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Mom has mild dementia. She's 87 years old. Congestive heart failure that see-saws up and down the fluid balance scale. She's very weak, can barely walk, has balance issues, and more. At night she often wakes me up talking in her sleep . . . carrying on real conversations that repeat over and over again. She often addresses her brothers and sister who passed years ago.

Tonight I woke up hearing her talking up a storm to one of her brothers about another brother and whether or not he took some bread. She alternated between swearing he didn't take it to asking him plaintively if he did, to defending him against all comers, to threatening to whoop him if he did. Hahaha!!

Sometimes her conversations are, well, just creepy. They're mostly a loop. Same tune/different verse over and over again for an hour or so. Then she's quiet. Then, it might start up again with something else.

Right now, it's 1:07 AM here; she's been jabbering for 45 minutes about Carl and the bread he did or didn't take. What the heck?? She never remembers these episodes in the morning.

Anyone else experience this?

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I always say check for a UTI if there is any strange behavior. My mother started with vivid dreams, then nightmares, then halucinations from the UTIs.(urinary tract infections). There are no symptoms connected with it like you would expect. There may be less urine output, but for my mother that was all - not the burning or the normal pain. It affects the elderly by getting into the bloodstream and causing swelling of the brain.
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MaggieMarshall: My Mom was doing this as well. Talking very loudly in her sleep and I would be waking up every time. Usually around 2 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. she would be talking and some of it made sense and other times it was incoherent. I think my Mom has Lewy Body dementia even though the doctors have not come out and formally diagnosed her with that. They say early dementia but I know Lewy Body dementia causes a lot of sleep disorder issues. What I did was go out and buy myself a white noise machine. It has worked wonders for me. I do not hear her talking anymore. Its not that loud that I would not hear her if she yelled for help but it blocks out her talking loudly. Try that and see if it works. Now I cannot go to sleep without the white noise machine. I got it at Bed Bath & Beyond. Best thing i have bought myself in a long time. We all need our sleep but caregivers especially need sleep. Good luck!
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Yes I make good use of my noise canceling headphones and iPod! Two of my best investments. Thanks for the tip.
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is there any way you can wear head phones that drown out noise? if so, that might help with the screaming episodes since you can't/won't leave the house. sorry you are dealing with that stress.
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My drunken mother had another verbal go at me yesterday evening. I try so hard biting my tongue but find I'm sassing back here and there. I just can't take it anymore. Later last night the screaming nightmares began. She was re hashing her tirade against me, complete with the cursing and name calling. I've got to remember to grab my phone and record some of this. I'm in kind of a haze today, trying not to let it consume me. I'm off on a solo road trip in a week, counting the days for the much needed break.
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Forgive typos. Kindle auto corrects which are mistakes in grammar especially. LOL
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Another weekend. Another not do pleasant valley Sunday. Mom's back to me setting fires, or the story changed to my boyfriend who lives in nyc came all the way from NYC in the middle of the night, snuck in,set the fire and left before she could catch him. Calling dr to see if Uti results are in if it's not a uti, then dr prescribed anti psychotic. I used my phone to video her talking about the fire. Thought it might help my case in front of judge. So sad that this is how my last year's with my mom will be. Courts, des,meds, her being demented, paranoid,delusional and accusatory. Tragic.
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My sympathy goes out to you. My stepson drank himself to death at age 39 in my home. My ex-mother-in-law drank herself to death when I was married to my ex. I know what it is. Save yourself as much as possible. I know it's tough.
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Thank you 1tired. My sister and I both have vivid awareness. It's sad our mother's wishes are actually not to intervene as difficult as it is to sit watching her deteriorate. I'm at peace with it all. I know it sounds strange and horrible to others, but this has been going on for years, lately getting worse. Nearing the end will be a great relief. Thanks for your kindness and understanding. ❤️
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Carek, I am just sorry for you, really, that has to be so hard to have gotten to that point. No one can walk in your shoes and it sounds like you have a great deal of awareness. Just really sad for you. Prayers for peace...
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I realize I'm enabling. This has been going on for years. My father died from complications with alcoholism. I've done Al Anon, I'm in therapy, I've tried just about everything. Mom just wants to be left to die at home. I have my own physical limitations and health issues, I'm on SSD. I'm basically here like I said before waiting for mom to die, probably from drinking herself to death. She's 80 and gave up several years ago. She's very depressed, stays in bed watching TV and has alienated herself from everyone and everything. Without beating a dead horse so to speak, I realize it's a sad pathetic situation most don't understand or think I'm a terrible person. I don't have any fight left. Mom's demise is in her own hands. She can smoke and drink herself to death, no hard feelings on my part. I've chosen not to take her drunken behavior (she's verbally abusive).
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Carek, I understand what you are going through, it is very difficult to deal with an alcoholic daily! And at her age, I think you are right, there is no changing her now. If you were to stop enabling her to get the alcohol, she will figure out another way. And the withdrawal can be dangerous at any age and should only be done in a hospital/rehab setting. The withdrawal may kill her faster than continuing to drink.
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If your Mum is safe, then treat her ramblings as if you had the radio tuned to Chinese Broadcasting and ignore most of it. Watch out for expressions of fear, pain, discomfort, and then you can swing into action to alleviate whatever causes her distress.

