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I live with my mother, who has advancing dementia and the most unreal, surreal, completely out of nowhere delusions and hallucinations. I could never in my wildest dreams have imagined the things she comes up with. And they are all horrible. My sister and I are building some kind of torture structure in the backyard to kill her in terrible ways. There are people in the house who are going to kill her. My sister puts things in her ears at night so she can't hear. Etc.


In answer to similar questions about how to handle this, many posters have offered suggestions like check for UTI, get her on medication, redirect her and so on. None of these things work. Believe me, I've tried them all. (She is on Seroquel, which probably helps to a degree; who knows how bad it would be without it?) It also doesn't work to try to tell her these things aren't happening to her. I know this, but sometimes I can't stop myself and I lose my patience way too often. At the suggestion of another poster, I'm carrying a worry stone, in my case a small glass heart. Holding onto it for dear life gives me a moment to take a breath and calm myself down when things go completely off the rails.


I would love to hear from anyone who is dealing with a combative, impossible to redirect LO who is having hallucinations and delusions that go so far beyond the garden variety "somebody stole my purse" that they might as well be from Planet Xenon. In the meantime, I am carrying my worry stone with me at all times.

I am going through the same thing exactly with my fiancé’s mother. It’s a nightmare. Everyday is a battle. We have changed meds several times. She is also on Seroquel and like you it’s hard to see if it’s working. She is also on Zoloft and lorazepam. She has three personalities that I have named. Before my fiancé comes home from work I send him a text to let him know which one she is. It’s either crazy Maria who thinks people are going to steal her things so she hides her stuff in drawers and in the closet and puts clothes and towels on top of them, she thinks her sister is coming to get her so she is always pulling everything out of her closet and drawers to pack, nasty Nancy who is just nasty and combative or Sally whom walks around hallucinating, seeing people, hearing things and just paranoid. She follows me all over and just babbles. I don’t understand her most of the time. She also comes up with bazaar stories. She thinks there is a lady that comes to pick her up and brings her to a house and brings her back. She says the woman comes through her bedroom window and goes back out the window. She sits on the couch and forgets where she is at and asks when we are leaving to go home. She goes to the door several times waiting for her husband to come home when he passed away three years ago. She is always falling and she calls her sisters at all hours of the night. She does not sleep well therefore I don’t get much sleep either. There is so much more that happens with dementia and so far there is nothing that helps her sleep. It is a nightmare trying to deal with this 24/7. My next step is a Phycologist to see what we can do as this disease gets worse. She is at the latter stage and I am told it just gets harder. I try my best to stay healthy. I have a gym and I walk my dogs as much as I can. I have always been an outdoorsy person and very much into working out. Having to deal with someone with Dementia is one of the biggest challenges I have ever faced. It draining and sucks you dry. I refuse to go on meds so I exercise and work on art projects along with refurbishing furniture. In the summer I do a lot of yard work while she sits on the deck. You are always watching and waiting for things to happen. They say it’s like taking care of a child. It’s not like that, it’s in a category of its own. A child eventually learns what is right from wrong. Someone with dementia forgets everything and the brain forgets what you told them. They do not learn anymore and they do things that will blow your mind.
So as far as anyone going through what you are, the answer is yes. People say one day at a time but living with a person with dementia is like one day running into the next. Always stay on your toes just waiting for the next disaster.
Good luck with your journey. When it’s over you can breathe again.
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DILKimba Feb 22, 2019
This is so true. All of it. Sorry you are going through this.
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Man, I feel your pain. Our LO isn’t having persistent delusions, but instead perseverates constantly about horrible things that may befall family members (car accidents, cats being hit by cars, kids breaking things, neighbors dying, etc). It is like having a miniature Greek chorus, always predicting the tragic end to any and every daily event. It has sucked the joy out of the most simple things, like sitting down to breakfast. It’s amazing. I never knew what an optimist I was!

