My 77yr old mom has been mentally declining over the past several years. In the last 6 months it seems to have accelerated. Testing has shown that she has significant shrinkage to the left side of her brain and that she has had numerous mini-strokes. The doctor feels that she is also suffering from some type of dementia. I can handle the forgetfulness, repeated questions and other issues, but it's the people she insists are in the house I can't deal with. We do live together so I am there everyday, at first she was not scared of this people. Now though she says she wants them out and she is somewhat afraid of them. I have asked her if she thinks that they may be a result of her illness but she disagrees. She knows that I can't see them, however, she can't understand why I don't do something about them. Short of having a Shaman come and chase away the people does anyone have any suggestions?
For us, the torch style lamps worked best as the light is pretty up and straight directional so theres's minimal shadows if you have them in a corner with nothing around, and they were tall enough that she couldn't get to them. These were from IKEA under $ 12 too with the switch on the side of pole, which was good as she didn't see it to mess with it. Jeanne - I'd forgotten about the shadow issue......she had a whole thing on the shadows coming in at night back when she was in IL. Her apt was alongside the driveway to the parking carports and even though it was on the 3rd floor, the car lights would track only along her bedroom wall and freak her. DId a long valence on that window and problem solved. You really have to get down to their sightline to "see" how they do.
At her NH now, they come around and turn off the lights, tv's at 9PM and it seems they have the sundowners on one side of her floor.
About the dizziness, ask her md about having her on a vertigo drug.
One big issue is they try to get up quickly and get dizzy from the change in pressure in doing this. Sometimes if they pump their hands while still in bed or after sitting for long periods of time ( open & close their hands and alternate with clenching/making a fist) this gets their blood going so when they stand they don't get dizzy. Try doing this with her for a week to see if it makes a difference.
If you can try to get your mom to be seen by a gerontologist. They will be able to better evaluate your mom as who what type of dementia and where she is on the spectrum of stages of each type. Not all dementia;s are alike or treated the same.
If there is a medical school within driving distance, then try to get her an appointment with one of the gerontolgists affiliated with the medical school.
My mom likely has Lewy Body Dementia - she sees small animals and has very elaborate "false beliefs". No UTI's. At the beginning, the hallucinations were of concern to her but now about 5 yrs into it, she just kinda takes it as a matter of fact. She is on Exelon patch and Remeron and for her, they work well and keep her "level". Now it takes like 3 months for them to get into their system and the meds need to be very much on a time schedule but for her it is a good thing.
In a way, your mom is spot-on in that she IS losing her mind. The dementia is causing her brain to shrink and for parts of it to die or go black. Good luck.
I suppose you've read the answers in this thread, and know that a uti is often the culprit. It is very important to have her tested for that.
Perhaps instead of trying to convince Mother that the people aren't real, Sis could work on convincing her that there is a plan in place to keep them out.
Hallucinations can also be caused by infections, in particular uti's. Be sure to rule that possibility out.
Aside from these practical medical considerations, tltimme, I can't understand why you are not doing anything about these people. Don't you happen to know a Shaman? Or an Officer of the Law. Or a friend who owns or would rent an officer of the law uniform? Whatever its cause, this is your mother's reality. If it's not a problem for her, live with it. If it is bothering her, help her change it, in a way she can accept and take comfort in.
I see that this thread started back in Oct. Tltimme, if you are still around, it would be interesting to have an update.
DLB is the 2nd most common form of dementia, after Alzheimers. Other signs include fluctuations in alertness (sleepy some days, alert on others); difficulty with REM (rapid eye movement) sleep (the person tends to act out their dreams); cognitive decline; or delusions.
There is no individual test that can give a definitive diagnosis of DLB. Instead, clinicians arrive at the diagnosis by systematically eliminating other causes of the symptoms.
I'm a geriatric neuropsychologist in Northern California and I specialize in the diagnosis of dementia. Good luck with your mother.
Yesterday, she told my sister that her (deceased) sister told her she's crazy. lol She must have been telling Aunt Virg about the rude kids.
Who knows, maybe her hallucinations will convince her she needs help. That would be an interesting twist. We living, breathing humans can't seem to get through to her.
I wish I could get Mom to go back to the doctor so he could tell her not to drive! I wish I were convinced he'd really get invested in her care since I can't get her to go to anyone else.
Maybe I should talk to Aunt Virg....... lol
Looking back there is usually something she saw or heard that triggered what the hallucination is. Like for the bats, they were doing arts & crafts that were about Halloween. The rabbit well probably was linked to their seeing an old Fred Astair movie. As time has gone on she seems to take them in stride as a matter of fact.
For us, that is the key, it is for her fact and not a "false belief". She is in NH as of this year (moved from IL) and on Exelon patch, Remeron (great old school anti anxiety med), Antivert daily. I've done prior posts on our experience with LBD with my mom on this site. LBD is really different than ALZ which is a linear progression of decline. LBD is more random with an "episode", which I think is an effect of a protein breakdown which creates the Lewy Bodies. Jeannie Gibbs, who posts on this site, really knows oodles of solid information on LBD, so check out the very good & detailed posts from her.
For us, the episodes which would be maybe every 6 - 8 months, got closer & closer and she started wandering in the evening. Refused to take her meds, and increased paranoia (people wanted to be her, assume her identity). Started calling the police on robberies and demanding they arrest specific people at IL. Presto and no surprise,we moved her from IL direct to NH with no AL in between.
Has she had a Folstein test and does her doc do a mini-cog test every 90/120 days on her and what does her brain scan look like? If she hasn't had these done find a gerontologist for her to go to to get these baseline tests done. They are most helpful to see what stage of dementia they are on the scale that is based on fact and can be repeated over time to see loss and in which cognitive areas.