Take NOTHING personally. It most likely isn't meant that way.

If you drive your MUM to the liquor store then you are her enabler and it is no different than you buying it in for her.

Cutting the liquor will probably - no one can be sure - help her be more reasonable once she has got through the withdrawal phase.

Remember - if you don't enable her, she won't be a boozer. Put your foot down with a firm hand and keep the knives locked up.

Good luck.
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Sherry1anne my mother can't drive. I live with her. I drive her to the liquor store but refuse to go into the store and buy it for her. By alcohol infused which is a term my sister & I use, we mean our mother is so focused on her need for alcohol intake every day, her body is soaked with it. Her team of doctors all know she's alcoholic and regularly try to convince her to quit but she refuses. It's very sad, and difficult for most people to understand. Mom is a ticking time bomb, we are just waiting for her to have another debilitating fall, stroke or die in a drunken stupor. I love my mother, I hate the disease.
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you said alcohol infused? Where does the alcohol come from? Is she living alone and able to drive and purchase booze? The alcohol is likely a huge contributing factor to the night terrors.
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Maggiemarshall ours is a split level home & mom sleeps & stays for the most part in the family room aka "her room" on the 1st of 3 levels. I'm on the top level in my old childhood bedroom but I usually have my bedroom door open a crack so the cat can come in & out. I've stopped running down the stairs to her every time she starts screaming in the night.

Wolf lover- mom's doctors are all aware of the drinking. Unfortunately due to HIPPA laws there's not much they can do legally in communicating with me. Mom is in such denial & lies about her drinking AND smoking. No need to feel sorry, my situation is indeed quite sad but could be a lot worse. It's just a waiting game until her body shuts down. Sure I could take over with POA but sister & I don't feel it's worth the added aggravation emotion & stress. It's a waiting game with us. The alcohol to med mix causes dizziness & drowsiness but mom doesn't go anywhere or do anything but watch TV all day. She's really just a waste of space. Sorry if this sounds sad & disrespectful but it is what it is and how my sister and I have ended up dealing with her. We've exhausted our efforts trying to make her happy. Like I say, one day at a time.
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Once upon a time I was taking Ambient to help me sleep. It caused very weird, vivid dreams. There are many medications that can cause this.
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I feel sorry for those dealing with these issues, especially if alcohol is involved. it must make it alot harder to deal with and I am sure the meds don't mix well with the alcohol either. maybe it could be watered down slightly. please don't anyone take me the wrong way, but I just can't imagine that the meds given to the patient are even doing any good being mixed with alcohol, its almost like wasting money on the drugs.
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Addison! Yes, mom does the same thing. She's almost pushed over her wheelchair putting it back on two wheels thinking she's falling. Then when I tell her she's just dreaming, she gets mad. Ha!

Carek, I now close mom's bedroom door so I don't hear her. She'd have to yell pretty loud to wake me, but I'm willing to take that chance since the alternative is Zombie Land next day for me.

