Follow
Share

Sometimes she hears people whispering and other times she thinks there's two men on a ladder trying to get in through her window. What can we do? I live with her and I always check to try to comfort her but she still seems upset and then can't sleep. Thank you in advance for any suggestions.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Encountered same situation as other replies when caring for my mom, who is now 91, UTIs and hearing (see audiologist) should be first things checked. The symptoms are very similar, lived through this, wish I would have known earlier, would have been much better for my mom and myself.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

When my Mom fell into the dementia downhill slide, it was due to a sudden death of her other sibling. Along with the dementia, she was diagnosed with Psychosis. That 2nd one was the culprit of all the things she was seeing and hearing that were not there. See if her Dr can prescribe her something for that.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

As a nurse, I agree with the others to have your mom evaluated by her doctor. Many things can cause confusion (dehydration, infections, etc.). Has she had a hearing test lately?
As a daughter of a mother who "heard noises and conversations" in her apartment for over a year, it turned out to be Alzheimer's. I lived in a different city and would call her every night. She would tell me that the conversations were bothering her. The landlord and the owner both came to her apartment and stayed for 4 hours. They heard nothing. I visited her to investigate and also heard nothing.
We went to the grocery store. When I went back in to get something, she "heard the noises and conversations" in my car. That proved to her that it was not sounds of the apt. building.

She has told me she has a "headache" for the past 6 years. (coincidentally, about the same time she's had Alzheimer's). No medications have helped her "headaches". We've gone from simple hearing tests to appts. with brain surgeons and no reason was found as to why she hears these sounds. (During this time she tested positive for Alzheimer's.)

I saw a presentation on You Tube about 2 researchers studying Alzheimer's. They mentioned that sufferers hear muffled noises and soft conversations in their heads. I can only conclude that this is what my mother is experiencing and she explains it as a headache.
Maybe this is a possible reason for your mother hearing things that aren't there. Blessings to you both.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Based on my experience with my mom and talking with other caregivers in my support group, this is the norm for many people suffering from dementia. In some instances it's imaginary, in others it might be a shadow from a room, even a reflection from a mirror or you name it. For my mom, she had to have a night light on to go to sleep. So, once you identify a pattern, my suggestion a) don't argue that the situation doesn't exist - because to them it does and will likely increase their fear/agitation, b) try to make them feel safe and comfortable as possible- if it's something you can change or rearrange do it, and it will also save your nerves as well.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My suggestion would be to check any nearby appliances such as any heaters, refrigerators, air conditioners, humidifiers, or air purifiers and see if your mother is mistaking the noise that these machines are making for conversations. While a person is on the verge of falling asleep that person is in an altered state, so hearing is also altered in a way. You just aren't yourself as you are when fully awake. Try changing the setting on the fridge, if that's the culprit. The noise coming from heating vents, in particular "forced air," can be very loud and disturbing for some sleepers.

Have you had your own hearing checked? Maybe your mother hears neighbor's radio, TV, or telephone or boom box that you aren't able to hear.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

So good to know that other people are going through the identical things with their loved ones as I am. Mom is in an assistive living facility in her own apartment. She says she has people taking showers in her room; stealing her food; bugs in her bed; people coming into her room when she is gone and screwing up her TV; people bringing back her screens which they had but didn't know were hers (when all the time they were in her closet, which she was hiding); people stole her wallet and it gone (when she hides it and we always find it; and the list goes on and on. I think it is time for an eval with a gerontologist, cuz Mom says her mind is clear and that I am making her worse than she is. Thanx for all the input.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Dementia. Either organic or caused by a UTI. Get a geriatric doctor eval. He will do blood tests and a psych eval. There is medicine. The same thing happened with mom. First she started losing things and blamed us for stealing them. That was rough. We took her nail scissors, we stole her dental bridge, her nail file, her pad of paper. I was recovering from cancer. I was bedridden. She stood by my bed and badgered and demanded on and on until I got up on my skinny legs and looked for her items. This went on every day for a week until my husband said no more or you LEAVE. You will not do this to your daughter. Then it progressed to a man was stealing from her purse at night. Nope. A man was going to jump through the picture window and steal her purse. No mom. Not with the security cameras and all of us here with you. Nobody can even see your purse on the floor from the road waaaay out there. You are safe. She constantly repeated this spiel. Before we took her in with us she was driving. Ohhhh God. My husband found dents all over her car. Everybody is always hitting my car at church. Nope. We got a doctor eval, he yanked her driver's license and put her on medicine. The delusions are gone. We have different things going on now as her disease progresses. It was h*ll. Buy the book The 36 Hour Day. It will save your sanity.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

My husband does the same thing. Ten years ago he had extreme surgery, and six months later he said people were streaming through the house all day. This slowly faded away, however it returns occasionally. He thinks I've been smoking because he smells cigarette smoke a lot. He wakes at night and sees someone standing by his bed. I tell him it's his guardian angel, so that settles him down.
As to someone breaking in, I tell him it's the wind banging things around. I like the idea of white noise in the room and will try that if it continues.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I live with my 94 year old mother who thinks the next door neighbor is spying on her and " opening and shutting her blinds" ( that is not happening) however, I cannot convince her that the blinds are not opening and shutting on their own. She is angry with me because " I don't believe her" I have stopped arguing with her and walk away when she starts trying to "convince me" . Really sad.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Read about Lewy Bodies syndrome. Causes hallucinations.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

