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TNT5197, the first think I'd do is have her tested for a uti. Urinary tract infections can cause hallucinations in elders.
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My Mom who is very sharp with everyday life has recently been seeing people sitting on her couch. She's certain they're real but can't figure out how they got into her house with the doors locked and the alarm set. Her daughter died over a year ago and she still can't believe it. She does not take any sleeping pills. The people she's seeing are complete strangers.
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This phenomena is called Sundown Syndrome. My sister in laws mother was seeing people, monkeys, tigers in the back yard. This occurred every night around sundown. My brother then put privacy shades on all the windows so she could not see out. This helped a lot. The dr. Also prescribed an anti anxiety med for her to stay calm. It all work.
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This phenomena is called Sundown Syndrome. My sister in laws mother was seeing people, monkeys, tigers in the back yard. This occurred every night around sundown. My brother then put privacy shades on all the windows so she could not see out. This helped a lot. The dr. Also prescribed an anti anxiety med for her to stay calm. It all work.
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This phenomena is called Sundown Syndrome. My sister in laws mother was seeing people, monkeys, tigers in the back yard. This occurred every night around sundown. My brother then put privacy shades on all the windows so she could not see out. This helped a lot. The dr. Also prescribed an anti anxiety med for her to stay calm. It all work. Her mom also had advanced cataracts on both eyes. They were so bad they could not be operated on. So eye sight played a part in this syndrome. One night she woke up screaming because she thought the rug on the floor in her room was a tiger.
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This phenomena is called Sundown Syndrome. My sister in laws mother was seeing people, monkeys, tigers in the back yard. This occurred every night around sundown. My brother then put privacy shades on all the windows so she could not see out. This helped a lot. The dr. Also prescribed an anti anxiety med for her to stay calm. It all work.
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Some people say that the paranormal exists, I believe so too. I wonder how much is dementia, how much is age and visits from spirits.
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My mother was the (same way) might want to have he or she check for bladder infection. It can make them hallucinate . My mother ending up having a bladder infection she if fine now don't do that anymore Medications can do that as well all doctors want to just give Medications Doctors are not god don't mean its' a good thing for them just cause there doctor says so. I used my own best judgement and it always been the best even if a doctors says she should take it! Hope this helps you
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My mom is the same way. She says she sees things. In my culture, it means that it is close to their time to leave this earth. But my mom's been seeing things for ages so who knows.
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My mom has dementia and has many "parties" with her "friends" and their children. Thank God, they are happy hallucinations, so far. She also has Macular Degeneration and I am told this is associated with hallucinations as well. In the beginning, she would ask herself if it was a hallucination if they didn't answer her back and then leave the room, but now she no longer can distinguish, as the dementia and vision deteriorates.But as long as they remain "friendly", we kind of go along.
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My Dad "saw people in his house" too. He also saw them in the yard. The dr. suggested we get a Poloroid camera and take a picture to prove to him that no one was there. We did just what the dr. suggested and my Dad saw the people in the pictures too. He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and they told us that it was the vision part of his brain that was affected. It's so hard....my heart goes out to you. Good luck, and I hope you find some comfort from this site as I have. It's nice to know that your aren't going through this alone.
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My mother has Lewy Body Dementia too, and has had hallucinations for several years. She IS more likely to have them with a UTI and when she had pneumonia, but even without these problems, she's always seeing extra cats and dogs in her house. She has 1 small dog and 1 cat, but swears there are more! When she is sick, she sees relatives who are either deceased or who live a long distance away, saying that they visit her. It's interesting.
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My dad did this, even thinking it was my son at his house asking for money. We don't know who it was. My dad has dementia and has gotten progressively worse over the last year. I had to place him in the nursing home because he fell and couldn't get up. He had stopped taking his medicine and was not eating even though he thought he had done both. The first place to start is like everyone else has mentioned is a uti,then check and see if it is dementia. Be careful also my dad started to wander the neighborhood during the night, something he never would have done before.
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I would like to respectfully offer another suggestion. Anyone who has read any of the NDE (near death experience ) books or the "Life after Life" type books which record the stories of people who have encountered "visitations" from people they know have already died will recognize that there is something mysterious that can happen to some individuals where they do receive full-body visitations from loved ones who have already passed away. My father passed away in 2008 yet his mother (who was in her mid 90's at the time of his passing) said she saw him many times in her room at the nursing home. I never doubted this. She was able to receive a lot of solace from his visits and when we affirmed her experiences, rather than tell her that she was "wrong", it helped her to be more relaxed and she actually looked forward to his "visits". I don't know what she was seeing but I accepted that for her, it was real and was a comfort for her.