In any case, we are going to look into a geriatric psychiatrist for her... hoping that there may be some medication that migh alieviate some of her anxiety. Have you guys consulted a specialist like this, or a neurologist? They can try a variety of things pharmacologically that could make continuing to care for your mom at home more workable. We are hoping for a similar outcome over here at our ‘happy’ house.

Good luck, and God bless ~

Andy
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First, read up on Charles Bonnet Syndrome. You will realize you and your mom are not alone!
Second...don't tell her she is not seeing what she is seeing. Tell her she is seeing past the "veil" and what she sees cannot touch her. This gave my mom some peace.
Third...tell her to think of them as a bad or scary movie! Moma never bought that but she was sometimes entertained by them.
Fourth...don't always assume she is hallucinating. People do bad things to people who cannot protect themselves.
Lastly...I spoke with a doctor who worked with Charles Bonnet patients for 30 years. He astonished me by stating that no matter what the education level, job type, financial situation all of his patients had the SAME bizarre hallucinations about things they had never had an exposure to, experience with, or probably even read about. Hence why we started telling her she was seeing past the "veil". True...I don't know, but I do know it was the only thing that gave her any peace. Heartbreaking for sure! My prayers are with you!! Hope this helps a bit! Jean
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My Mom had similar hallucinations; a red haired guy was climbing out of the drain in street and coming to get her. Many more besides that. She would hide in her closet at night she was so terrified. I put a mattress on floor in there for her to sleep on since could not get her to stop getting out of bed and would find her curled up in corner of closet. She would get in there and pile up all her shoes around her and other junk.
That went on for over a year. Finally got her on Trazadone at night and helped immensely. She was still very paranoid but not as bad. Also added Seroquel in am. That stage seemed like would never end. She was diagnosed 5 years ago. The paranoia lessened about a year and 1/2 ago. It is nowhere near what it used to be. Still sometimes she thinks her food is poisoned but much better than before. Hoping your Mom will pass out of this stage sooner than later. It will pass; many hugs in this difficult time.
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Mel2159 Feb 22, 2019
How did you get her to take meds for her condition? My mom absolutely refuses and doesn’t want to talk about it. She thinks everyone is out to harm her: poison, torture, watching her every minute, controlling what she can and cannot do. Stealing or destroying her possessions. How do you convince her to trust the doctor and take the medication?
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My Dad (88yrs) has dementia also. One day Mom (86yrs) called me frantic, she could not keep Dad in the house. Dad was insisting someone was picking him up for kidney stone surgery. Mom got Dad on the phone. I asked Dad "What is going on Dad?" Dad said "I am having surgery today." I said "well I don't know of that happening today" Dad got upset "Why does everyone treat me like I am crazy? I should just jump out the window on my head!" Mom and Dad were both suffering at that moment, I didn't know what to do. I asked Dad who the surgeon is. I told Dad I would get answers and call him back. I waited a few minutes and called back. I told my Dad that I called the Doctor and they had to cancel the surgery due to the surgeon having a stomach virus. That diffused the whole situation. Dad felt like he was right and not crazy. Mom was relieved...all over. I has been my experience that the dementia patients totally believe what they are experiencing is true, they do not want to lose dignity.
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lynina2 Feb 22, 2019
yes. It does no good to disagree. During nursing school decades ago, Mom said that women were routinely given something called "twilight sleep" while in labor. These women had no awareness or memory of their actions. Some were known to stand on their bed and demand to go home.....while in active labor. Mom found the best way to help these patients was to go along with them and with a calm voice encourage them to lay down until their ride arrived. She diffused some difficult situations that way. Your example of "calling the doctor" and coming up with a reason that fits with their delusion is better....you're not doubting them. My reason for my illustration is two-fold. One, it isn't constructive to oppose your LO in this condition; that only increases their frustration and agitation. Two, even young, healthy individuals can have crazy delusions because of medication.
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I can’t imagine what I must be like for you dealing with this on a 24/7 basis. My mother too had delusions. Hers were that my father was harming her, including sexually. They are together in a graduated care facility. Her geriatric psychiatrist did put her on psychotropic med and it took a bit to find the dose that gave her peace. It was so hard to hear her accuse dad of these things, and staff had a hard time teasing out truth from delusion, as they felt responsible for her safety. As the medication finally started to work, fortunately for us, the delusions subsided. She still has exaggerated reactions to what she perceives as a negative tone from dad from time to time. But it is just as likely that within hours she will be singing his praises. But it does seem as though the worst of the delusions may have been “a phase” until whatever part of her brain was under attack from the Alzheimer’s was completely shut down. (My theory) I hope so strongly that you can find some relief. You seem fully aware of the options. None of us can tell you what is best for your situation, but as you note, this can be a good place to come for support. In that vein, I want to stress how important it is not to beat yourself up if your human side takes over and you react in a way differently than you had hoped. You are under terrible stress. Try hard to be good to yourself. Holding you in my thoughts for strength, peace, wisdom, and comfort.
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debbye Feb 22, 2019
Thank you so much for this reply.
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I think Mom is past the point she can be cared by you. If medication is not helping maybe she needs a stay in a Psychiatric facility. They can try different "mixtures" till one works.