My mother has late-stage dementia and can barely hear when I am shouting in her ear, but she says she hears the dog trying to get in(we have no dog), hears music playing in the basement(we have no basement), and she says there are snakes in the bed and we have to check the toilet for snakes before she sits down. She has also been saying lately that there are bugs in her drink.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

My mom lives with me and does the same thing. I got her to sleep in another bedroom that was attached to mine and left a light on. She is now back in her own room and doesn't worry or hear/see as much. She doesn't even leave a light on anymore. She's 87+.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I do not have dementia and I have had the same problem that your mother appears to be having. There are times when I'm in bed that I can swear I hear what sounds to me like voices speaking very faintly or I will suddenly hear a loud thump but then I'm puzzled because while I heard the thump, my dogs who sleep with me, didn't....and they are very alert dogs. I thought either my house was haunted or I was losing my mind because I don't hear these things any other time except when I'm in bed trying to go to sleep. My doctor said it was an inner ear thing. Nothing serious, nothing fatal...some people have it and some never do. So I began using white noise in my bedroom. I have a fan that runs all the time and if that doesn't seem to do the trick, I turn on Pandora and it tunes out the noises. While I still hear it from time to time, it helps tremendously for me to know that the noises I'm hearing are all (literally) just in my head.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Hallucinations are absolutely a part of Alzheimer's/Dementia. My mother had MANY of them, from being stalked by someone at her apartment to this person breaking in and stealing her wallet which resulted in a call to the police. This mind-set had been building up for years; it wasn't sudden onset. When this "stalker/thief" followed her to the nursing home, the staff went along with her claims But, this is was a good thing. One day when I was visiting her, she became frantic that this stalker was coming through her wall and having sex under her bed. Her aide just happened to come by and said, "Oh, no, Mrs. B.! He got fired! He's not allowed in the building anymore. The police are watching him!" Even though she'd obsessed about this person for years, after the aide told her this, she never mentioned him again. But be aware that this is progressive. If Mom has not been evaluated by her PCP, it might be time.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Sounds like your mom should visit her primary care doctor for a check up or a neurologist for an evaluation. Could be just age related dementia or a memory impairment. High blood pressure, not to fool with, can cause hallucinations. A uti may be the cause as well. A blood work up and urine test will show if there is any infection. Is your mom on any medications, especially a new one? A sleeping aid, some of the anti-psychotic meds can cause hallucinations or paranoia, even a simple antibiotic can do it. For peace of mind, get her checked out. If any meds are prescribed always watch for those dreaded side effects. The circle of life may bring on a caregiving role for us. We become more of a parent to our loved ones. I am caring for my elder brother with ALZ, I feel like a mom these days in lieu of a sister. What happened I ask many times! Wishes that all will be ok, helping our moms is the best, do it full steam! God Bless🌸
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

My father in law who I am a caregiver for, would come out of the bedroom complaining that the guy who lived in the bathroom kept making noise, hollering woop woop, he lives with his wife alone in his home. I checked the bathroom and showed him no one there. I told him I would check outside, I went outside to check and found a squaril in a tree making noise in a tree outside the house by the bedroom. I chased it off and told him what it was. So try checking for any noise like a furnace /actually unit blowing or other noise that may not be a constant noise.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I know when my mom started losing her hearing shed tell me she'd hear neighbors playing loud music outside.
They didn't but I didn't know my mom was having hearing issues.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

It would be a good idea to check to be certain there aren't any real sounds that would sound like what she's describing. For example, could there be a tree branch that hits or scrapes the side of the house? Are there any utilities, such as water running (or even a "babbling brook") or an HVAC system making noises that could be construed as conversation? If there is a real sound, it could be "amplified" in the mind of someone suffering from dementia.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

My Mom hallucinated a whole break in-even made them a snack!!! She had a UTI! Have the urine checked immediately to rule one out. The whole experience took at least 10 yrs off of MY life!!!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Helpful Answer (1)
Report

It's entirely possible that your mom has dementia that's causing this, but has she had any mental illness diagnosis in the past? Something that would cause these same symptoms? Has she ever been like this in the past, or is this new?

Unfortunately, when someone has dementia, the things they think they are hearing, feeling or experiencing seem very, very real to them. Sometimes it's impossible for them to rationalize something they see or hear, so they make up a huge, long story in their mind to justify it.
My grandmother was extremely demented in her later years and used to tell us someone was breaking into the attic through a window she had nailed shut, coming downstairs through several locked doors, getting meat out of the locked freezer, cooking it, eating it, washing the dishes and putting them away where she couldn't find them. All of this was to justify the fact that she had misplaced her favorite skillet.

I would recommend talking with your mom's doctor and seeing if a geriatric psych evaluation can be done to determine what's going on, and have her tested for any possible infections (like a UTI) to rule out any possibility of infection causing the change of mindset.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter