How do you deal with parent that imagines dead people are still alive? - AgingCare.com

How do you deal with parent that imagines dead people are still alive?

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But she wont' talk to hem or come see them? My mother has advanced Alzhiemer's, she's on Aracept and is doing pretty good. Knows me, knows where she's at...

She thinks her mother is still alive. On advice, I have just been going along with it, telling her that her mother is out west visiting her sister, Lynn. Well now she's set it in her head that she's going to go spend a week with Lynn and "momma". She wants to CALL her momma..insists her mother was just there visiting a few weeks ago. (Her mother died twenty years ago. She has other siblings that have died and she accepts that)

I just don't know how to keep deflecting her when she pleads for her mom. It's so bizarre to me that she knows her brother is dead...and is fine with it...but can't accept her mother is dead.

How do you deal with this kind of situation?

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What comes out of all these replies is that everyone is different and there is no one solution.
Preventing wandering is of course a priority and the home has to be secured so that is not possible.
The idea of the memory book is excellent as is any kind of redirecting or stuff like "Mama can't come now it her busiest time with garden" Direct questions should of course be answered thruthfull but difficult subjects not raised by the caregivers.
Remember also that when people approach death they do often see dead relatives at the bedside. Rarely seen by others but very real to the dying. So take them at their word and ask what they were wearing or something similar and follow it by redirecting to what you came into the room to do. These illusions are very comforting to the patient and some believe thay are spiritual guides from the 'other side' what ever your beliefs may be. It is a very different world to our elders and one that it is difficult if not impossible to enter.
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Yes, she was hospitalized for the UTI, but then the Levoquin was worse. The seeing dead people and not knowing her name changed to terrors. Now she seems almost back to normal. Thanks
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Wondering if possible urinary tract infection (UTI). My mom was in an assisted living for a few months, and started seeing her sister. Sister had died many years earlier. Mom even wanted to put her sister on the phone, to talk to me. After UTI was cleared up, she didn't see dead family anymore. Mom did not have alz, not diagnosed with dementia of any kind. She was almost 99.
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With vascular dementia, wouldn't oxygen help that. It helps my mother to regain her sanity and to think straight.
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Jeffrey, although my husband is 83, I am 68, I think if I was also 83, the mindset would be different, I had to find another way as agreeing & nurturing his thoughts, trying to "let it be" morphed into leaving home on his own to see his mother, 2am, under wear only, got a mile and a half before me & police found him. With changing to the " reality" mode, he has not left the house by himself looking for his deceased family anymore, knock on wood, although the subject does come up.
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my mother was very poor when she was young, heck all her life really...and had a large family. One memory she told me about just before the sudden onset of the late stages of dementia was about when her second youngest sister was born. Her father had lost his job and sent all the kids to live with his parents...Mother refused to go (she was the second oldest daughter) because she was terrified that her mother would starve herself to death if she wasn't there to watch her. I can't imagine how that would scare a young child...she was about twelve then..but her big thing is worrying that her mother is somewhere hungry. She pleads with me to let her mother come here and 'she can have MY food'...I want to cry just typing that. Like she feels she has to bargain with me to get me to allow Granny to come stay with us.

Just heartbreaking...I tell her "MOM! You know Rosie (her sister) won't let Granny go hungry! She's fine!!" and that does seem to reassure her but jeez...it's harder on ME than it is on her I think..I HOPE...
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I think the real challenge is as in several cases, like wantingtime's mother and my mother, is that they get very determined to repeatedly and physically leave the building to see their mother. That is really the hard case. Usually this desire to see their mother is combined with a desire to go back to their "childhood home," and I try to see what I can do to make my mother feel more comfortable, ease her concerns, and focus no how I can make her feel better right away.

I think everyone has offered very good suggestions on this really troubling issue for family caregivers. I think all of us don't want to upset our loved ones on this. I was very interested in twopupsmom's solution. I wonder if that would work for a mother as well as it would for a spouse. My sense with my 83 year old mother is that no one else in the house is her age (we are mid-50-60s), and even though she socializes with people her age at a day center a few times a week, she longs for the past when things "were different." I would imagine that it is easier to have a mother take care of you then your son, since you expect to take care of your children. Our mothers and loved ones are coping the best they can, and we just need to keep assessing how to care for them on a minute-by-minute, situation by situation basis. That need to be constantly flexible (while providing a routine?) is part of the real challenge of caregiving.
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Many times a person will find comfort in the belief that someone is still alive & visits them. If it does not cause a leaving on their own response ( As in physicaly
going) let it be.
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I had the pleasure of spending time with several ladies that said and believed similarly. It is ok, and that is maybe just what keeps them going. I hope I do as well when I am their age. I listened, didn't say much, and smiled with their smiles, and didn't add to their stories. I didn't correct them, either. But, I made sure they were safe, and not anxious, one lady loved to walk, and I would walk with her. They are doing what they need to with what they have to work with. Hope this helps. I am not trying to come off like I know it all, for sure I don't , keep in touch.
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My mother believes that live people are dead, BUT she has vascular dementia with paranoia and delusional thinking, not full blown Alzheimers.

After a month in the hospital, she was placed on 3 psychiatric drugs to eliminate the paranoia/delusions. Now, she rarely talks about live people being dead. I don't know how much of this is a result of just 'learning' not to do this because people 'might' place her back into the hospital. I do know she is now terrified of doctors because she believes that the 'doctor' put her into the hospital. (She was placed there because she believed she was constipated three separate times - she wasn't)
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