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Is this a stage of the Alzheimer's disease? Are hallucinations of bugs on the patient normal?

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I hear you on that Castle...this website has helped me ever since I started because like many others, I thought I was alone in this and since it is just myself and husband trying to deal with it and not really having anyone to talk to, it is hard. I appreciate everything and do not feel so alone. Is there a chatroom for this??
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You're welcome, trueheartsme - easy to read out of context. The Raid comment came after many people had tried to contribute helpful answers, including going along with it with caring, as your examples showed. That comment just added a bit of humor in the middle of a complex set of issues and was actually funny, taken in context. This is a great website, and I find we all try to offer our experience, learning, wisdom - with kindness!
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Thanks Castle...if I offended anyone, I apologize..I had just received and read some pretty harsh things to where it was almost offensive, like spraying raid all over someone. I know this situation is hard on all our emotions and stress levels and it is even more so to our love ones...sometimes I think if people could understand more the illnesses we are dealing with, it would be easier to help. I'm just airing out like everyone else. My mom flips her personality every other day and it is so hard sometimes to know just who she is going to be from day to day however I know it is just as stressful on her as it is for us.
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Hi trueheartsme - good to read your examples, I like the dog one. I'm not sure what you are thinking others said, for most of us said go with it, be caring and also that it could be related to some meds. I don't think anyone said dismiss it or that it wasn't important, or challenging to find ways to respond that show care, not argue against it. It doesn't hurt to also look into the meds, even while you are also showing the sensitive care that you show, as that makes it all go more smoothly for everyone.
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I am back and after some of the answers, I am not sure if you all are being truly serious or just downright ignorant. When a patient has a diagnosis of bipolar, dementia, altzheimers, parkinsons, it doesn't always have to do with medication making them see or feel bugs. Sometimes it is contributed to the medication but even when we know there are no bugs or whatever, it is REAL to them...As I mentioned before, I had a housekeeper sweep up my mom's "worms" and spray the room with lysol and that stopped it. However now she calls me every day wanting to know what she needs to cook supper and I tell her not to worry about it, we have it under control. Someone mentioned about a dog who had been dead for years...my mom thinks her dog is under her bed all the time and it gives her a sense of peace, even though her dog is at my house and once in a while we take him to see her. People, when someone has these hallucinations, go with it sometimes, it will amaze you how fast the problem is cured or, if there are sure signs of redness or bodily harm such as scratches and sores, then I would definetly contact a dr about a medication reaction. Personally, I had a reaction to a medication where I swore I saw mice all over the place and it is a real feeling and until I got off the med, I wouldn't get out of my bed...so be more sensative to these "hallucinations"...There are so many more I am experiencing with my mom but finding out it is better to go with sometimes and be creative to stop the things she imagines has really worked. I know it is hard on you all as it is with me but trust me, your life will be more peaceful and less stressful if you try to just go with it to help and/or if it doesn't help, contact dr....thank you for reading this
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Raid!!! Good one Dunwoody! How about trying to help her brush them off and see if she takes the bait and feels better. Still say check her meds though.
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spray her with Raid. Sorry, that's probably not healthy. But just put some cream on her and she will believe it is a repellent. Gosh, isn't dementia so much fun. OK, time to put my head in the oven.
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There is a dermatological condition called "delusions of parasitosis." It is impossible to convince these victims, even after biopsy, that there are no bugs. I like the therapeutic deception of the moisturizer, very creative. Also, people whose kidneys aren't working properly can have rash and itching. Definitely work the doc as meds maybe could be adjusted. Picking skin is also evident among "normal" people - usually because they are idle and need something to do with their hands. So, try to find some things for the "picker" to do with their hands and that may help some.
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Yogibear, thank you for the link. After reading what was on this site, I can't even begin to imagine why the OT-ist would even HINT at the doctor giving this to my husband. All the side affects associated with this drug are what he already has! why would he be given something that might exacerbate them? WOW! I sure am glad I asked the question and you provided this site link. I will definitely question this if the dr wants to prescribe it. My husband has Parkinson's and that is one of the main concerns this site mentioned. WOW! WOW! WOW! Thank you again!
