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Every night for a little over a month, Mom has been "seeing" the apparition of a woman holding a baby, sitting atop of her dresser. It always happens after she goes off to sleep. The night before last, I heard her say, "Close that drawer!" I got up, and she was standing outside her room (which was dark), and she said she was sick and tired of people just coming in like they own the place. She asked me if I saw the person & I told her no one was there. She said, "yeah, they just disappeared again". She got up and sat in her chair and said she was going to wait until they came back so she could tell them that this was HER room. After about 10 minutes, she got up and went back to sleep. I was only alarmed because she was so serious about what she had seen. She goes back and forth talking about the vision like it was real and then in the same sentence knowing that it is not. She is 81 and does not have alzheimer's or dementia, and has never shown any signs of either. I'm just concerned if this could be a precursor to something more serious.

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Also:

1. Google "molds, hallucinations". Even if there isn't black mold or something obvious like that in the house, there are molds that can develop on food which cause hallucinations. A sensitive person who unwittingly inhales mold can be severely affected.

2. Has your mother ever had a stillborn child or lost a child at an early age?

Read this post, especially the OP's responses:

https://www.agingcare.com/search.aspx?searchterm=deceased+children%2c+hallucination
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1. What meds is she taking before bedtime? Two relatives and one close friend had vivid hallucinations after taking Ambien. Three people I know who've experienced side effects isn't a scientific validation, but that doesn't exclude the possibility that others have experienced similar reactions.

2. Google "sleeping pill, hallucinations." Is your mother taking any of the meds listed in the many hits?

3. Is she eating any particular food consistently before she goes to bed? Drinking any specific kind of beverage or tea?

4. Google "foods, hallucinations", and look for the hit for Lance Armstrong's site. There's some general, but helpful information there. (Maybe steroids didn't cause him to hallucinate, which for some might discredit the value of his site. But the site is actually a good resource.)

5. Following on Send's comments, divert a bit and do relaxing things before bed - don't watch tv but listen to soothing, relaxing music.

6. Either check her medicine bottles or ask her pharmacist to tell you who the manufacturer is and what the source of manufacture is. If she's getting meds from emerging market countries, there's a possibility the ingredients aren't safe. Even though it's literally impossible to source all the ingredients, I won't buy any meds for myself or my father unless the end manufacturer is from a developed country - US, Sweden, Israel, Canada, etc.
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Time to try a night light. Be sure there is no glare, like the plug-ins at the socket. We have the little decorative battery powered lanterns (about the size of a basketball) in the bedroom, giving off a soft glow. Found at dollar stores seasonally. If an electrical power failure occurs, that is better than a flashlight because you don't carry it, you hang it.
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My thoughts are that because it occurs after she has been asleep, it is not sundowners.
If it is distressing to her, if it is upsetting to her, see her doctor. It may be a UTI, or a side effect of medications. Ask her if she knows the baby.

Many medications that one has taken for years become more dangerous in the elderly, or even just after age 65. See the BEERS LIST of medications not recommended after 65. Is she taking a prednisone, or Klonopin?
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Look up hynogogic and hypnopompic hallucinations. There is also something called benign anomalous experiences.
Wiki says:
Apparitional experiences:
A common type of anomalous experience is the apparitional experience, which may be defined as one in which a subject seems to perceive some person or thing that is not physically present. Self-selected samples tend to report a predominance of human figures, but apparitions of animals,[4] and even objects[5] are also reported. Notably, the majority of the human figures reported in such samples are not recognised by the subject, and of those who are, not all are of deceased persons; apparitions of living persons have also been reported.[6]
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I have seen this happen when a friend's mother had an early cognitive decline.
They went to have her diagnosed by the doctor.

Meanwhile, whenever I talked with her, she would tell me about it, and that no one believed her, At first, asking questions about the incidents would lead nowhere. So I told her I believed her, and we would get ice cream. This seemed to calm her. Six months later she could not live alone and went to assisted living.

It is good your Mom has you.
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Or maybe she really does see a woman with a baby. I know this probably sounds dumb to some of you but there is a remote possibility that she is seeing a spirit with a baby. Probably not............but you never know.
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One thing which can cause hallucinations and delusions is a urinary tract infection. I think you would see some additional symptoms within a month, though, and the regular timing doesn't exactly match a uti. Still, worth checking this out.

Sundowners is a cluster of behaviors that occur as part of dementia. Does Mom have any other symptoms that might indicate cognitive decline? For example, how is her memory? Is she more easily confused? Does she repeat herself? How is her sense of smell?

With any drastic behavior change in the elderly it is a good idea to consult her doctor.
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