My Mom appears to be suffering from delusions or perhaps it is hallucinations relating to an ex-caregiver. Advice?

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She believes that one of her ex-caregivers is sabotaging her by doing things that are totally absurd. For instance, Mom believes that this person sneaks into her house at night and plays music, puts sleeping pills in her coffee pot, moves furniture, etc. We finally had to release this caregiver even though we know none of this is true. However, that hasn't stopped Mom's delusions. And she says to us that she knows we think she's crazy but she knows what's happening. We are at a complete loss as to what to do.

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UTIs can cause delusions and even hallucinations in the elderly. My aunt lived to be 100, and the only time she was irrational was when she had a UTI. UTI treated, delusions gone!

It sounds to me, though, like this has been going on longer than one would expect without other symptoms coming up. So, do insist on a test for UTI, but it may not be that simple.

Delusions of this nature are not part of the normal aging process. Something is definitely going on here that needs attention. Maggie has a very good approach with dealing with delusions -- keep it in mind! But it is also important to get medical help figuring out the base cause.
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Continuing above post, articles that explain that the common symptoms of UTI are different in the elderly. If I had not learned that here, our patient could have actually died from a UTI, and it took a letter to his doctor, an ER visit to fix it!
That is part of the worry, chaos, constant surprises of caregiving.
Then, be sure the UTI has cleared after treatment. Insist on it.
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Steven, behavioral issues are very common in the elderly with UTI. I am happy to confirm this as true, and add my agreement to other caregivers who have experience with this. It is so serious if missed, that a dipstick urine test often does not confirm it. There are articles (above in the A/C forum/blue bar)
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Google "utis in the elderly". In older women, especially, UTIS present with behavioral, not the usual physical, symptoms.

I had the same reaction as you did when this was first pointed out to me on this very message board. It's one of the very good reasons to make sure that your mom is being seen by a geriatrics doc; they know about this stuff. Regular internist generally do not.
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Please help me to understand what a urinary tract infection (UTI) would have to do with her delusions. She has not been diagnosed by her primary care physician as having dementia but he does have an appt next week and I am going to call the nurse ahead of time and give her a heads up. The problem is that I live in NC and she lives in NM. My other brothers also live in different states. I am planning to go to NM so spend Christmas with her and will know more then.
Thanks to everyone for their help - I really appreciate it!!
Steve
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Be sure to tell the doctor about her delusions too. Sometimes when a person has had a stroke as my mother did, every time she went into the hospital for either another surgery or problem, she seemed to be short of oxygen. She started telling me she was in Hawaii and it was so pretty. she was listening to the music and I looked at the doctor because she had never been to Hawaii and he just smiled, said she was suffering from low oxygen and that would cause the delusions. Once she came home, she was much better and sounded back to normal. Something is going on with your mother and she should be examined by her doctor preferably in the hospital. I hope everything turns out ok for you and mom.
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Call the MD and get her in to see him. She may have mixed up her meds, she may have a UTI, she could have had a stroke. Please get to the bottom of this before it gets worse.
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Steve, your profile says mom has age related decline. Has she been diagnosed with dementia? If not your first step is to find a doctor that will listen to your concerns and get a proper diagnosis.
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Find a way to acknowledge her delusions, appear to accept them as truth and suggest ways to stop 'whatever' from happening.

Mom once told me one of the sle sides at the nursing home, where she stayed for rehab, had taken ER for a walk in the woods and gotten VERY fresh with her. Well, first of all, I already knew, as you do, that mom was a bit delusional. Secondly, there was no woods. Ha! But I played along a bit and said something like, "Mom, im going to talk with him. He'll never do THAT again."

Another time she told me her caregiver, in my home, had been snooping from papers I'd left on the table. "Don't have her back EVER," mom said. I liked the lady. And there were magazines on the table along with a few unimportant personal papers underneath the stack. I told her I'd make sure NEVER to leave anything important out ever again.

So, both times I acknowledged I believed her and offered a solution. Problem solved.
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Have you taken mom to get checked for a UTi?

Have you reported the delusions to the doctor who is managing her dementia ?

Have you had her seen by a geriatric psychiatrist?
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