However, we also had the opposite problem in that she tried to convince us that she was being raped by her care-givers at the nursing home. A very serious accusation which we of course had to investigate. Her doctor was able to re-assure us that she was unharmed and in absolutely no danger....but that she might be re-processing a memory from her own past (when she had been assaulted when she was a young woman). She was in the phase of being new to the nursing home and resenting it terribly, so working with the doctor we developed a plan to try and re-assure her that she was indeed safe. The nursing home put up a non-functioning fake digital camera in her room and told her that they would be watching her room 24/7 on CCTV. She seemed to be reassured by that.
One other thing we had to change was the motion alarm that the nursing home used for her. It was a recorded voice alarm that would go off if she moved from her chair or bed. When she moved a voice would ask her to sit back down and wait for the nurse to come. It was a male voice and came out of nowhere, from her perspective. The device was supposed to alert staff that she was mobile and needed help (she was not able to walk without help) but the alarm contributed to her feeling that strange (to her) males were watching her and could "get" her anytime. We asked the staff to stop using the alarm and soon she stopped reporting that she was being abused. It was an important reminder that what we can understand and perceive/interpret as "real" may be different for elders.
As she moved closer to her own passing, she reported more and more visitations from family and friends who were there to (apparently) give her comfort and support for her own dying process. Some of these visitors were already passed, some were still living. Children especially seemed to be visiting her close to the end. She was becoming child-like herself and we wondered if she was overlaying her own memories of childhood onto the present as she was less and less able to care for herself. In some ways it all made a certain kind of sense. For us, it became more important to support HER reality of the "positive" visitations (since she gained comfort from them) and try to manage the triggers that might be causing the negative experiences. These could be certain medications, dehydration, infections, environmental factors (like the alarm or the scary hovering "alien" which turned out to be a Mylar balloon a visitor left as a gift). It was also very important to make sure that for my grandmother, she had no male caregivers alone with her at any time. Whenever a male was there to help with care-giving they made sure that a female staff person was there too. It was still very hard for my granny to feel truly safe, but we did the best we could and we knew that she was in fact physically safe. Eventually she began to trust that she was safe and could enjoy all the "visitors" that came to see her, including those who were already departed. Because we supported her encounters with those special visitors, she was less agitated and conflicted about what was happening to her and began to accept a more fluid and expanded experience of "life" as she was now living it.
I know this is contrary to how most people would approach this situation but our Elders can still teach us a lot about the mysteries of life if we can simply accept that there may be more to experience than we realize if we can expand our definition of what we think is "real". I mean no disrespect to anyone's personal belief systems, however in my case I saw how supporting my Grandmother's positive visions helped her feel comfort when so much of her life was no longer in her control and I'd like encourage other care-givers to not be quite so afraid if their Elder is starting to see things they themselves cannot.
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My husband has Lewy Body Dementia, and it all started with very scary nightmares, some seeming straight out of his dreams and some just fantasies (old friend drowning vs. Native Americans kidnapping him). It was very scary for both of us, hard to calm him down. Finally after I researched and got him to a good psychiatrist (took a couple tries), he prescribed Seroquel, which has pretty much totally cut out the night-time scares. Now he's also on Depakote to cut paranoia, more during the day. Do your research, find a good dr. and DON"T let them prescribe "old-fashioned" anti-psychotics like Haldol if it is LBD -can have scary long-term effects like permanently frozen posture. Good luck -and do check in here again!
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Yes I agree with Medication could have a lot to do with they way they feel and think. Theses people have Alz and Dementia so they will have these problems anyway and Medications are Not always the answer from my experiences. My mother is 90 and does much better with out them unless its very important and she has to have it. My mother was hallucinating a lot at one time and found out it was a bladder infection. She don't do that anymore you might still want to check that out anyway. At the time my mother was hallucinating she seemed fine to me it didn't seem like she had that but she was really not like herself and had to call 911 and she got treated and is fine as far as that goes but she does have sun downers also try the complete B- Vitamins they have a lot to do with memory and will help. Good luck!
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This is a normal part of the dementia. It can also be brought on by certain medications. My mom was FAR worse when she was on Ambien and another med I can't think of off hand. ;) Took her off those and she is much better.
