How long does paranoia phase lasts with AD?

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Does anyone know how long a person with significant Dementia, (Vascular and Alzheimers) will have paranoia? My LO has been in ALF for a few months and most of the time happy there and very fond of the staff.(She has severe memory loss, knows almost no personal information, is in a wheelchair from fractured spine and hand, can stand briefly, and is urinary incontinent. Was recently so weak she could barely get out of bed. Gets confused on how to turn wheel on wheel chair)

Only lately she's been wanting to go home and now is upset about lots of things. She is upset about things that make no sense. She wants to know who is doing this to her, but she can't say what it is. She says she's sorry for causing this problem, but she can't say what the problem is. One minute she has the paranoia, the next, she's fine and doesn't have it. She wants me to get the bottom of who is doing this to her, but she can't say what.

What's so odd is that her energy level is much better than before and she seems more alert. She's also on an antidepressant that seems to be helping the depression and pain. Now that she's feeling better, I guess she has more energy to be paranoid.

I just wonder if this goes through a cycle. Could she continue with the paranoia until she is no longer able to communicate verbally?

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Yes, Alzheimer's is a cruel disease.
Once it starts, it progressively gets worse over time.
When symptoms of Alzheimer's begin to show, the average lifespan is around 10 years.
When my mother first developed signs of dementia, she lived another 10 years almost to the day.
It's sad to watch a parent you love turn into a someone you no longer recognize, especially when they say hurtful things or don't trust you due to this cruel disease.
Try to remember them for the good times and what they taught you when growing up.
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Thank you all for your advice and words of support. You are all so right on point too.
Update:
I visited a Secured Memory Care Unit last week and by Friday, I needed it. My cousin called and said she was at the mall with friends and invited me to join them. I went over and tried to redirect her and it worked, but a couple of hours later, she wheeled her wheelchair into the parking lot of the ALF saying she was looking for her car. (She has no car there.) I went back over and the ALF director and nurse suspected a UTI so they took her to the hospital. Her paranoia left and she became euphoric and giddy. They kept her in the hospital until Monday and she did not have a UTI. Sunday she had a bad delusion and they gave her a small dose of Haldol in the hospital. (I've read that's not good for dementia patients.) (She was already on Cymbalta and that has brought her mood up.)

We left the hospital and went straight to the Secure Memory Unit. She was happy to go since it's located in her hometown. She knew landmarks along the way and was thrilled to go! She immediately went inside and had dinner and began talking to her new friends. When I left she was smiling and watching tv with her new roommate!

The paranoia is gone for now, but could return. I get it. I think I will have her consult with a Geriatric Psychiatrist anyway to see if medication could help the bad times. I know there will be certain declines. I just need a couple of weeks to regain my strength and save my business before there is another crisis.

The director at the new place says she did very well last night even asked for assistance to go to the bathroom without prompting!!!!!!! Huge change. They say she may not need the pull ups. The former place put her in pull ups and says she was incontinent. I noticed that at the hospital she also said when she had to go to the bathroom. I'm wondering why she didn't at the the former ALF.

I also mentioned this on another thread I started about Haldol.

Thanks again all. This board is my only real support system. I have no one else to help with my cousin. I've been so stressed I have clinched my teeth and cracked one! Oh well.....in the scheme of life it's just a tooth right? lol After what we have gone through, it's not that big of a deal. Damaged brains and spines get my attention, but a tooth is just a tooth.
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Thank you all for such wonderful tips and great support. It means the world to me, as I have no one else to rely on. It's just me trying to care for my second cousin.

Update: I visited a Secured Memory Care Unit last week. It's a good thing, because by Friday, I needed it. She called me and said she was at a mall with friends and I should come on over. I went by the ALF and visited with her and tried to redirect. She insisted she had to be home by a certain time I convinced her to wait until I got all her paperwork completed and that would be some time next week and I would take off work and come over. She said fine, but after I left she went in her wheelchair into the parking lot to get into her car! She does not have a car there. The ALF called me and suspected UTI. We agreed to take her to hospital.

