Does anyone know if hallucinations are caused by the dementia?

Follow
Share

My 77 year old mom has hallucinations or is it the anxiety meds. she's on? I can't tell if mom is in late stage dementia or not. She has been incontinent with her bladder for awhile but is now with bowels. She is on anxiety medicine. She is having hallucinations but I don't know if its due to the medicines or just the disease. She doesn't know anyone by name any more but does still have some face recognition. She has severe back pain from previous surgery. she is starting to hold food and fluid in her mouth and has started spilling her drinks and food on the table and floor. My mom is 77 and was diagnosed in 2009 but we know she has had it longer than that. I love her so much I hate seeing her struggle every day. She lives with me and I wouldn't have it any other way.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
20

Answers

Show:
Would you mind terribly sharing what meds specifically are being given? Not just the "psych" meds, but others can actually cause some of what you are describing. And if her "anixety" med is actually an antipsychotic, her motor problems could be related to that. There's a fix for that if she really can't do without a medication in that class. This is not as easy a question as you'd think!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Ginnny 5: All situations can vary, but I will share and experience from my mom's situation. Dad died at age 81 and my mom after that, lived 10 years out on the farm alone, with only her dog. We kids checked in on her and grandchildren also. She did not wish to live with her kids. She had many health issues, as many older ones do. Broken hip, replaced. Another broken hip, pinned, and then another surgery to replace that hip. She had osteoporosis, so her back was also a mess. With some help through it all, she remained in her home as long as possible. Her doctor gave her what he called it "medicine to help her sleep". ( Mom never questioned the doctors about medications, if they gave her something, she trusted it was always okay.) But what it proved to be was pills for anxiety. She started having all kinds of problems. She would tell the same story to my sister and me , separately, but same story, of seeing a man walking down her sidewalk with overalls and a white shirt on. Once he went down one direction through the sheds outside, and another time down sidewalk straight west toward implement shed. Finally when my son was called up to turn off the lights out in the shed on a snowy day, I happened to stop in to share pizza with her at the same time my son was there, unbeknown to me, checking out the light in the shed and the footprints outside her window in the snow. By then things were coming together a bit. My son said, no light was on in shed grandma, and no foot prints in the snow except the ones I made. She said, " Am I losing my mind?" I said to her, "mom, you recall you started on a medication recently to help you sleep, but it is actually an anxiety pill that can cause you to see things that are not there. (I had looked the medication up on line and read the possible side effects.) So she replied, "Well, I am just going to stop taking that then." And she did improve when quitting the medicine. Some times, it appears doctors try one thing and then another to give comfort to their patients, only to find that sometimes the meds side effects prove to be worse than the condition they are trying to help. Mom's eye sight and bones proved to decline, due to having been given the drug predizone (spelling?) for a health condition. Her bones and eyes took it' toll on her and she become bedfast and blind the last four years of her life..To this day, I feel like the medications she was given harmed her more than helped her, but so it goes. She lived to be 98 years old, but her quality of life left something to be desired, especially after having to be in a care center the last seven years of her life. She had been a hard working, caring person in her younger days, and it was a very difficult thing to see her go through those trying last years. I can certainly understand how you feel and wish things were better for your loved one. Keep on loving, caring and enduring, while trying to keep your health well and strong. Love to you. Hugs sent your way. joylee
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This is a timely topic for me. Mom hasn"t had a urine test in quite a while, but since its summer and quite warm I have noticed that she doesn't drink nearly enough water. Last week she woke up in the night and put her pants on. I heard her in her room and went in. She said that she wanted to know where the phone was.. A man's voice told her that she had a collect phone call from Larry. She was about to go into the kitchen to get the phone. Larry is her son that had polio and passed away about 45 years ago. That freaked both of us out. She had a dazed look on her face for quite a while, then she cried because she knew it was a dream and she imagined it. I seemed so real to her.... I sat with her for a long time and we talked until she was ready to go back to sleep... I am pretty sure that she is dehydrated but just really has a hard time drinking water. She has to have a half frozen water bottle, wont drink warm "pee water" as she calls it. She drinks maybe half the bottle the whole day... She takes so many things to help her bowels and water is soo important.. I will take her to her Dr to see whats going on. Any ideas for her?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Have her checked for a UTI Immediately especially if she is incontinent. After age 50 we are no longer able to feel the burning or pain a UTI usually displays which makes it dangerous to the point that if the infection goes on too long it can travel to the bladder and up to the kidneys and shut them down. Delusions are the first thing that indicates infection is occurring see it in the nursing home all the time just one drop of fecal matter entering the urethra sets it in motion
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Every case is individual. It's really good that you come to this forum. I would like to see you go to support groups in your local area and there will be some through the Parkinson's association and through Alzheimer's groups. Your doctor is your ally, and you must keep in close touch with his/her office for help, and if you don't get answers, then find another doctor. It sounds like she has early onset Alzheimer's disease. There is so much that you can learn as a caregiver, and I encourage you to continue to seek those answers. But at the same time, look after yourself, and get help. I recommend that you find a home care agency in your area that has trained dementia caregivers. Have 2 mornings for yourself for example. Let them come in and clean up your Mom and do the wash, change the linens, etc. You can sleep in or if that's not practical, just go out - to a support group, coffee with friends, a walk - something to rejuvenate yourself, because the disease is progressive, and you will become more challenged and drained.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

