Mother with Alzheimer's having delusions. Is this something to be expected?


My mother, who has Alzheimer's Disease, has recently begun having episodes where she believes that our father who passed away 17 years ago, is late coming home from work and she has not heard from him. She is very concerned about him and wants us to try to find him. She also has had times when she asks us to help her find her children who have gone out to play and haven't come home yet and it is getting dark. With both of these types of episodes, she responds that "she knows" when we explain to her that our father passed away and her children are grown. Within 30 minutes, she has no memory of these episodes at all. Is this something that is to be expected with Alzheimer's? We took her to her doctor to make sure there was no other reason for this and none was found. Up until now, she has been able to continue living in her home with visits and help from us. Should we be considering home health care or other options since this has begun to happen? It is so hard to know what to do. Thank you for any advice you can provide.

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KJM1986, what is happening with your Mom is quite normal.

My own Dad would experience what is called "sundowning" where he would get into his time machine and go back to the 1940's. Dad was living in senior living and he would call me saying he was late at work because of a meeting thus he missed the bus to come home, so he will stay at the hotel.

Well, the last time Dad took a bus to and from work was back in the 1940's, and the hotel he was staying at was his Memory Care apartment. I found it was better to just play along with him, not try to convince him it was 2016, as that would only make him upset.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to freqflyer

My MIL always got upset when we brought her to the river house when DD and her friends were still out "partying " on the docked boat after dark, of if the guys were still out fishing after dark. She would pace, say it's time for them to come in to bed.. she could not accept that they were adults in their late 20;s or adult men in their 50's . If you told her, it would work for about 15 minutes,, she would get snippy.. no real calming her down until they back on the house deck. I put it down to sundowners, but it was very hard on her and us. I think she was just back in the day in her mind,, when the kids were in their jammies and in front of the TV by 7.
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Reply to pamzimmrrt

Is there is specific time frame that these delusions of "believing her husband was late coming home from work and she has not heard from him" and "asking for help to find her children who have gone out to play and haven't come home yet and it is getting dark"? Does she ask the questions about the time your father used to come home from work? Is she asking about her children when it is beginning to get dark outside?

Sometimes a person with Alzheimer's will relive an earlier event if they experience a "trigger" that is similar to what happened when the previous event occurred.

Since your Mother has no memory of the episodes within 30 minutes, I don't think that they are something that you should worry about. That being said, apparently your Mother's disease and symptoms are slowly getting worse and you need to adjust your thinking and your response accordingly.

Review some of the posts on this website about Alzheimer's and also visit some of the Alzheimer's websites such as:
Maybe you can find some of the answers that you are looking for on these websites. Remember that each person is different and no ONE person acts the same way as someone else. God Bless.
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Reply to DeeAnna