Mom is new to the SNF, thinks they are trying to kill her. Why the paranioa and anger? - AgingCare.com

Mom is new to the SNF, thinks they are trying to kill her. Why the paranioa and anger?

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Is this normal for her to think this way. Do I not visit, give her time to adjust? Wants me to help her escape, sure feel guilty.

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Paranoia & false beliefs are a part of dementia. Medication can help & the NH will schedule a care plan meeting maybe within the first 30 or 60 days to discuss her adjustment to all this. You want to be able to make a list of what she says as it can be telling as to what triggers "poisioning"

For my mom, she was always bring robbed ( shoes & eyeglasses mainly) & bring poisioned too. If she had rice or mashed potatoes, it would be poisioned. Here is what triggered that, nursing staff mixes their medications into yogurt or vanilla pudding as easier to swallow ( mom has scar tissue in throat) well she sees staff do this = visual cue; then fear exacerbated by dementia = white food is poisioned.

Also the smell in the dining room may trigger an "alarm" that something is wrong. Actually the overall smell in a nh like in a hospital is awful to me & i can leave! If mom is the heighten smell sensory type, you may want to put in a couple of odor releasing thingys in her room. I'd speak with her roommates family as everbody needs to be all kumbaya in this. If you pay for this, they should be quite happy. For my mom, I got renuzit 6 packs at Costco which I replace everytime I come in so every 2 - 3 months. I do think smelling a calming ( lavender) or happy memory smell (gingerbread) helps better their day.

Have you placed familiar things in her room? For my mom, I schlepped this big green porcelain 1950's lamp now from her home to IL and 2 NHs. Ugly lamp too, but it is a touchstone for her as she woke up every day to that lamp next to her.
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Stay away until they get her the right meds and she cooperates. Might take 3 days or longer.
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It is a little hard to use "normal" and "dementia" in the same sentence, but, yes, this is fairly typical behavior for someone who has dementia.

Should you stop visiting for a while and let her settle in? Should you increase your visiting to reassure her? I really don't think there is empirical evidence either way. You might try asking the doctor who treats her dementia, if he or she knows your Mom well.

My mom did not express paranoia and anger, but she was anxious and did not sleep when she first went to the NH. My sisters and I went the visit-her-often route. I even stayed over night with her many times, to try to figure out what was going on with the sleep problems. She would be nervous and anxious when we were leaving, and she tried to get us to stay.

This is Mom's 10th month at the NH. She goes to all kinds of activities we never thought she'd like. She doesn't need us to encourage her to attend. She takes showers willingly (which she never did for us.) She is happy to see us when we visit, but she isn't disturbed when we leave.

Somehow she has lost the anxiety of being in a strange place with unfamiliar people. She is relaxed and content.

She got there with frequent visiting and support from us. Might she have gotten there even faster if we'd left her alone for awhile? Who the heck knows? I have never seen a study or any evidence about this subject.

Personally, I think IF THE PERSON HAS DEMENTIA that it is best not to let them feel abandoned and not to leave them alone too long while they are getting used to a new place. But that is personal opinion, pure and simple. I have not a shred of proof. It worked for us.
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