The hallucinations are a result of the dementia. The swallowing issues are as well. Go for flan, puddings, ice cream, & frozen yogurt to give her proteins and calories.It is very hard to watch them deteriorate. I am a retired nurse, but that doesn't make it any easier to watch my husband become more frail day by day. Just tell her you love her and care for her the best you can, and she will know that she is loved and cherished.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My 91 yr old mother has Parkinson's and Dementia. At first we had to adjust her meds. Love her PCP he is so patient and proactive! We worked out the meds which helped but didn't completely stop the problem. We discovered when she wasn't feeling herself she would have dreams where she thought someone was banging on the door in the middle of the night. We adjusted her attitude about naps not being ok. It took her Dr. telling her to take naps and not get over tired. She has not had these dreams in months. Hope you can get to the bottom of your problem!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I think possibly both, but my mom started having the hallucinations after she had 2 minor strokes. They would really scare here too. And she was ashamed to tell the doctor and at first even me. But eventually she did so I told the doctor about them. He said it would have been from the small amts. of brain damage that was being caused by the strokes each time she had one. My heart goes out to you.....It's so difficult.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Don't fall into the "caregiver dementia" category which is a real potential if you are doing all of the caregiving. It is commendable, but for myself it was a wise move to have my wife in Assisted Living and I can go see her any time and I can live. My life was so wrapped up in caregiving and being at home for safety that my wife wanted to move to ALF. God can lead you. HE will also supply as HE wills. Our person that helped us make the choice told me that many of the folk that come to the retirement center pushing the person who really needs the help is the one she has over the years seen pass away first. My wife and I have chosen that this is the best for both of us.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My husband has Parksinson's and dementia. He was having hallucinations since about November of 2013. Last summer it became extremely bad. Not only did he see children and animals in the house, he would see me as one of his adult children when they were much younger. Then he would ask, "Where is Pam? What did you do with her?" He would begin looking for me and become very agitated. And I was standing right in front him but had to just go along with him to prevent even more agitation. I would try different things to "trick his mind" back into reality - change a piece of clothing, quietly go out the front door without him seeing me and come in the back door, secretly go into another room of the house and then come out saying "Hi, Dennis. It's Pam. What are you doing?" Most of the time this would work but it just kept getting worse and worse.

Last December we had an appointment with his neurologist and I asked her about a medication that I read about on this website for dementia. She said she would rather try Aricept and, if taken with his largest meal, should not upset his stomach. She said it should take care of the hallucinations. She started him out on 5 mg. The hallucinations were pretty much stopped during the day but we were still having problems with his sun downing. So she increased it to 10 mg. 2 weeks later the hallucinations stopped! I am so thankful!

He still occasionally sees a bug that is not there or a skunk running through the back yard, that thankfully is not there. But little things like that we can live with. And if things start to get worse, the Aricept can be increased. This drug has literally been a God-send! Many have told us that it seems like the old Dennis is back!

We also found that using a therapy lamp (the kind used for SAD disorders) helped with some of the daytime hallucinations even before he started on the Aricept.

Ask you doctor and see what she/he thinks.

Blessings to you and your Mom.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions