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Hi There, I am new to this site and wondered if any of you have answers to a few questions I have. My Mum was diagnosed with mixed dementia about three years ago. A combination of Alzheimers and Vascular Dementia. She did the Mini mental state exam and scored 14 out of 30. They put her as mild to moderate. As time has gone on she is now in the moderate stage but still living on her own and coping not too bad. Mum lives in England and I live in Canada. My Father passed away eight years ago. Mum & Dad were very close and Mum has never got over Dad passing away and has not been able to move on. I visit her three to four times a year and we speak every day, sometimes twice a day. I have organised her hot meals every day at lunch time and I shop on line for her every week. She is still at the moment able to make a simple dinner at night. Mum for probably the last six months has told me every day that my deceased Father visits her and she sees him as a solid looking person. It does not frighten her she seems to be comforted by it. The only medication my Mum is on are the lowest dose of the patches that you stick on your arms, chest or back. She does not experience seeing anything else, only seeing my Dad. I read a article that said when someone starts to see there deceased loved one it is usually before they are going to pass away??? has anyone had this happen to their parent or can tell me why this is happening? any input would be gratefully appreciated.

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Welcome Angeleyes,
Many medications are given via patches (pain medication, stop smoking medication, hormone replacement medication, etc.). What type of patch is your Mum taking and for what illness?

Has your Mum been evaluated mentally recently? The reason I ask is that I used to talk to my mom every day also but had NO idea that she had Alzheimer's disease until I went to visit her over the holidays. They do quite well with "chit-chat" for a long while and their confusion isn't noticed by a routine phone call. The confusion appears when they are asked questions that need detailed answers. Does anyone check on her and report back to you?

You said you shop online for her (groceries?) I did that for 2-3 years for my mom too. I noticed she gradually ordered less and less food that needed to be 'cooked'. Her bill, over the course of many months, decreased by $100./mo. It was because she didn't trust herself to cook on the stove anymore. She only used the microwave in the end.

Your Mum may be farther along with her dementia than you realize. Do you have a plan in place for when she can no longer live by herself? I had to scramble to move my Mom closer to me (a 500 mile move) into a senior apartment complex, so I could watch out for her. After 18 months (and no investigative work on my part) she became so confused I knew I had to commit her to a memory care facility. Then I was running all over trying to find someplace. I spoke to social workers and they gave me leads. I was a wreck. Please do some "footwork" now to save yourself the hassle of being in a panic to find accommodations for your Mum. Will she live with you being her caregiver? Will she be placed in a facility in England? Are there siblings that live nearby who would make decisions for her?

As for the "visual visits" from your dad, it could be wishful thinking. This is from the Center of Inquiry;
"Those who suffer the loss of a loved one may experience such anguish and emptiness that they are unable to let go, and they may come to believe they have had some contact with the deceased. “It’s commonly reported that the deceased person has communicated in some way,” says Judith Skretny (2001), vice-president of the Life Transitions Center, “either by giving a sign or causing things to happen with no rational explanation.” She adds, “It’s equally common for people to wake in the middle of the night, lying in bed, or even to walk into a room and think they see their husband or child.” These experiences are sometimes called “visitations” (Voell 2001), and they include deathbed visitations (Wills-Brandon 2000)."

Or her sightings could be hallucinations from dementia, effects of medications, electrolyte imbalance or a bladder infection (UTI) causing the confusion. She should be checked out by a doctor, preferably one that specializes in dementia.

Please prepare for the next step so you are not racing at the last minute like I was to place your Mum. Her condition will only worsen. Better to be prepared.
Get back with us to let us know how things are.
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Medication or some form of dementia may be the reason, but let me describe my family's 4 personal experiences with seeing passed away loved ones.

40 years ago, my grandfather, age 82, awoke one morning saying he saw and spoke with his deceased son. A few weeks later he suffered a stroke leaving him unable to recognize his wife or 2nd adult son, but continued to tell them he saw and spoke with his deceased son. He passed away 2 weeks later of another stroke.

