Mom (65) has vascular dementia and frightened to be alone --- is it real fear? - AgingCare.com

Mom (65) has vascular dementia and frightened to be alone --- is it real fear?

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So --- mom was inpatient in Psych Hospital because of extreme fear of being by herself ---- especially at night. We have been told she can no longer live by herself and no longer drive..... she is with brother but he and wife work during day. She is calling me because now she is even scared to be alone during the day ----- my question is ---- is this real fear? should we put her in a position (leaving her alone so we can go to work) where she is forced to overcome the fear? Can she overcome the fear or in her dementia state ---- can she not? Please advise!!!!

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I think she can not overcome this fear alone, yes 65 is young but the fact is she has vascular dementia, everything should be done to minimize further risks, such as strokes, high bp and diabetes working with her doctor. Alzheimers can also be in conjunction to vascular dementia, so be sure to talk to doctor. Perhaps you can get someone to get her to an adult day center while family is working. She needs assurance and help with caregivers each day. My mother has alzheimers and is afraid to be alone, got her in to a lovely residential setting with a beautiful large room, own tv, huge garden terrace window, sitting area, eating area, own shower and bath, yet she refused to go in it because she was afraid to be alone. Work with her doctor for support, education and options.
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Yes, the fear is real. No, she will not be able to overcome it on her own.

Was she given any medications in the psych hospital?

You mention that your mother is young -- was she working? Is she now on disability?
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I didn't mean to sound so insensative --- My mom gets herself worked up hours before she knows she may be alone and she says she is scared she will be scared. If you have that kind of negative emotion going on inside and get yourself all worked up before something even happens ---- the inevitable result is that you will be scared once you - in her case - are left alone........ I dont know -- I'm just trying to figure it all out --- there is no money for in-home care or assisted living and if I dont work - I wont be able to help either of us..... she seems too young to go through all of this ---- now I'm scared.
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Your poor mom! Of course it's a real fear. I'd check with her doc or find one who is familiar with Alzheimers to see if they can find an anti-anxiety med that might calm her down so she's not so fearful. I don't think you can "force" someone with Alzheimers to overcome something. Her brain's not working right. It's like asking a patient who's paralyzed just get up and walk. Ain't gonna happen. Their body can't do it.
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