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Last night, as mom and I changed into her PJs I noticed she seemed very preoccupied when there's a reflection on the ceiling from the TV, or someone's shadow. I turned the lights on and assured her that it was from the TV, she understood and was redirected; that is until I turned the lights out again. I did mention this to the Nurse while I was there, as mom seemed to get a bit concerned about it. They said they would keep an eye on her but, I can't help but think that mom focused on the unknown shadows/reflections after I left last night (even if for only a moment). Is there anything that will help aside from turning the light on and making them disappear? is there any medication Dementia patients can get relief from for this issue. Or will it just get worse? She's not hallucinating, there are reflections and shadows there. Thanks in Advance for your comments and sugggestions. Floridagirl6

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Floridagirl6: How is your mom tonight? Thinking about you and praying because I know it's difficult. 💞💞
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Floridagirl6 Sep 28, 2019
Llamalover47, Thanks for your thoughts and inquiry on my mom.... she is doing as well as can be expected. The shadows have only been an issue a few times (thus far) and the dim bulb (that many recommended) has done the trick. So thank you again for all the great suggestions I've gotten from everyone here on The Form!
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Have you tried night lights so she can distinguish between shadows and objects? Even sleeping with a dim light helped my Mom
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Floridagirl6 Sep 28, 2019
Thank You and yes the night lights and dim lights work well for my mom too!
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My mom sees people all around. And imaginary dogs, which she hates, are constantly jumping in her lap and on the furniture. I just reassure that I don’t have any pets—which is true. It calms her back down. As for the invisible people, I do believe there are spirits around us. I just hate when they come to visit at bedtime, further agitating my mom just before lights out. Be encouraged on this journey. You’re not alone.
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For what it's worth, a former helper of my mom's suggested hanging a flannel sheet over her bedroom dresser set mirror. It reflected light during the night and objects/people of course. I don't know how distracting it actually was, but it made sense to cover it. Have never read anything about this, but it's an interesting idea....
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I’m watching a dementia training video and it mentioned there are studies being done with cbd products (the derivative of marijuana that doesn’t make you high), and finding good results treating the hallucinations, agitation and anxiety associated with dementia.
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We got a touch lamp for MIL. It had three ‘strengths’, very soft, mid and like an ordinary bedside lamp. It turned on when MIL, reached out to touch anything on it, she didn’t need to find a switch. Full strength was only about 40watts (tungsten bulbs, not LEDs which are much stronger), and that helped her get to the toilet. Sometimes she left the soft light on all night, sometimes she turned it on to check a shadow and then turned it off again. There are also some very pretty soft night lights with changing colours for babies, and they could be nice too. Some play very soft soothing music. These things are usually cheap, like $20, worth a try.
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Turn it to the positive, as others have suggested. Make the shadows positive things she likes -- tell her the shadows are of flowers, fruits, a winter coat, a snowman... Lovely things. I've had to make it a game with my LO. "Oh yes, I see a dog and a cat. How nice." Or "That looks like a rabbit and a carrot." Make it a fun endeavor.
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Floridagirl: You're very welcome. In my experience, when my mother was given Morphine, that really sent her " 'round the bend/bonkers" and I had a time with her. She was seeing bodies on the floor of her NH room. She was also saying "Why haven't you called?" We had just hung up.
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This may not be a reasonable idea at all but I know with children I would buy a pillow pet that would project stars on the ceiling in different colors and maybe a smiley face. Not sure that would be helpful or not. If maybe she had a color that soothes her and just projected something like that on the ceiling. God Bless you in your journey.
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Floridagirl6 Sep 28, 2019
Great idea EmmaSue! Thanks a million!
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Medication check is in order as some meds can manifest into hallucinogenic auditory and visual disturbances.
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Floridagirl6 Sep 23, 2019
Thanks I did mention it to the nurse and I intend to keep an "eye" on it. I appreciate your suggestion.
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Maybe telling her they are locations for gentle fairies that are singing prayers for love and peace would help.
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Floridagirl6 Sep 23, 2019
That's a great thought! Thanks Lilacalani
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Lots of good advise here. My mother suffered with seeing people and objects. She would follow them and point to them as they moved. As it turns out, it appeared to be a medication or interaction of medications. Some medications that are effective can later change in their effectiveness. It is sometimes challenging to take elderly off or change medicines in a facility. Your kind care Is certainly a comfort.
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Floridagirl6 Sep 23, 2019
Yes, I can't thank everyone enough for all the great suggestions/ comments to my question and for your kind support.
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I'm 81...have dementia...did genetic testing...Mom did too. A few things that help me ENORMOUSLY: PS (phosphtydleserine) complex 500mg?Dr.Amy Yasko,PhD,ND (biochemistry)recommended. I take 3/day. Dr. Breseden,MD(neurologist)bk: THE END OF ALZHEIMER'S...his ReCode :reversing cognitive decline...on line...UCLA follows this prgrm. Peggy Sarlin's books/prgrams. product: Neurella(developed by neurologists). google: BIRKMAYER,MD, PhD/ NADH /YOUTUBE.

