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My Grandmother has been staying at my parent's house for about a week now after recently being in the hospital. A quick background she has Dementia and lives alone, but has 2 groups of nurses aids to help her out from the morning until night time. She had fallen one afternoon so they called an ambulance and brought her to the hospital. Tests seemed to be fine, nothing was broken and they did pretty much every test you could think of on her (CT, bloodwork, etc). Now since she has been staying at my parent's, every morning she claims to be incredibly sick (usually says just nausea) and can't get up on her own. Since she has dementia she forgets where she is and believes she is in her own home. When no one is visible to her she has no problem getting up and walking around on her own. She has a walker that she uses to get around most of the time with my family, but sometimes when she's alone (or thinks she is) she doesn't even need it to get up and walk around. At night time she's more mobile and active as she mostly sleeps all throughout the daytime, waking up to eat or use the bathroom. This is when she claims she can't get up and calls for someone to help her. My mom has recently been encouraging her to at least try and get up on her own when she asks, and it seems every time she tries she is able to. It is just strange because every morning it seems to be the same repeating process. She claims to be incredibly sick and helpless, but by the night time seems fine. Forgot to also mention that since she sleeps all day she can be heard getting up late hours of the night walking around. Is this sickness just all in her head and is the dementia just making her believe she has these symptoms? She could possibly be faking her sickness but I just don't believe she has the brain capability to do that.

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Selective dementia......DEFINITELY! !!! Mother is a master manipulator and trots out a wide variety of tricks to get attention. Lately it's being SO SO sick with nausea every day, several times a day, but mostly in the morning. She overeats every meal, then wonders why she's nauseous. Has GERD and diverticulitis but refuses to eat properly to avoid flare ups. She'll have yet another doctor appointment and lots of blood work, again, and again, nothing will be wrong with her. I suppose, at 91, something WILL be wrong for real one of these days, and this may be The Big One Elizabeth, but I seriously doubt it. I just listen to the list of ailments, tell her to set a doc appointment at the ALF, and pay all the bills that come thru. With her, it's the Boy Who Cried Wolf syndrome, so I tend to take everything with a grain of salt.
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Reply to lealonnie1
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Good idea on the blood sugar check - I'd also check blood pressure. Maybe one or both of those are wacky first thing. I doubt that folks with much dementia are "selectively" using their feeling sick as a pretext for more attention. I tend to think that their brains have a few loops that they get stuck in and feeling bad may be a loop that they repeat because it's what their brain remembers. There may be some basis in fact or it may just be a loop. Hard to tell.

My mom didn't have feeling sick as a part of her repetition but she did have loops about different topics and would repeat herself word-for-word. It was kind of amazing sometimes because I could repeat back exactly what she would say because I'd heard her responses so many times. 
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Reply to blannie
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Has she had a blood sugar check in the morning to see if it is very low?
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Reply to MACinCT
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does dementia cause your stomach to be sick on a daily bassic and nausea or is there a perperation to get gravol only help.for awhile please help please
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Reply to wayney777
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Sounds almost identical to my mother. Sick with one thing or another all the time. Worse in the morning and can be ok by evening.
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Reply to Jaxter
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These descriptions of dementia and being ‘sick’ with one thing or another are exactly the same as my mother. Every morning there’s another symptom... nausea, pain, UTI symptoms, etc. Mostly I think she is genuinely feeling lousy. Lately she’s becoming very distressed by her symptoms - panics, cries, shakes, says she’s scared and can’t calm herself down. As I understand it, this is all part of the dementia picture. It’s a horrible disease.
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Reply to Jaxter
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klf329..Lol she nearly knocked you over that made me laugh so true I see that a lot too & I would love to know the answer can dementia symptoms be selective?
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Reply to mollymaid2
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Every morning I call my Mom, she is "so sick, the sickest I've ever been". I feel it's being used for attention. Mom has always been needy. The other day, I showed up around 5:30 pm. Asked her how she was and got the "I'm so sick" response. I said that was too bad because I was going to take her out for supper. She almost knocked me over on her way to get her coat so we could go out for supper! Can symptoms of dementia be selective?
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Reply to klf329
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timtim, my mother also does not want to go out now. It started about 3 years ago. She would say that she didn't feel up to it, the weather was too hot or too cold, the sun was too bright or it was too cloudy. Occasionally she would go out and enjoy it, but it became less and less. After she fell a couple of months ago, she has been reluctant to go out at all.