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Andretti, Is your mom on ativan? They gave that to my mom in the hospital to calm her down before sending her to rehab. What they didn't do was give her the meds she needed for Parkinsons and she was off the wall without them, so they dosed her with ativan and she spent her first week in rehab seeing bugs everywhere! She refused to eat because they were in her food! The nurse at rehab said it is a very common reaction to that particular drug and they made sure she did not get anymore, but it still took a week for the bugs to go away. Mom is also on Seroquel to help her sleep through the night. She has no problems with that, except she can't tolerate it during the day as it makes her very dopey. Definitely find out if any of her meds can cause this, but it may just be the dementia rearing it's ugly head. Good luck!
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I believe Seroquel can raise blood pressure and keeping track of his blood pressure before any medication as Seroquel will help the doc decide if the blood pressure is in a good range to prescribe the med. That's the only thing I can think of. Maybe researching Seroquel on a search may provide more info. Blessings
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My husband was convinced there were bugs on his head and in the bed. I took him to the doctor who thoroughly examined him as I had. He still thought the bugs were there. When the pest control guy was here for our quarterly treatment, I had him inspect too. There was nothing there, of course, but it took several months and I believe a change in my husband's meds to get past this hallucination. My husband has also believed there were people in the house or trying to get in. Again, a change in meds has helped. He still hears our doorbell in the middle of the night sometimes, but it isn't nearly as bad since he is on Lexapro, an anti-anxiety drug. It is very, very frightening to be awakened in the middle of the night by someone saying someone is trying to break in! I would suggest that a neurologist and/or a neuro-psychologist get involved and be sure there isn't a medication causing it or if a med might end it. It is so difficult to know what to do. I was happy to read about the Seroquel because the OT-ist has mentioned this as a possibility for my husband. She did tell me to keep track of his BP, though, before the doctor would recommend this. Does anyone know why she might have said this?
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As others have mentioned, be sure to have her checked for a urinary tract infection. UTIs can cause hallucinations. Also, some medications can cause that in the elderly.
Wishing you the best as you care for your Mom.
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also off topic.

Chimonger, THANK YOU for the kaolin info! I just LOVE learning new stuff! I found a ton of information on it's uses, and it has very very many. Do you know that it used to be in kaopectate? It's used in paint and in strengthening rubber. It's also used in cosmetics. Organic farmers use it for bugs just like you mention, and it is also used on apples to prevent sun scald, (think about how opaque it is and you'll understand this use).
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Is this for real? She needs to be seen by a doctor (INSECTS ON HER IS NOT NORMAL IS IT) These are delusions and there is medication. Hallucinations are audible.
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jeannegibbs,
LOL! I know what you mean--any kid w/ lice, suddenly, anyone who knows, feels like they also have them!
Off-topic, but related:
As for your plants: I just learned about using kaolin powder on plants to get rid of scale bugs and other bugs that try to live in plants....like those pesky fruit flies...Mom left us with those, and it seems really hard to totally get rid of them...til I learned they lay eggs in the dirt in house plants.
I tried sprinkling a dusting of kaolin white clay powder on the dirt surface, and on the plant stems up as far as would stick. Also, used spray bottle filled with water, and put in a tiny pinch of same powder, shake, and spray plants daily.
SEEMS to be working! The fruit flies seem to have disappeared, as have the scale bugs. The plants like the minerals in the clay.

Wonder if some elders might see houseplant bugs, and get triggered the way most are, when they hear about a family member infested with lice, for instance?
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A sensation of "Bugs Crawling on skin" can be caused by any combination of a number of things:
==1. Very dry skin, from being old, or from liver problems--can start itching terribly, and only in particular places or areas: Rubbing coconut oil on it, or a decent hypo-allergenic lotion, should relieve it. Though, if related to liver issues, not for long.
==2. Nerves pinching, that acts like a limb falling asleep and waking up--somewhere in between the numb and waking stages--which can cause "bugs crawling" sensation : Gentle range-of-motion actions, either by herself, or assisted; therapeutic massage; meds.
==3. Meds causing hallucinations: Need Medical evaluation to check on that.
