What should I do about my mother-in-laws episodes of seeing and hearing things which are not there?

Follow
Share

Off and on, she has been hearing music and singing outside the window in her room for several months. Now she's seeing people, bugs, babies & animals in her room. Especially at night. Last night she kept talking throughout the night and would not relax and sleep. We have an appointment set up for her to check on a recurring UTI on Monday. However, I'm unsure what to do until then.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
5

Answers

Show:
Hi Son, The whole medical community is going on a wrong direction in finding the actual cause of this. You will be amazed that your hallucinations are going while you having a swim or your head is under water. Just try this once!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I've heard about the 'musical ear' syndrome, it's an interesting concept. I find it causes more problems to say no you don't see bugs, people etc. but to just go with the flow. If it's something scary for her, reassure her that you will take care of it so she doesn't have to worry; shoo away the people she sees or you will 'spray' for the bugs, etc.. You can contact your local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, they can give you some tips on how to manage such behaviors.
When there is a behavior change it usually indicates something is happening such as a UTI, with my dad it gradually became worse-he had pneumonia and had hallucinations. If one way doesn't work, get creative and try something different-it doesn't matter if it's off the wall as long as it works. I like the example above with the bats. Just go with the flow. Good luck. Don't get discouraged, look for support in your area.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This could also happen due to induced electrical activities to your brain. Just see if your symptoms are going while you are under the shower.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hallucinations can certainly be triggered by a UTI, so I am very glad you are having that checked. Until then, don't try to talk her out of her hallucinations or argue with her. "Is that cat you see bothering you, mum?" If it isn't, just go along with her. Hallucinations that are not distressing to the patient do not need treatment.

Once my husband saw bats in our bedroom at 3 am.
Me: baseball bats?
him: No. You know, the flying mouse kind of animal.
Me: Where are they?
him: sleeping on the floor on my side of the bed.
Me: Are they bothering you?
him: No. They are sleeping.
Me: How about if we let them sleep, and if they are still there in the morning I'll get a broom and chase them out?
him: OK
Me: Good night dear.

If her hallucinations are distressing her, then do your best to calm her down without arguing or denying her truth.

If she doesn't have a uit, then something else is causing these visions. Is she displaying any other unusual behavior? Having memory problems?
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Hi Son:

Good idea to have her checked for a UTI. Be sure to tell the doc about the seeing and hearing things. Hallucinations can be part of dementia, and the doc may prescribe an anti-anxiety or anti-psychotic drug for that. I've heard this can work wonders!

As for hearing music and singing outside, this may be part of the dementia hallucinations, or it may be something called "Musical Ear Syndrome." We experienced this with both parents, to the point that my dad was calling 9-1-1 to ask the cops to come and tell the guy who was singing out on the lawn to knock it off. Of course, there was nobody there. But Dad insisted he heard it. My mother did the same for a while. This usually happened at night when it is very still outside.

I searched the internet on the subject and found a book about Musical Ear Syndrome. Apparently as people lose their hearing, the brain makes up for it by triggering musical memories. These memories produce sounds that are very real to the person hearing them. I can't tell you the number of times my dad insisted that I mute the TV so I could hear the guy singing outside. Of course, there was nobody there. My mother heard choirs singing outside. My parents were both musicians, playing instruments and singing in choirs their entire lives. I remember one time when Dad insisted he heard singing and I tried to explain, yet again, that it was just a memory, he said it couldn't be because he didn't know the song.

Bottom line, we insisted that dad wear his hearing aids ALL THE TIME! When he would go without them, hating them as many people do, he heard the phantom music all the time, since his brain was deprived of auditory stimulation. My mother does not need hearing aids, but we have her watch more TV so she gets more auditory stimulation. Google "Musical Ear Syndrome" and check out the book.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.