TO ALL: It's so WONDERFUL to read others experiences. Thank you all. I'll sleep easier. Ha!
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I've tried cutting off mom's booze supply. Things were so miserable my sister & I figured she's not going to quit so just let her keep drinking herself to death. I refuse to buy her cigarettes or booze but will drive her to the liquor store & she has to go inside to make the purchase herself. Before I moved in mom was bribing & begging anyone she could to buy for her. Even the 2 caretakers both of whom I fired for supplying my mom with her vices. It's disgusting and embarrassing but I'm at the point and it sounds so horrible, that I'm just standing by waiting for her to die. She's very sick.
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Carek the cat knows your mother "isn't right". Animals have intuition far greater than ours and if your mother's a boozer, god help you all. Can you not cut off her booze supply?

Keep the cat away from her - you're doing neither of them any favours.
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Sometimes these dreams are brought on by a urinary tract infection.
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We are having issues with our rescue cat recently displaying aggressive behavior toward only my mother so the humane society pet behaviorist was fabulous in suggesting a number of possible solutions including calming essential oils. These seem to be helping with both the cat and mom's night terrors. We think the cat gets stressed when awakened to mom screaming and carrying on in her sleep during the night. She started cursing at the cat & yelling at him too, so I feel for the poor cat. The entire household has been disturbed with my elderly mother's alcohol infused bizarre hallucinations & dreams. Mom's Dr doesn't feel any of her meds are root cause, but mom refuses any testing. One day at a time here and an extreme exercise in patience.............I feel for everyone here, and I'm grateful knowing I'm not alone!
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Don't believe alzheimer's diagnosis or dementia diagnosis until you have the UT infection ruled out first. Believe me as one with the experience. My mother is back to her usual sweet although forgetful (her memory is really bad esp. with names) self. No more crazy dreams or monsters in the closet.
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My mother did much the same - trouble was UT infection + Levoquin antibiotic. She is over the UT infection now and the nightmares have quit. Levoquin resulted in hallucinations and aggressive behavior as well.
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My mother has been having those night terrors as well. If they were good dreams or pleasant ones I'd leave her be, it's the terrified ones that worry me. Right now I'm limiting what she watches on tv or listens to since she tends to take what they're saying literally!! Also I'm trying essential calming oils in a diffuser during the night. Like you I need SLEEP or it's hard to function during the day so I'm up for anything that will provide relief for both of us.
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@ Addison - What point is there in even attempting to convince her that it was a dream?

My Mother, when in her 90s, had vivid dreams whether she was asleep or awake. Most of them had the character of delusions. But what useful purpose is there in shattering any calm or pleasure those dreams may bring?

If dreams or delusions bring pleasure, however phantastic they may be, leave your Mum alone to enjoy whatever happiness she finds in them.

To do otherwise is unspeakably cruel.
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Speaking as somebody's Dad, I can tell you that I have extremely vivid dreams.

"When I get to old to dream, .... " goes an old song, but it never happens.
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My MIL has strange dreams and has had hallucinations, mostly auditory. She's dreamt that her father was at the door or she thought she heard him knocking at the door late one night. She thinks she hears someone knocking at the door a lot lately. I've asked her neurologist about it and he says it's a normal part of the Alzheimer's. I did ask him to check her meds and he confirmed it's not the meds doing it. One time she hallucinated my sister-in-law holding a pink baby dress, telling her to look at the dress or feel it or something. She reached out to touch the dress and it and SIL disappeared. SIL died 9 years ago. She's very preoccupied with death and has been for some time, which I guess would explain the dreams or hallucinations whatever they were, that her father was at the door. He's been gone since the 70's.

She never wants to admit anything to the neurologist about anything. She just tells him she's doing fine, her memory is great, etc. She'll ask me what the date is because he asks her all the time.
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Oh my gosh my mother has been having what we call "fright mares" for years and they involve her screaming, having conversations or arguments in strange sounding languages or arguments with me. Many of the dreams she says are so vivid and quite violent, involving her being chased, raped (in one her father was raping her), intruders or someone trying to kill her. She says she dreams a lot about Indians chasing her trying to hurt her. Mom is alcoholic, 89 yrs old and fading away doing nothing day after day. It's really sad. I used to go running downstairs when she would be screaming but I don't anymore. She's fallen out of her bed a few times while dreaming and sleepwalked too. She refuses to see the doctor or be tested for dementia or Alzheimer's. I just don't know what to do with her. The drinking is so sad. I don't try to deter her any more. If this is how she wants to go then I've thrown up my hands and it's a matter of a waiting game at this point. The mind can do strange things, and alcohol is evil.
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