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My mom was diagnosed with dementia a few months ago. All of a sudden she believes my dad is having an affair. Everything she doesn't remember or recognize in the home is now attributed to the 'other woman.' There is no talking her down as she doesn't believe anything anyone tells her outside of her own delusions. We have tried everything - redirecting her, changing the subject, talking about it, not talking about it, medications, etc. Nothing has worked. When she's in the middle of an episode, she will yell at him, follow him around the house, wake him from a dead sleep, etc. It's becoming more frequent and her level of anger is increasing as well. My dad is her primary caregiver and it's just not working. I don't know what to do. Has anyone dealt with this and had something actually work? I thought the medication would help but it's not made a bit of difference. The rate at which this is increased is rather alarming too. It's very frustrating that there aren't any solutions right now. I'm worried she'll start to become violent as her rage increases. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.

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That is a real good article ff refers you to.

The article says paranoia often happens in the middle stages. That is for ALZ. In Lewy Body Dementia, which my husband Coy had, it usually happens in the beginning. Which is just to say your mother's current behavior may or may not give clues about where the progression of the disease is.

I am very grateful that Coy never thought I was having an affair. He did think I was stealing from him, had stolen his car, and was holding him captive against his will. He tried reporting this to the sheriff's office several times. Nothing "cured" the delusions and paranoia, but it did go away on its own in a few months. (I really don't think I could have stood it the full 10 years. Placement in a care center would have been necessary.)

What seemed to work best at calming Coy was showing I was listening, being on his side, and going along with his delusions to a degree. "You are worried about our finances? That must bother you a lot. I know I have never deliberately messed with our money, but I could have made a mistake, or the bank could have. Do you want to go over our latest bank statement?"

How would that apply to the infidelity accusations? Tough one! "Sweetheart, I can understand why you are so very upset at the thought of me with another woman. I am truly sorry if I've done something to make you think that. You are my one and only love. There are no other women in my life." "Mother, what have you found there? Hmm ... looks a lot like my friend Brenda's apron. She must have left it here when we baked last week. An affair with Brenda? Oh Mother, you must feel very, very bad to even think that! Brenda is engaged to be married and she is not interested in an old fart like Dad. And I know that Dad is faithful to you. We all love you and hate to see you this upset."

Sympathize with the feeling -- that is definitely real. An explanation probably won't really help but it is worth a brief try as long as it doesn't come across as argumentative. Reassurance of love and support is generally better than trying to defend the accused party.

At least that's what worked best with Coy and his financial worries. It did not cure the paranoia, though, and the same accusation would come up again. But it was very helpful in calming him for that particular episode.

This is such a common problem. If you or any of the doctors find something that helps, please share!
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Unfortunately, this is not unusual and can be cause for placing your LO in a care facility.
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With some dementia this is a battle you can't win. While it's important to know that a UTI or other infection can cause this sort of behavior, this behavior is also just part of some dementia. You can argue or assure and then the behavior just starts all over again. My mom was tested repeatedly for infections, all negative. Starting Aricept helped her immensely, taking her Seroquel as directed, and not being in charge of her own meds is what helped the most.
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My husband had delusions too and accused me of infidelity. It took 2-3 weeks of seroquel (generic: quietipine - or something like that) to kick in and he is stable so far. He’s on a total of 100mg 3 times a day. (That’s the entire daily dose, not each dose.). It is a cheap drug. Your mom’s doc will probably start her low and then go up. It will take time to kick in. For some people, it can take a month or two. Good luck.
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I know how you feel! Reassurances, sympathy, explanations don't work. Nothing works, not even temporarily; at least not for our mom. We placed her in memory care and let them manage her delusions. When I visit and she starts accusing me of everything under the sun (which usually happens sooner than later), I tell her I'll come back another time "when she feels better." Consequently, my visits are short, few, and far between. Her doctor prescribed Lexapro several weeks ago. It's too soon to tell if this will do any good. It might be that distancing yourself emotionally will become a necessity. I know this is so hard! Remember: No guilt!!!!!!
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My father went through that about my mother during the early and middle stages of LewyBody dementia; that lasted about four years. He just passed away January 7th and I had noticed he stopped that "nonsense" about six months before his passing.

