Does anyone else deal with their loved one yelling at the tv and thinking the people are real? - AgingCare.com

Does anyone else deal with their loved one yelling at the tv and thinking the people are real?

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My mother insists on watching the same shows over and over again. It used to be Shirley Temple movies - now it is the TV series Full House. she believes that the people can see her and hear her. She interacts with them all day while watching. I would be fine with that, but her anger at the characters escalates and escalates. She screams at them, threatens to punch them in the face, and sometimes gets up and goes to the tv and punches it! If I try to interact with her when she is watching, or if I shut the tv off, or put a different show on, she will turn that anger on me and scream at me. So far she hasn't hit me but she has raised her hand to me and then changed her mind and touched my face instead of striking it. She is a small woman and I am not afraid of her, but this constant anger and screaming is seriously taking a tole on me and I KNOW it isn't good for her. She calls the tv show "my people" and wants to be watching it from the minute she gets up until she goes to bed. I have been limiting her to a few hours at a time but it is a battle pretty much every time to get her to move to a different show or activity. Even when I try to play games with her she wants the show playing and pays more attention to it than the activity

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Yes my grandmother does she will fuss at the tv all day long do anymore have a answer? Thanks
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There are some good suggestions above. I might try them and also keep a journal of your mother's behavior and the meds she is taking, such as what time she takes the meds and what time the behavior starts, so the doctor can adjust or change the med as he sees fit.

My cousin's preoccupation with things on the tv didn't last long. She eventually grew disinterested in the things on the tv as she was not able to follow what was going on. I'm sure that happens at different rates depending on the individual.

This kind of behavior can be extremely taxing on the caregiver's mental state. I'd try to get some respite time and seek outside help to assist you. While the behavior with the tv may be challenging, the dementia will likely bring more challenges down the road, but in different ways, such as constantly repeating things, hostility, incontinence, mobility problems, eating issues, etc.
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the only way I dealt with this was to have a very small tv so that the people on the screen werent so life-sized. She complained about it for a while and I would tell her the other one broke.
She had to sit real close to the small screen... too bad!
It helped with this situation alot.
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I'm sorry there's no easy fix - sometimes it helps to just take a deep breath and remember this too shall pass - step back and find some humor - maybe try a different series - I love Lucy ?
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Unfortunately my mother HATES everything about outdoors. She hates the sun, the wind, the bugs, the dirt.
Just walking her to the car to take her for an appointment (a bit of a walk to the car from the house) she has melt downs along the way about everything that upsets her about outdoors.
Inside, every spot of lint is a bug so she also has meltdowns inside.....but not quite as bad as outside.
I do have her help with folding laundry and other easy tasks - like tearing bread up to put out for the birds - but it is really hard to fill 24 hours a day/7 days a week with activity. I work from home....so I am back and forth between tending her and trying to get some work done. I wish I could find activities she would do on her own - but unfortunately my mother NEVER had hobbies......she was pretty much always a couch potato TV aholic.
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It's hard to reason when they become obsessed - not being able to distinguish TV from reality is common though and some facilities restrict tv viewing or the types of shows to air - doesn't help you though - another fixation will take hold - can you take her outside for sunshine and fresh air or a walk to tire her out ? Have A picnic and let her help pack it up ? can she fold towels or match socks - purposeful activity might help if you can find something to interest her - of course my mom went through a poker phase where she'd want me to play cards til past midnight so she could win my chips nevermind I had to work the next day -
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Hi Rainmom. Yes, I have tried it. She refuses to participate in other activities, gets angry and combative with me, and paces from tv to tv (there are three in the house) turning them on and trying to get them to work (she no longer knows how to put the DVD in). She also gets on the telephone and starts calling every number in her phone book to tell them that someone stole her people.
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I'm sure you've already tried this so I guess I'm asking for my own curiosity and perhaps an inspired idea - what happens if the tv is "broken" and you can't/don't play the shows - maybe replace it with some music and an activity like a puzzle or coloring?
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She is currently taking 10 mg Donepezil and an antidepressant (although I am drawing a blank on which one at the moment).
They help with some of the symptoms and behaviors but they haven't stopped the TV problem.
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Thank you for the suggestions.
Mom was diagnosed with dementia by her primary care dr - which is the one that just left the practice.
The new dr. that I am waiting on my appointment with, was referred to me by my contact at the Alz. Association. Dr.. Wolff is also a primary care dr but he specializes in geriatrics, dementia and Alzheimers, so hopefully he will be able to help.
Unfortunately there was a 6 month waiting period for new patients, but by using the referral from the Alz. Assoc and explaining that we are currently without a dr., I was able to get her an appointment that was only 1 month away.....now 2 more weeks and then we go.
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