How many people live in her house? Maybe part of the problem. Too much stimulant.
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Andy22 Feb 20, 2019
Meds may help.
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im afraid i dont have any answers for you but i have a similar problem. My mother lives outside a quiet village on the road to nowhere but to hear her talk its crime central with villains and thugs roaming around waiting to do harm to her. Besides these anonymous people, my brother is poisoning her. They hide her things for a joke and she fears for her life. I don't cope well because you cant reason and you cant go along with it. Its hard. I am looking for an answer but I don't think there is one. Just keep going, doing your best and be kind to yourself. Love and best wishes
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debbye Feb 22, 2019
You hit the nail on the head about not being able to reason OR go along with it. It helps me to know others are experiencing this. Thank you for your reply
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My mom had delusions, hallucinations, (both visual and auditory) and illusions too. I had to remember that "ill"usions was an appropriate term, since Alzheimer's is an illness, after all. I used to try to convince my mom  that coffee thieves were not coming through the second story window to siphon coffee out of her cup, but it was less stressful for everyone if I just went along with the hallucinations. If she said that women were coming into her room, ("The Golden Girls" from TV), I told her that since she was such a nice woman, other women would come to her for advice. If she was going to meet, "a man," down the street,  (to clarify, my dad died years before, and this was a new man in her life, in her mind, anyway),I told her that he was visiting his daughter out of town. It caused me to think on my feet, all the time, which could be challenging and exhausting, all at the same time. My mom, too, couldn't be re-directed. She'd always circle back to the hallucination of the moment, and no amount of reason could get to this once intelligent, well-educated and articulate woman. I even wrote about it in a book, "My Mother Has Alzheimer's and My Dog Has Tapeworms: A Caregiver's Tale."  Best of luck. R. Lynn Barnett
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DSS893 Feb 22, 2019
Interesting thing about the boyfriends/men. My mom thinks she's been married and divorced several times. Doesn't know any of their names. Even the nurses have asked me about her marriages since she sounds so convincing. Truth is, she was happily married once, to my father for 54 years. He died nearly 20 years ago. Also a lot of talk about "getting some nookie," inability to find anyone who will "put out," wanting to "serve up herself" after serving him coffee! Most definitely not the type of language or topic we ever discussed in the home.
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When my father had these kind of hallucinations I would tell him that I would call “the parents of the children who were tearing up the yard and hiding his rakes to let them know that the kids were not to come over anytime at all.” When they involved bad men I would tell him I was calling the police on them.
You with her accusing you and your sister of the torture device have it a little harder. I would suggest you tell her that you guys are going to take it down and burn the wood. Then if you are able to have a small bonfire and toast marshmallows with her. Make a better memory for her. This may or may not work, it usually did for my father until the next time something came up. The key is to remain calm and speak to her softly and gently, listen to her fear and make up a lie that will reassure her that you will take care of it.
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