We moved Mum to a seniors independent facility 2 years ago. I saw the early signs of dementia but brother would not agree. It’s been getting worse Last month he decided she was not eating enough and took her home 9 hours away for a month. I said not to, that she would get worse. He has just brought her back AND moved her to assisted living. Had my first experience with sundowning tonight. The facility called me. She was paranoid that she was kidnapped and there were microphones everywhere recording what we were saying. She did not want to eat or take her pill. She thought they were giving her a different pill. What do I do?
I sat with her , persuaded her to eat a little, tried to change the subject numberous times but she stayed on that topic for a long time. I took her back to her room and diverted her attention until she got tired but even then she was worried about them snatching me on my way out.
Her telephone has not been hooked up yet so I can’t even call her to reassure her I’ve gotten home. Her tv is also not yet hooked up so I can’t use that to divert her. Mother is almost 81 is healthy, has vertigo. Hasn’t even had a Dr diagnosis but was assessed today by an LPN who did confirm she needed to be in the facility - as her actions tonight proved!
Her episodes happen at anytime. She can be “ normal” then not. She hallucinations daily and often thinks everyone in the assisted living are talking about/ or out to get her.
Except for her physical capabilities, the symptoms do sound like a match.
They do tend to get fixated on ideas or beliefs, especially when paranoid. My mom would do the same thing, she worried that people were listening to her through her phone and walls, that they had planted cameras in the bathroom, or that people were going to come and harm her, etc. She was even convinced that another resident (little old man on a walker) was stalking her.
I can't say that the meds improved her paranoia too much, but the anxiety meds did seem to calm her down some and make things more manageable.