==4. Nutritional deficiencies causing hallucinations: needs evaluate to learn what's missing or not being absorbed; likely B-Vits, as these deal mostly with nerve things.
==5. UTI or other infection causing hallucinations: Need evaluated by Docs.
==6. Allergies to something contacting the skin: Need evaluated by Docs, and/or, you can try changing laundry detergent to one that is "free and clear", and stop using fabric softeners/drier sheets--those are notorious for irritating skin, and sensitivity can start at any time. Some react to certain synthetic fabrics, or, to the chemicals embedded in fabrics--especially new cloth.
==7. Mental health issues: Need evaluated by Docs. .
==8. Possible bugs in her environ: check for bugs, and use a noon-toxic cleaning/spraying process to rid of them.
==Is actually seeing something in her area or on herself, or remembering something, that triggers that feeling: ask her about it, encourage her to describe what is happening, see if there is something in her area that could lend to triggering the feelings, then either talk her thru it, or, move her, or, use your hand to gently stroke her skin to replace /interrupt those feelings.
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I tried searching for this particular delusion/hallucination and dementia, and wasn't coming up with much. As Ferris1 says, it is associated with paranoid schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and several other diagnoses. Then I found an article in The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, VOL. 22, No. 1, titled "Delusional Parasitosis as a Presenting Feature of Dementia." The author feels the instances of this symptom in dementia may be underreported. (People often go to a dermatologist with this complaint.) In 10 cases that were handled by a psychiatric clinic, 2 patients turned out to have dementia (which had not been diagnosed before this symptom brought the patient to the clinic.) The author suggests that especially elderly women who have this complaint should have a thorough evaluation to see if dementia might be present.

Just thought it was kind of interesting and worth sharing.
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it MAY have a physical basis. have her checked out. liver problems can cause itching. neuropathy pain can feel like stinging or biting. i'm post menopausal and i still get itching, stinging, biting pain, or the feeling as if i am being crawled on by hundreds of ants.
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Lots of good advice is given. Personally I think you need to discuss this with your medical professionals. While hallucinations are common in Alz patients there can be a number of issues which cause this and your medical professionals are best to advise you.
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Hi, I remember when I first became a caregiver to my mother 5 years ago and the many times she woke up screaming saying that there was water all over the apartment or looking around the house for her beloved pet that had been dead for many years. She also use to see family members that had been gone for years. When I saw your posting of the insects it reminded me of a lady I met in P. R. who was a caregiver to man who also felt something crawling on him, in his case they were shrimps. I felt it very necessary to respond to you and to other caregivers that are experincing the same. What she did was she got a bag and made believe she was removing the shrimps from his body while saying, "you darn Shrimps, get off my old man!" and made believe she was removing them and putting them in the bag and discarding the bag, she said that seemed to calm him down. She said she would do that every time he complained about the Shrimps being on him. I have found that the best way to deal with an alzheimer's person is by not contradicting then, because in their mind what they think and feel is their reality. I hope this information helps you in dealing with your love one. I also recommend a book written by Nataly Rubinstein, titled, Alzheimer's Disease and other Dementias. The Caregiver's Complete Survival Guide. This book is a true Blessing and very informative. Good Luck!
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Awk! I have bugs on me! Help! Oh yuck! I just watered my plants and closely inspected one that is not thriving. Oh dear, it has an insect infestation, and I've felt itchy and uncomfortable ever since I saw them! Does that happen to you? You deal with an anthill in your driveway and then you feel bugs all over you? Mind you these plant bugs are so tiny I had to find them with a magnifying glass, and I could probably have a whole colony crawling on me without even feeling them and the little buggers wouldn't have any reason to latch on to me when they had a perfectly good plant to sustain them, even if they could figure a way to make the transfer. I still feel crawly critters! I've washed my hands 3 times in the last 5 minutes and I'm going to give in to my paranoia and go change my shirt.

Knowing that even imaginary bugs are very disturbing I feel very sorry for Andretti34's mom. I hope some relief is found for her!
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This is more of a symptom of paranoid schizophrenia, however have her checked out by a neurologist as well as a psychiatrist. Good luck!
