality. It is generally futile to try to talk them out of it. Since your mother had just awakened, assuring her that she'd had a dream was a good try.

If the vision/belief is not disturbing to the loved one, going along with it may be the best way to keep things calm. There are kittens in your closet? I like kittens, don't you? Let me know if they are still there this afternoon and I'll get some cat food, but they probably have a home to go to.

If the loved one is disturbed, offering to fix the problem (which she finds very real) might help. Mom, I'll go down to the patio right now, bring the children in, and make sure they are tucked in safe and sound. Then I'll come tuck you in, too.

I know this seems crazy. But maybe you can make peace with it if it brings your mother some peace.

Do get Mom checked out medically. Best of luck in dealing with this.
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Definately check for UTI. My mom does this when she has one. When she is clear she is as sane as I am..or saner.
Does her urine smell strong? That and the confusion is my first hint..then I call the doc to make it go away. Please make sure, if she has one left untreated she can get septic.
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I always start with the simplest things first. Rule out a UTI. Has she had any changes in her meds or in strength? Has she had problems with "sundowner's syndrome" which effects elders as the sun sets. My Mom can get completely irrational in the evening and be back to her old self in the morning. Turning lights on and giving her hot cocoa and an OTC pain reliever works well.
If you rule out minor things, then it is time to see her doc, although they mostly go by anecdotal information from the family.
good luck
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