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i hope someone can shed some light on/give me somewhere to start on my "situation"....my mother is 67 years old....functions normally in every way, shape, and form..except.....she is having quite the detailed and intricate delusions and paranoia. she thinks that a family from her home country (Scotland) has all moved to her town in Michigan....and that they are harassing her - following her, shining spotlights in her apartment window, and even using a top secret military electronic harassment machine on her. after almost a year of me not arguing but not feeding the delusions, i finally had the "talk" with her. i did it in a very loving way and am trying to force the issue to tell her M.D. about all of this and check for any physical anomaly. she has pretty much ditched her entire family (maybe because i seem to have a bit more patience)....but i am getting little more than lip service about her getting checked out. as i said, she is completely competent and normal in every other way....but the situation is progressively getting worse. she has taken to making a 2 + page list of license numbers that belong to "that" family...following her etc. if it helps, my grandmother (her mother) had alzheimer's. i am her oldest son and i am the only family left that she actually talks to. help? i just don't know where/how to proceed with her.

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Sounds exactly like my mom. She had low thyroid and after months of getting that straightened out it helped. Also aricept 5mg dose seems to help. My salvation is she loves to do jigsaw puzzles. I get the large pieces in the 300 and we progressed to 500.
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Good Answer Kathy!! My father had Alzheimer's. He had some mild paranoia and would hide his wallet from my mother. When he was in the moderate stage he would tell stories about his deceased mother visiting. I don't think he had hallucinations because he didn't talk to his mother and the stories were told in past tense. From what I have been told, Alzheimer patients can experience paranoia.
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My husband has Lewy Body Dementia and has lots a paranoid delusions. First you must find a way to get her tested (that could be the hard part, it sounds like) and if the tests show it is likely she has LBD, then medications can make a lot of difference. My LO is on Seroquel (not good for everybody, tho) and Depakote, and the really paranoid fantasies are pretty well under control. He still thinks dogs or bears keep nosing him in his chair and that the neighbor is building some giant turtle float, but he's not so anxious. Get her to a psychologist if possible - the neurologist prescribed the WRONG meds for my LO (you must research well and advocate, as "traditional" anti psychotics are BAD for dementia patients). Good luck! It can get better!
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Jeanne, you are right about being cut off due to the paranoia. I am going through that with my mother right now. She believes my sis and I are trying to take her money, house and have her placed in a NH. We have POA but it is scary that she will trust a stranger over her family. JW~ If she will go with you to an appt., I would certainly do that because there may be medication she can take. Good Luck to you.
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I believe that paranoia and delusions are not limited to dementia, although they can certainly be part of that disease. I don't think it usual for that to be the ONLY symptom of dementia. So, as the others have said, do try to get a medical/psychiatric evaluation to know what you are dealing with.

Yes, forcing the issue might get her so mad at you she'll stop talking to you. But not forcing the issue might result in the paranoia cutting you off anyway. There are no answers without risks. Do the best you can in your mother's interest, and don't beat yourself up if the results aren't perfect.

Good luck! Let us know what you find out.
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My Mother is 89 has had alzheimers for ten yrs. the last two have been hard but over the last 8 months she has really went down. She has lost 65lbs. and see's babies & laughs with them and talks to my father and all her brothers and sisters all of whom have passed away. I take care of her 24/7 and I feel like she is in her final stages. It is the most heartbreak I have ever known. When she laughs and talks to them I wonder if they talk back.I call them her angels waiting to take her home.I personally don't think it is anything but the alzheimers,and if so you won't be able to do much.But I also still get scared and call or take her to the Dr. just to make sure.
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If her primary care physician is not helping you, I would look up a neurologist. Will she go with you to a dr. appt.? If so, make one with a neurologist!!
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ty for giving me a little more insight......i don't believe this has been going on at any level her whole life....a friend of mine actually suggested Adult Protective Services yesterday when i was talking to her...my only hesitation is that my mother would get extremely embarrassed (happens) and not talk to me anymore....i am the ONLY member of the family who she talks to at this point....i think i will give APS a call and see what that's all about...thank you again for your response
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How she had these delusions/paranoia throughout her life? Have you considered Lewy Body Dementia? It is common for people with Lewy Body Dementia to hallucinate. However, if she has always had delusions/paranoid behavior she may have a mental illness that is getting worse because of dementia. I would take her to a neurologist that specializes in Alzheimer's/Dementia. Her primary care physician can recommend someone. People with Alzheimer's (from my knowledge to not hallucinate), they will however, tell stories of deceased family members visiting them. You may think she is competent because she can keep herself clean, pay bills, feed herself, but she seems to not have a grasp on reality. Another option is to have Adult Protective Services visit her. They are skilled in making decisions regarding a person ability to take care of themselves and can force her to be evaluated. You mention that you are the only family member left who takes an interest. Does she have a family history of making drama, accusations, etc? There is a thread on this site "The Caregiver and Dysfunctional Families", you should check it out. Read what others have posted regarding a parent with mental illness/Alzherimer's. I wish you the best, I know this is a difficult situation but there are answers out there for you!!
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