Most neurologists don't have a clue!!!


Judy Wickert
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Floridagirl6 Sep 23, 2019
Thank You happierdays! What is involved (money/testing) for the genetic testing for Dementia? I have 1 Uncle, 2 Aunts, my Maternal grandmother (all moms side) and my mom who have all been diagnosed; she's the oldest of 10 kids? Thanks for the Link, I will check it out.
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Having suffered a retinal detachment, I know how strange reflections and shadows can be, though I knew what was happening. It is especially bewildering to people who don't understand because they have sundowning. My mom would hallucinate or fixate on shapes. I found that using a 15 watt bulb in a small lamp all night helped. When she was awake, I would play soft music that she liked and that really calmed her down.
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Floridagirl6 Sep 23, 2019
Thanks for the 15 watt idea, a few people have mentioned that and I am definitely going to pick up a few bulbs tomorrow. Will update you...Thanks again Katie22
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I’m not sure if this would apply to your situation but quite awhile back my DH would awake in the middle of the night , know where he was but get very agitated and say that the bedroom was in total disarray with items totally out of place . Once he felt the dog had fallen behind the bed and couldn’t get out but the dog was right there beside us . I don’t know if these were hallucinations or him waking up from a bad dream but it was quite concerning as he was very agitated and took awhile to calm down . When I looked this up I found so many different responses but none seemed to really apply to this until someone mentioned nightmares and sleep walking and keeping a light on all night. I decided to try it and it really worked for him . He sleeps and will wake up for a normal bathroom run but no more episodes . I must admit I did buy myself a really really good light blocking eye mask . Would the nurses object to keeping a light on ?
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disgustedtoo Sep 26, 2019
I was also going to suggest leaving the lights on. At least until she falls asleep, then staff could turn it out, or just leave it on. Or put it on a timer, to turn off when you think she might be asleep. So long as she doesn't wake up either in the dark, or because the "click" of the light turning out disturbs her sleep and wakes her. I fall asleep with the light on just because I am trying to read and fall asleep. Sometimes the light going out is enough to wake me! I would try the light before resorting to medication. If leaving the light on works, problem solved!

As far as why, remember seeing shapes in the clouds when you were a kid? Or perhaps even imagining something in your own bedroom when outside lights 'play' on the walls or ceiling? Mom is likely just having the same kind of issue. Not hallucinating, just imagining because she can't really process what it is.

BTW, love your profile "I'm trying to cherish every moment we still have." Keep on cherishing, even the little scary moments when you can comfort her!
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As previously mentioned, people with Sundowner's Syndrome need to have the lights on more. I found 15 watt bulbs online and used them in the lamps at night.
As the Sundowner's progresses, you will also find you will need to stand under a light and wait for Mom to recognize you.

I learned to do that and it saved DH and me a lot of grief when he didn't know who I was and wanted to know where I was. I'd just stand under the ceiling light and wait until he would say, "oh! there you are." And he'd smile.
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Floridagirl6 Sep 23, 2019
Thank you.
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She is experiencing Sundowner's Syndrome, but not very bad it seems which develops as older LO is tired and lessened light makes them a bit anxious.. Yes, turning up the lights work. Keeping her to usual routines helps as well. If she becomes more anxious, she might benefit from antianxiety agents.
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She has a disease that will continue to progress, this is just another step down in the process. I really don't think there is anything to be concerned about, you seem more upset than she is. My grandmother thought the people on the TV were real and in her home, so what? Gave her something to do.
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Floridagirl6 Sep 23, 2019
Thanks, I think DollyMe. I'm just looking for answers, comfort and support like everyone else on this forum; I'm not sure how you perceived that as upset but everyone's entitled to their opinion.
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My mother in law would lie on the sofa in the evening and stare at the reflections on the ceiling from any outside source - outside porch lights, outside holiday lights, car headlights, etc.. She would become very agitated; it turned out that she thought that it was fire in the ceiling and thought the ceiling was burning. She had no other way to process these reflections.
Turn off outside light sources if possible or pull shades & curtains. Maybe keep a low wattage light on to ward off these reflections.
We can reason away what they are, someone with dementia cannot.
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Floridagirl6 Sep 23, 2019
God Bless your MIL! We used to find my mom in the pitch dark sitting in the living room starring into the darkness at 3am. Thanks for your thoughts. So true about reasoning.
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Does she have any diagnosis looking like Lewy's Body Dementia? My bro suffers from these visual changes as well and luckily early stages, well aware he is "seeing things all wrong and have to work backwards from what I think I see". Anything like marbled walls, highly patterned hotel carpet, something wavy lines sets it off at once. Also got fascinating and very very profound visions, complete to pool party descriptions of people that were down to the hairline. Amazing. His was always at it's worst evening, night and if anxious at all.
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Floridagirl6 Sep 18, 2019
No diagnosis for LBD, it's the reflections on the walls & so she's it accurately but just doesn't understand what shes looking at until I explain it and turn the lights on (but, she soon forgets). Thanks
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