Every couple of months, our mom (93, post stroke, post hip break repair, vascular dementia, wheelchair bound in a NH) thinks she has a contagious illness; a couple of times it's been MRSA, for one entire summer, she told us she had leprosy.
I think these are delusions. My SIL, who does most of the visiting and listening, generally things there is a "grain of truth" in them.
I have asked for the NH to do a nasal swab to test for MRSA. If it comes back negative, do we reassure? Do we tell her "there's this great new nasal spray that cures MRSA"?
There are two brand new great grand babies in the family and she is refusing to see them because of the MRSA.
She's had MRSA in the past; on orders from her doctor, we did not divulge that the infection had been a MRSA-based one. It is difficult, but not impossible to cure. When a relative had it in the past (BEFORE she had dementia) she was certain the person would die; I guess you could say that she's always tended to catastrophize things.
Any and all suggestions are welcome. I spent the "summer of leprosy" schlepping her to doctors...I am not doing that again. It gave her NO peace of mind and nearly caused several falls. The NH doctor strongly advised at that point that she be considered "facility bound" and that any medical providers she needed be brought in.