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When I tell her they are not there she gets mad at me. She says I am the crazy one not her.

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I suggest you read the book “Final Gifts”. It is available on Amazon. I am an RN, familiar with elder care and hospice. I suspect that your mother is seeing what you can not.
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Reply to Marciaatoz
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I hear alot of people blame strange behavior on elevated levels of stress. Never really meant anything to me until one day I started seeing people that were not really there. Having complete conversations and arguments with people who where not really there. Some relatives, coworkers even strangers while I was completely alone. I even imagined discovering my husband cheating on me confronted him about it. I remember him repeating "What are you talking about?" And calling me crazy. After a few weeks, I started to be able catch on to the "reality"people and the "Phantom " people. I became exceedingly concerned when the "Phantom" interactions began to involve family members that had deceased for many years. I remember falling to my knees crying and begging my 5 year old nephew to go away, that he wasn't supposed to be there over and over again until he faded away. I'm not sure if it was the levels of stress I was experiencing due to losing my house and job a into a wreck all in one week. Or the fact that I fell 7 months before that at work and hit my head that which caused many seizure. Or E.s.p. My mother always told me there was a horrible curse/Or blessing I guess depending on how you look at it. Every woman in my family could "sense" things. I don't know what it was. I still hear things and see people that are not there but nothing so haunting as those few months. What's going on with me?
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Reply to Bostonbound
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My father was put on a patch and it helps. Now it's pill because patch isn't covered.
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Reply to Marymoya
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Re read my post that is not what I said. Spiritual visitors are not the same as hallucinations. Hallucinations are not a sign of imminent death and can happen at any age for many reasons. Spiritual visitors are often seen by the dying patient, and I stress the dying patient, and that is one who has other signs of approaching death.
I was a hospice RN for some ten years and the very last thing I would ever do is tell people such rubbish that would alarm caregivers. I certainly resent your implication that I put up unsubstantiated information. I merely share my experiences and those of my collegues over many years of experience.
I stress that spiritual visitors are usually very comforting to the patient and they often recognize them for what they are
My intention is not to start a fight. Clearly your wife had a different experience from me but I stand by my original post.
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Reply to Veronica91
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I agree with the Macula Degeneration combined with drugs. It got so bad I had to put my mom in respite care for a week and got her off all the brain drugs. She just fine without them. She still takes the morphine and a 1/2 Xanax when needed. I think that haldol and atavan built up and went toxic to her system.
For a while there she thought her hearing aid was a sort of transmmiter to a space station sending her messages from, wherever. It was kinda funny she'd talk to it all day like she was on a cb radio."can you hear me now? over......"
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Reply to whodathunk
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Been there done that... Mom has hallucinations from time to time, I am still learning how to handle them. I just play dumb, Mom I don't know who that was that came into your room last night... Sometimes that is good enough and other times she says, I am not crazy, somebody was in here last night. Nothing I am going to say in those instances is going to help. Now as for the light that goes up the wall and out the door, I pretend to look for it and say "I don't know where it went I can't find it." No matter how crazy the hallucination is to me, it is 100 percent real to her....
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Reply to Melville
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I agree, it is not an imminent sign of death. It's a change in the brain function where memory and reality overlap and can't be sorted out. My Grandpa saw dancing girls for many years. He was one of the lucky ones.
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Reply to pamstegma
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Veronica91, Sorry but that answer of "being close to death" is rubbish and you should not put up unsubstantiated posts that will have many carers worrying! In your case, maybe by pure coincidence death may have followed a bout of hallucinations but it is NOT the norm!

My wife worked in a Nursing Care centre for some ten years as a nurse and never ever saw this connection!!

Hallucinations can be the cause of many issues as stated in previous replies above. Additionally, Macula Degeneration is one of the biggest culprits for causing these hallucinations in the elderly and when combined with the many drugs that they take, they may be frightening to we carers but they rarely if ever cause any medical problems.

These dreams can go on for up to twelve hours and as the sufferer is 110% convinced they are true it is useless trying to argue with them or try to talk them out of the hallucination itself. Just stay with them, say yes or no as appropriate and keep them calm with a cup of tea and if possible, bundle them back into bed.