Because of her dementia she doesn't have a good sense of time. In her mind she only quit going on walks last summer and she's been going outside up until the last month or so. She doesn't realize that the only time she's gotten out of the house in the last few years is pretty much when I take her to church, the doctor, or out to eat.

It can be frightening to think that we may be the same in the future. I wish there was a way to get our parents more interested in living again, but I try not to nag at my mother. I figure at 89 it can be better just to let her be comfortable.
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Reply to JessieBelle
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It is a mystery. I'd be curious as to how her condition goes as her dementia progresses.

My cousin had a number of ailments before she got dementia. But, since she got dementia, she doesn't have them. She no longer has allergies, heartburn, sinus infections, etc. It's amazing.

I would keep a log of her complaints and revisit it if she keeps complaining. Doctors can't always be sure that there is not a cause for the sickness, although, her feeling sick could be psychological. And if that's the case, it's still real to her and should be treated as a real ailment. I might ask the doctors if a little Malox or even a placebo would be appropriate.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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Thanks for the answers and information. She has been to several different types of doctors, my father is a Radiologist as well and it seems there's nothing physically wrong. Every other specialists have also said she is healthy as well. Her medication definitely could be a factor although she isn't administered her meds until the afternoon, usually as she doesn't tend to eat immediately upon waking up. Her meds haven't really changed as shes been taking the same ones for probably a decade. Her diet varies depending on her appetite and what she'll actually want to eat, but she does get home cooked/made meals everyday so she has a variety of different types of food. It's just strange that it's everyday that she claims she's sick. Even while living at home the nurses try to encourage her to get up so that they can take her out, but she hasn't been willing to go for probably the last couple years. She just tells them that she's too sick and lies back down on the couch. I also just want to point out that it's not strictly nausea that she claims to have when she says she's sick. Nausea is just the most common symptom she'll have when asked.
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Reply to timtim332
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BTW, when I say "make them do it" I don't mean to be a heavy-handed boss. I only meant not to do it for them. This is easier said than done. When you see things that need to be in the refrigerator, it is hard to leave it just setting until they decide to put it away.
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Reply to JessieBelle
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timtim, my mother is sicker in the mornings. I'm sorry to say that she has embraced being sick as her late life career. She has vascular dementia and is sick with something all day every day. It is worst in the morning. It is hard to know how much to do for them, particularly when there are things that are really wrong. It is hard to know how much they can do for themselves and what we should do for them. The guideline I use is if I know she can do something, then I tell her to do it herself. I don't say it unkindly, but tell her I want her to do it because it is good for her to keep doing things. I have learned that if I start doing things for her, she loses the ability to do them for herself. It is like if something is not in rote memory, then she won't be able to do it.

I've recently started doing my mother's laundry for my own peace of mind. She was having such trouble going up and down the steps that I worried. I didn't want to take it over, but knew it was time. We have to use our own judgment on what they can and can't do. If they can do something, I think it is good to make them do it for their own good.
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Reply to JessieBelle
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Not sure, but I am only 62, relatively healthy, but many mornings I get up I just feel blah or even somewhat sick. Tends to go away, but it is probably real.
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Reply to twocents
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I would read a lot about dementia and how if effects people. It's quite common for people who suffer to have sleep disturbances and other ailments.

Her feeling nauseous could be an actual ailment or part of the dementia. They sometimes have delusions.

I would take it all seriously and have it evaluated by her doctor. A geriatric doctor would be beneficial. It sounds like that was done and that she has undergone a lot of tests. Just to be sure, I'd have more done to rule out something else that may be physically wrong with her. Is her medication making her sick? What about anxiety or depression? They can make you feel sick too. I'd check on some medication that might make her feel better.

What about her diet? That could be making her sick. I'd check all things, like allergies, meds, indigestion, stress, etc. and work with a doctor to treat it.

It's not uncommon for a dementia patient to be able to walk at times, but not others. Their memory may be better on some days than others. I think I would lean away from seeing her as being manipulative, as most dementia patients don't have that capacity.

They often forget to use their walker and the only real way to fix that is to supervise them at all times. I know that is difficult to do.

Some dementia patients call out for help a lot. It's often part of that particular type of dementia. I would consult with her doctor to see how to address it.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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Sounds familiar
I administer Tylanol in AM and miraculously she recovers. I would think it is her confabulating phycosymantic symptoms
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Reply to UncleDave
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