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Hannah44, good comments. My mom has been going through this a lot. She says she is talking to her mom and sisters who all died a long time ago. Mom is 92 and was the baby of the family. When she argues loudly with them, I just smile, at least it isn't me.
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My mom says that her little granddaughter sleeps in her bed each night with her. She always tells her to go to sleep as she if figity. She will talk to her and tells me that the nurse's aids will come in and say," Who are you talking too?" and she just says myself and laughs. They tell me she has quite the conversations. They are never bad dreams or whatever she is having. One day she told me she was sitting in her wheelchair and her little granddaughter was playing in the closet. She told her to get out of there several times, but that little stinker never did listen. My mom has demenita and we think Alz. is on the way too. The nursing home doesn't seem too concerned when I tell them what she tells me. Good luck to you too!
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I agree with the previous responses, but one additional cause to explore may be Lewy Body Dementia, which affects 1.2 million Americans. A typical symptom is hallucinations, frequently of children or small animals. My husband, who has this illness, has been seeing children playing in our backyard, acrobats swinging from trees, and even a movie being filmed featuring Civil War re-enactors!. For him, these hallucinations don't seem to be frightening. If the cause is not a UTI, you may want to take your Mom to a good neurologist for an examination. Be sure to ask if the doctor is familiar with the symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia and if s/he isn't, try to find someone who is. Given its prevalence, it's surprising how few doctors and others are up-to-date on this disease, and misdiagnoses are common. This is frightening because some medications that work well for Alzheimer's patients can have serious negative effects on LBD patients. Good luck with your journey with your Mom!
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Hannah44...your mentioning the eye problems makes sense too. My mom has had glaucoma and macular degeneration; I never thought of that as far as her seeing things. She does tend to say her bed and blanket are dirty and that is from the macular degeneration, combined with her OCD and dementia (not to mention her imagination).
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This happens A LOT to my mother. She sits in her bed and yells "get out of my room" and there is no one in there. Sometimes I hear her answer as if someone asked her a question....when I go in her room and ask who she is talking to, she will point in the corner and say that someone is over there. She has late stages of dementia.
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Is she taking sleeping pills? Some of those can cause hallucinations and some other strange behavior in not only the elderly, but others. Just a thought.
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My mom has both macular degeneration and moderate dementia. Before her heart attack when we moved her to assisted living she kept seeing a man standing across the street or outside her window at night. Although she had an alarm system she was putting chairs under the doorknobs. My brother-in-law set up a camera to see if he could catch whatever was moving around outside. All he saw were a couple of cats - ha, ha! We were told by neurology that it isn't uncommon to have hallucinations occur with dementia. Sometimes these produce paranoia (as in my mom's case.) If the hallucinations are disturbing or upsetting to the person it is best to report this to your neurologist. To this day we aren't sure if it was her brain or her eyes contributing to mom's hallucination but she doesn't see people any more.
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Does this happen after she has been sleeping for awhile? Maybe she is dreaming. Jeanne is correct about having her checked for a UTI. Hallucinations are very common with UTI. My mother was hospitalized for 4 days with a UTI, she was telling me and sis about having gone in the mountains and we ate at a restaurant where she got food poisoning (this didn't happen). Also if she has dementia/Alzheimer's she can also have these symptoms especially at night when sundowning occurs. Hallucinations with dementia/Alzheimer's can occur in the early-mid stages. My mother recently accused me and sis of plotting her murder all because she got privacy act notices in the mail. My father also had Alzheimer's and would tell us about his deceased mother visiting him. I would take her to the doctor as soon as possible to rule out UTI, have them evaluate her memory and any current medications she is taking.
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Hallucinations are common in the later stages of dementia. Also as was said, sometimes it's their inability to interpret shapes, shadows, the television, etc. For example, a dark rug may appear as a hole in the floor. My mom does not seem frightened by her hallucinations, so we try to respond calmly and go along with her.
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My aunt used to complain of this also. It went on for about a month and then it was obvious it was dementia. Good luck.
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A trick of the light, shadows, a vivid imagination ...

Do these people frighten her? Bother her? Does she just report them as matter-of-fact, or does she want you to do something about them?

Are they by any chance children?

One surprising but common cause of these kinds of sightings is a uti! It would be a good idea to have Mom checked for possible infections. I would do this as soon as possible.

Another possibility is dementia. Is she displaying any other unusual behavior? Memory lapses?
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