And remember, they have NOTHING TO DO WITH IMMINENT DEATH!!!!
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Reply to HaveGivenUp
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Identity and boundaries shift when aging sets in. Dreamlike worlds appear, and may be significant to the seer in some way. I think especially when someone is near death, visions of someone who passed on who is significant (or not) appear--this is a classical mode ---is there 'another side'? Are they 'waiting for us' like many religious ideas talk about? Someone other psychic phenomena happen and they might see a horrible death that happened either there or somewhere..or auditory hallucinations of people talking? These phenomena happen to many people of any age, but may get confused by our conditioned response to life. At this old age life is very dreamlike, especially with all the meds we take for pain, etc. Try just hugging your elder, holding their hand, making their lunch and talking about everyday things. Don't worry, and pray.
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Reply to MichelleHeart
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Capt you Mom was a very special person. I wish I had known her.
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Reply to Veronica91
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on one of my moms worst days she was argueing with several different people around her. at one point she looked up towards the ceiling and told a guy to get out of here, you dont even have a head. that in itself wasnt funny but the cynical grimace on her face was priceless. you dont pee on my moms back and tell her its raining. lol , she was as analyitcal as the fbi.
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Reply to captain
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This is very common close to death and we used to call them spiritual visitors and they were often a close relative who had passed. Very comforting to the dying patient and nothing to be worried about. They can also occur after anesthesia, use of narcotic drugs or as a recognizable part of certain mental illnesses. As long as they are not traumatic to the patient do not argue and act as thought they are real to you too. " Really was that Aunt Rose, is she still wearing that silly hat?" It can be scary, funny or plain silly but take your lead from your patient
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Reply to Veronica91
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Wabdalee, my Mom kept hearing 'amazing grace', I looked it up on the internet and it's called audio hallucinations, connected with hearing loss.
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Reply to whodathunk
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My 87 year old mother had hallucinations after she broke her hip and again after another stroke, hearing her mother calling her, seeing dogs and my father who passed 15 years ago, After any anesthetic she had to be strapped down, screaming for someone to call the cops as she was being murdered. It faded eventually. On her notice board in the NH there's a picture of a cat and the latest is that when she goes to heaven she's going to be with that cat and call it Kharma. Okey dokey. Perhaps it's just the body's way of coping with trauma.
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Reply to anonymous179890
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Agree with above. It is very real to them; alarming to you. My mom has dementia and has spells/bad days where she hallucinates. She sees relatives and will even stare as if she sees them and then have a very real and lengthy two way conversation with them. Sometimes she has a phone conversation where she is holding an imaginary phone, talks with the person aloud speaking both parts and then she has handed over the imaginary phone to me and says "doctor so and so or uncle --- wants to talk to you", I just play along and then give her a few minutes and redirect her to something else in another room or outside to break the cycle.

These episodes occur infrequently but are scary. Know it is part of the disease. She was under a psychiatrist care briefly and he put her on several drugs but she hated the drugs and they made her groggy. She stopped taking them. They might be helpful to someone else if the hallucinations were frequent scary and or made the person anxious and fearful.
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Reply to sunflo2
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My mom sees and hears Johnny Cash he is driving her crazt the same song and tune al the time
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Reply to Wabdalee6511
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Gosh, I asked Grampa all about the things he saw. He saw movies on the garage, birds flying with long sticks, visitors in the living room. We would laugh with him. He had kidney failure, the toxins produced vivid hallucinations.
Another Grandmother, unfortunately, saw a man in a black cape with a big knife at her door. She had to go to a secure facility.
As long as the images are comfortable, allow her to enjoy them.
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Reply to pamstegma
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Jeanne is correct. My mother, who never had dementia, had very vivid hallucinations when she had her hip replaced. I am 100% confident they were hallucinations, and she was and remained 100% confident that they were real. She was a very smart lady, so they must have been quite convincing to fool her.

I just stopped discussing it with her, and she never had any more.

So humor her and reassure her. Don't try to convince her she is wrong.
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Reply to Jinx4740
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Seeing and hearing people who are not there is called hallucinating. Hallucinations are very real to the people who have them. It is almost never possible to reason or argue someone out of them.

Hallucinations are often part of dementia. But they can also be caused by infections, such as urinary tract infection (uti). It is important to get a medical checkup and determine if there is a treatable cause for the hallucinations.

Try not to argue with her about this. Accept that what she sees is real to her. If what she sees and hears disturbs her, try to comfort her and then change the subject. ("That person down by the mailbox is probably just lost. He is not going to get in here. We have very good locks. Speaking of the mailbox, have you seen the new magazine that came today?")
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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