In the hospital she was almost giddy with excitement. Most of the delusions were pleasant, but one was not and they gave her an injection of Haldol on Sunday. (She went on Cymbalta a few weeks ago.)

We left the hospital Monday morning and went straight to the Secure Memory Care Unit. She smiled all the way over and was thrilled to be back in her hometown. She recognized it. She immediately ate a meal, something she's not being doing lately and was talking with her new friends when I

I have a separate thread about the Haldol you may visit.

She's doing much better there and I sense they know how to direct her more than the other place. They say she's eating well and even asking for assistance to go to the bathroom without prompting! She may go back to regular panties.This is huge as she was labeled incontinent at the former place.

I know what is going to happen. There are patients there in all stages of the disease. As I describe in my other thread, I'm going to consult with a geriatric psychiatrist if the paranoia resumes to see if meds for it would be advisable.
Thanks again.
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Thank you all for such wonderful tips and great support. It means the world to me, as I have no one else to rely on. It's just me trying to care for my second cousin.

Update: I visited a Secured Memory Care Unit last week. It's a good thing, because by Friday, I needed it. She called me and said she was at a mall with friends and I should come on over. I went by the ALF and visited with her and tried to redirect. She insisted she had to be home by a certain time I convinced her to wait until I got all her paperwork completed and that would be some time next week and I would take off work and come over. She said fine, but after I left she went in her wheelchair into the parking lot to get into her car! She does not have a car there. The ALF called me and suspected UTI. We agreed to take her to hospital.

In the hospital she was almost giddy with excitement. Most of the delusions were pleasant, but one was not and they gave her an injection of Haldol on Sunday. (She went on Cymbalta a few weeks ago.)

We left the hospital Monday morning and went straight to the Secure Memory Care Unit. She smiled all the way over and was thrilled to be back in her hometown. She recognized it. She immediately ate a meal, something she's not being doing lately and was talking with her new friends when I

I have a separate thread about the Haldol you may visit.

She's doing much better there and I sense they know how to direct her more than the other place. They say she's eating well and even asking for assistance to go to the bathroom without prompting! She may go back to regular panties.This is huge as she was labeled incontinent at the former place.

I know what is going to happen. There are patients there in all stages of the disease. As I describe in my other thread, I'm going to consult with a geriatric psychiatrist if the paranoia resumes to see if meds for it would be advisable.
Thanks again.
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You cannot distract a Dementia/Alz patient with tv. I worked at a Dementia care home -None of the patients are watching trust me. They sit them in a room with tv and all their chairs are turned towards it but the Dementia patient cannot concentrate on tv half of them can't hear well either. My Mom seems to like hankerchiefs or wash rags I don't know why but its like a fetish of some sort. She can hold it for hours on end and if she can't find it all heck breaks out. You can try giving her a couple of those. Zyprexa really does work settling them down some especially for the night. I forgot once to give her a pill at night she was allover the place and non-stop mumbling, talking, etc.
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@Senior Adviser - OMG, you hit every single aspect of what i'm seeing in my own mother. Suddenly, she's not interested in any show that has anger in it.

The only shows she likes now are the Price is Right, The Chew, and she used to like Katie, but Katie is 'gone' she tells me.

She'll watch a little baseball, she likes Dancing with the Stars, etc. Oh, and Lawrence Welk which is on PBS Saturday nights. He's a Godsend!

She has severe hearing loss with AMD, one eye is about 10% light coming in peripherally, the other is about 25%. That in and of itself floors me because I think How would I feel if that was me and I could hear and/or see stuff!

While it helps the patient if you explain over and over, it doesn't help the caregiver's stress levels, especially when the patient is trying to get a show that's not on just yet and the caregiver is dealing with, let's say, ants! crawling on the kitchen counter at the moment and/or someone at the door, with the dog barking :)

Thank you. You've described my mom to a T.
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My doctor just told me that a person who tries to appease and/or reason with a patient that has dementia/alzheimers is just making themselves more stressed. There is nothing you can do that will ever appease her. All you can do is tell her okay, I'll look into that. She'll probably ask the same thing again. They just don't remember and that's what this wretched disease is all about.