All I can say is hang in there! It's rough and frustrating but there's no medicine, at this stage, that will help. We tried Namenda in the beginning (for memory) and it worked for about a month (stayed on it for a year with no improvement or anything) then finally spoke with the nursing home's RN and she very honestly said, "At this stage, you're just spending money." (And it was expensive--$725 a month).

Bottom line here: Pray, breathe, drink plenty of fluids, eat and hang on!! The tunnel will look long and dark and if your mother's behavior remains violent--CALL THE DOCTOR and place her somewhere. My dad was in a facility that did not believe in restraints or over medicating; but there was a dedicated ALZ wing with super duper supervision.
God Bless and keep posting.
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My Mom is 89, suffers from Parkinson's Disease, Dementia and can no longer walk. She too accused my Dad of everything under the sun for about 6 - 8 yrs. Affair with his eye doctor & stealing money from her purse are just a few. It was bad. Unfortunately on Feb 22, 2013 he called me at 4:50am, told me to come take care of my mom because he couldn't take the accusations anymore & he was leaving. I asked where he was going, he said outside to shoot myself. He did. Please do what you can to educate yourself, Dad and others about Dementia. I did and it helped me understand more. The County Dept of Aging near me has a wonderful 8 wk workshop/support group with outstanding resources. My Mom now accuses me of everything but I understand it is the disease talking, not her.
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Stacia, has your Mom been checked for an Urinary Tract Infection? Sometimes such an infection in an older person can caused paranoia.

Here is an article I found here on Aging Care that has some good ideas on what to do. https://www.agingcare.com/articles/hallucinations-delusions-and-paranoia-151513.htm
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My mom with dementia had similar delusions mentioned above - stealing, terrorism aimed against her, all directed at family and loved ones.

I agree with Jeangibbs - I started going along with it; sitting with her and really letting her go through all the "immediate" emotions, accusations, etc. and asked her what we should do about it -- report to police, call the lawyer, etc. and then I tell her let me do it and I would get on phone in front of her and make pretend call and report "offense" and then pretend police, lawyer were aware of issue and "immediately going to investigate" -- (I've become an expert fibber in 10 years of dementia).

I did this all while she was watching me; then I'd tell her they were going to investigate the whole thing and get back with her "Tuesday" or whatever. That would satisfy her and get her calm and we could go on.

But I will tell you, the same delusions played out over 10 years, and even today, she will accuse brother or myself of some offense and we go through it all again. She is in memory care now and I wished I'd have been able to place her long ago instead of enduring the 10 yrs of heartache.

Your mom isn't going to let this go or medicate herself out of it. It will be up to dad how much he can stand and what actions he is willing to take. If she becomes violent and starts physically abusing (and he's already enduring the mental abuse from her accusations) then I would suggest placement.

My mom would often get so worked up she'd hit me, shove me, etc. Don't take it personally (though admittedly I often did).

LOng story short. Just go with it, let her play it out and you just play along and be supportive.
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Stacie, it is time for you and dad to face some hard decisions. Dementia only gets worse, yes behavior changes. For me that means I never know who I'm going to be visiting with, I'm sure I'm not alone in that. Your dear dad needs to be reassured that placing mom with professionals is the most loving, compassionate, kindest thing he can do for her. I bawled like a baby when I went looking at care homes for my dad and we did not really have a relationship, let alone the kind you obviously share with your parents. I say this so you prepare for how very hard it is, you go through a quagmire of emotions and they are not helpful in the least. I have seen so much improvement in my dad's health that I know it was the best, hardest, heartbreaking decision I have ever had to make. Help your dad through it, cry together, mourn mom together and remember to laugh together and continue to love mom through it. Encourage dad to do things for himself, visit when he wants, walk away when she is having a brutal day and wants to take it out on him and love himself through this. No guilt, as hard as it is, people sometimes need more care then a home environment can give. God bless and keep you and your family on this difficult journey.
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