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My mom with Alzheimer’s now believes there is a man in her bed, she can't get him out and therefore sleeps in the chair. I have tried a few tactics - I have said he is gone, also tried telling her to kick him out, I have kicked him out. Any suggestions? She is not getting any sleep now. She also thinks the woman in the mirror does not like her (they used to be friends). Is this indicative of a further decline - is this “normal” for Alzheimer’s?

My mother has vascular dementia and Alzheimer's and she went through a period where she thought a man & woman were in her bed and small children were playing in her bedroom. This eventually became a problem because she said the man and woman in her bed were threatening her and she chose to sleep sitting up in a chair. She would also look at her reflection in the mirror and not realize that is was her, at first this wasn't an issue but she started cursing (extremely vulgar terms) at the person in the mirror and telling the person to stop following her everywhere she goes. Her doctor was great and she increased her medication, which helped with the man and woman that she thought were in her bed and my husband covered the mirrors in her bedroom and her bathroom and that stopped her from cursing at the person in the mirror. I eventually had to place her in a memory care facility because it became too much for me to handle after 4 years of caring for her. Unfortunately with this disease you always feel as though you are running a race, because as soon as you figure out how to conquer one thing something else happens. I hope that things work out for both of you
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Reply to Grace21
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AgingCare33 Dec 3, 2020
Omg. This is EXACTLY how I'm feeling with my now 88 year old grandmother. People in her bed, small children running around the house, the reflection in the mirror is not hers. EXACTLY as you described it. I have a feeling after 3 or 4 years I'm gonna have to place her. I dont wanna do this because my mom, whose had 2 strokes, has been in one for 3 years. But none of my cousins are helping and I don't expect them to. I've sacrificed my youth and life and finances to fight this demon called dementia. And it is hell. I wouldn't wish this on nobody.
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Ask her what the man's name is.

If you don't have a dog, perhaps you can foster one for awhile. (?) if you are a pet person.

Get her a stuffed teddy bear, and perhaps that may work.

Put a pretty poster or picture up against the mirror, as the forum has suggested.
Or lil party lights at night.

Play soft music that she likes. maybe she can close her eyes and listen to that. books on tape.

At least your mom still talks. I hope she gets a bit of rest and piece of mind.
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Reply to MAYDAY
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My grandma went through that. My mom told her, "If there is a man in there, you get up and let me sleep there!" It made her giggle and calmed her down enough that she could sleep.
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jacobsonbob Dec 3, 2020
LOL--that was excellent psychology!
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Read up on the side effects of the medications she is on. Think back to when the "seeing people in bed and mirrors" began. Probably shortly after beginning medications. Delusions and hallucinations are common on medications in this catergory. And the medicine does little to help the person taking them. Consider asking her dr to reduce/take her off them. Grandfather has dementia and does much better when I give him simple Sage tea. 3 bags to a big cup and a spoon of honey. A big improvement mentally and emotionally...though still has moments when he cycles through negative irrational thinking patterns. Don't we all :)
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Reply to sunshinelife
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Yes it is normal. There are meds for her hallucinations if they are causing problems. My Moms never did.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Thank you for the responses. I think I might try the stuffed animal.
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Reply to Lucilleball
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Thanks for all the responses. Mom actually doesn’t take any medications - aside from Alzheimer’s she is quite healthy. The delusions have been for 3 years now - they used to be friendly, but now they are causing her some distress. I have an appointment with her doctor in January and will discuss in length at that time
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DiamondAngel14 Dec 3, 2020
I could write a book about the stories my Mom told me. I thought some were so funny. Talk to the doctor, usually meds calm them down a little. They get worse as time goes on. I wish you the best with this horrible disease.
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If it didn't work when you kicked him out, maybe the local police would help and come "arrest" the man, take him away and inform your mother he will NOT be back. I don't know if it would work, but one time my mother was afraid, for some reason, that we were about to be kicked out of our apartment. I called the local (small town) police and the local police chief came and assured her we were not going to have to go anywhere. He stayed and kept assuring my mother until she was satisfied we weren't going to have to leave. I've had to call the a few times to help me pick Mom off of the floor (she wasn't hurt, thank goodness) and they have been nothing but gracious and understanding.
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Reply to Glendatgw
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Please talk to her doctor. Hallucinations can be the result of infections (UTIs are a huge culprit), poor oxygenation, or imbalances in electrolytes. All of these can be treated.

My grandmother had lots of hallucinations when she was having health challenges. Once her sodium levels were out of whack - probably from diet changes and type of blood pressure medication. Once, she was sick and kept imagining a hole in the floor. Once she and my mom came from Illinois to visit us in Colorado and she had oodles of hallucinations. It turns our that she wasn't oxygenating well (oxygen is much lower in the mountains and she has a bad heart) and a little oxygen tank was the "fix" for the remainder of the visit.
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Reply to Taarna
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Give up and buy her a comfy recliner (can be a safer way for the frail elderly to sleep anyway).
When she moves on to a different delusion, she may start using the bed again.
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