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It helps to pray for sure. Remember our battles develop in the spritual realm. As the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy especially minds, it helps to speak truth, Words of God in place of the lies. Children of God are redeemed by the blood sacrifice of Jesus and are given authority in His name to cast out demons of attack. Claim the mind of Christ and the blood of Christ over her and tell the devil to go. Try to have her do the same. TBN tv network is a good thing to have on and/or Christian radio that fills empty places with God's word. Also look at nutritional aspects to the symptoms.
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thank you jeannegibbs..I volunteer at nursing homes and worked in a hospital for many years, it helps getting creative sometimes. It's quite different when a parent is one..One other thing I try to do is have mom think she is eating her favorite food when she is given something she doesn't like but needs it, that helps as well...
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trueheartsme, I have heard many, many stories of a delusional problem being solved with an imaginary remedy. I congratulate your family on creativity.
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My mom has dementia and a few months ago she was convinced all her stuff was being stolen from her room at the nursing home and so we got her a 4 drawer dresser and put her stuff in it and she was satisfied that she had a safe and no one could get in it. Recently, she was convinced there were tiny white worms all over her floor, in her drinks, food and bed and she would not eat or drink. So, I asked the housekeeper at the home if they would go in and sweep and spray air freshner in the room and tell her the worms were now gone. It seemed to do the trick and now she is happy at the moment. Hope this helps.
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This happened and still happens to the person I am a care giver to. It does not have to be Alzheimer’s. It can also happen to people with Parkinsons/Dementia. 40% of people with Parkinson’s get this.
My patient was convinced he had bugs in him and his eyes. He sent samples to 2 different labs and samples came out negative (of course). He said lab did not know what it was doing.
While the neurologist was adjusting his medicine, my patient started seeing people in the house at night. He started to feel they were going to tie us up and hurt us. I was watching him and I had him stay in my room at night until we saw the neurologist in 2 days but that night he was convinced we were going to get hurt so he told me he was going to the bathroom, but instead went out of the house at 1:30AM in only his underwear in freezing snow, we live in Maine. I had to put clothes on and when I ran out side, I could only see tracks. I knew he had only minutes to live. I called 911 and they found him. This probably happened in about 15 minutes time. We live close to everything. He was taken to the emergency room, warmed up and stabilized.
He was assessed and referred to hospital in the area that deals with these things. The head Doctor there prescribed Seroquel for the hallucinations and Melatonin for calming him down and sleep, so that I could take him home. The Seroquel WORKED but they had to up the dosage. Dosage depends on the person.
This Doctor is a member of American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in General Psychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry
And specializes in:
1. Mood disorders in old age
2. Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias
3. Insomnia and sleep disorders of aging
4. Hospital and nursing home care of frail elders
So, my suggestion is you need to see a Neurologist that specializes in Geriatrics and a Psychiatrist that specializes in this also.
Your mom’s symptoms could get worse so please do not wait.
These Doctors will work together. I have spoken to other people that have this problem of delusions and they have been given Seroquel also.
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Hi, I agree about the paranoia, but the experience of feeling insects is also related to some of the drugs she is already taking! Many anxiety drugs have internal body sensations - and ultimately can cause tardive diskonesia (sp?) or internal ticks and reactions. I read once about the experience of people seeking suicide, and read of the indescribable intensity of internal pressures from the shifts of the medications inside the body. That is sad, and needs our understanding and calm, trying to solve it by routines. One elderly lady used to scream and swear - and by taking the focus off of her swear words, and taking time to listen and notice time, I noticed it was worst when someone was about to touch her for daily care; another lady screamed when others would touch her to help her stand up. In both cases, being kind and patient, maybe keeping a gentle sense of humor about the day, backing off and then trying again notifying them that I had to touch them to get them clean, and moving gently ahead with the cleaning treatment - when that treatment was over, after being done smoothly, we could all relax and skin pricks and insects were forgotten. I have always worried about the internal side effects of those drugs, which so many people solve by adding other drugs.
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My mom thinks there are big zits under her skin. She scratches her face untill she
has scabs all over. The doctors and nurses at the care center said that it is because her kidneys are not working?
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