My mother was diagnosed with mixed dementia, paranoid delusions. She was placed on Venlafaxine, Olanzapine, and Mirtazapine. She was doing well for awhile, but has encountered what I call yet another plateau, i.e.,,stage, where her attention is that of a toddler. Her short term memory is nil, long term better.

Wretched, wretched disease!
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Sunnygirl1, I am experiencing very similar problems with my mom. However, my mom won't even take medicine. I am glad that your mom shows openess to meds because sometimes they can help eliminate or reduce the problem to a manageable size. I hope the best for both of you. Hang in there!
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Confusion and paranoia have many causes. There is a lot of helpful information here but in addition I can say that paranoia can be caused by her failure to comprehend everyday activities. This can be compounded by hearing loss and poor vision. When the mind is trying to understand things there is a mental process that fills in gaps in information. In her case she may not fully comprehend all of the daily activities going on. Her mind may be filling in the missing information with bad information causing her to have fear and paranoia. It helps to explain everything even if you feel you just explained it recently.

In regards to watching television, of course shows with detailed plots are most difficult to understand but even comedy and entertainment shows can be difficult to follow. Game Shows are very good at holding attention spans. Although it might be difficult to grasp the entire shows concept game shows are generally upbeat. They are easier to follow in some ways because when show participants win everybody is happy. The audience applauds and cheers them on. This creates an upbeat mood that can be infectious and tends to keep an Alzheimer's patient engaged longer. You can ask the facility if they subscribe to the game show network.
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You've already been given great advice from others, but I'd like to throw in my penny's worth. My mom has had a similar experience of having periods of paranoia, specifically, having delusions that someone was doing something to her (ie. moving or taking her things, coming into her room when they weren't supposed to etc.) Like your mom, she also internalizes things, saying things like "it's all my fault" when she thinks she's "making mistakes". As another poster mentioned, it's impossible to try to change their minds by rationalizing. Others have mentioned distracting your mom with activities or conversation, and that's great if it works. In my mom's case, however, her paranoia/delusions escalated to the point of a panic attack (and she'd never had one before), so the doc prescribed an antipsychotic drug (off label use for paranoia/dementia) which helped alleviate the extreme paranoia but unfortunately knocked her out for the whole day. I originally flipped out when I learned that the doc had prescribed an antipsychotic for my mom's dementia-related paranoia. I'd read about how certain antipsychotic drugs can make dementia symptoms worsen. Actually, this first med that was tried might have made her dementia worse, she remained very confused and knocked out cold mostly, so I couldn't tell at that point. About 6 months ago (when mom was still having periods of paranoia but not as debilitating nor as frequent), a neurologist who specializes in geriatric memory disorders, prescribed a very effective, second class (generally less side effects- than first line out, including no "zombie like" appearance) antipsychotic drug to take as needed. Her initial dosage was typically 1 x day, then down to 2-3x per week, then 1 x week. Currently, she hasn't needed this med for several weeks. My mom, like yours, is also being treated for depression, and the new med combo aka California rocket fuel (albeit a very low dose) has really helped! I am glad that you've seen a similar improvement with your mom's mood! Depending upon how long your mom has been on the depression med, it could still become even more effective over time. My mom is doing more things slowly but surely, things that she used to enjoy but for the past year has been uninterested in doing. Since your mom has more energy (btw-I can relate to seeing how this increased energy is connected to an increase in worrying) maybe you can find a weekly activity, (like crafts at a local seniors club) and make it a "girls' day out" for the two of you. Today, I took my mom to what she still calls the beauty shop. This was a big step for my mom, who prior to last October had her hair done professionally every week, and for the past year has had little to go anywhere. She got a cut, perm, and style, and she said that her hair was cut too short, but.... she got out of the house, was humming in the car to a song, keeps touching the back of her hair to feel the curl, and has asked me a few times if she should really sleep ont it tonight because she wants it to stay nice! LOL...so maybe she likes it a little after all! Good luck and take care of yourself.
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