17 years ago, my BIL was suffering extreme headaches. He told us he saw his deceased grandfather walking around the yard. This was while he was awake. Shortly thereafter, the headaches grew worse, he saw a doctor, and was diagnosed with a stage 4 brain tumor, glioblastoma multiform. Four surgeries and 18 months of treatments saw no improvement and he passed away.

My husband's grandmother's last words, while sitting at the lunch table were "I see you, papa, I'm coming." She passed of a massive stroke at that table.

My SIL's husband's elderly mother told him of regularly speaking with and served tea to a middle aged man. These visits lasted more than a year. The staff at the assisted living home told us her visitor was a vision and did not exist in our world.

These dreams and visions may be caused by medication, or may be due to dementia, or may be chemical changes in the brain, or may be a psychological need for comfort during serious illness, or may be a true visitation. I do know that these visions were not frightening to them, and were in fact, comforting.

Just keep loving your Mum, tell her doctors about these visions, and keep her safe.
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YES! It can be normal. My father lived 7.5 years after Mom passed and he frequently saw her standing at the foot of the bed. He knew she was gone, but she looked alive to him. We talked about it often. We think she was wondering what was taking him so long.  It does happen and it doesn't mean there is anything wrong. It brought my dad great joy to see my mother again and again.  When he passed, I could tell by his face the moment he saw Mom again.  He ran to her (legs moving) and the joy on his face was unmistakable. 

An Inlaw said the Angels came and told him he would pass on Wednesday morning - a couple of days away - and he passed on in the wee hours of Wednesday.

My mother saw someone and was walking with them (legs moving) and then she said, "rest a bit," and it was the last thing she said before slipping into a coma.  She passed about 6 hours later - she opened her eyes and her entire face glowed when she passed.  I have no idea who she saw when she passed, but it seemed to bring her great joy!
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In stages 5-6 my mom had many hallucinations. She is now stage 7. She started seeing people, some from her past, others just things like a little boy... about 3 years ago. She is still going strong so I don't think, for us at least, that it means she will die soon.

You are doing a great job watching out for your mom from afar
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Angeleyes123...There are a lot of good answers here. I especially like SueC1857's. Don't worry over "rambling on". We've all been in your shoes. In my case, my dear little mom passed away from her Alzheimer's last month. So, I have experienced all the stages, and now going through my grief stage. The only thing I would add is...begin now. From experience, things could be going along nicely, and then it is like a switch is flipped, the situation for a loved one changes quickly, and then you are scrambling. Were you in the US, I would instruct you to be sure that whatever care facility that you place her in to be sure they have a system by which they can be moved internally to a more intense care area that takes Medicaid. Not all facilities do, and that would not be good. Perhaps in England with socialized care, things are different. And it is important that you get her with professionals in some way. As important as her friends are, they cannot be counted upon. As you mentioned, one has already fallen away. As the disease progresses, your mum's personality can change dramatically, and it might not be one that is pleasing. If that happens, always remember that it is the disease and not her. This is also another reason for you to find help for her now with professionals, be it in-house or with a care facility. We are all wishing the best for you, I am sure. Just take things step by step, and continue to be kind and loving to you mum. Everything will be fine.
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Hi There,

Thank you Barb & Sue for your replies. It really helps to be able to speak to someone who really understands. I visited Mum in May and she was doing quite well, but since I came back to Canada she has started to tell me that my deceased Dad visits with her every day. She does seem to be very comforted with this and I must admit I do play along with what she tells me so that I can get her to talk with me about it. When I was there in the UK we had check ups with her doctor for UTI infection and she was fine. I have contact with her GP whenever I need to speak about anything as my Mum gave her permission to discuss whatever with me.
My Mum is on Rivastigmine patches which are 4.6mg. She puts a new one every day. There is no way my Mum can come and live here in Canada so I have to start as you have said and when I go over in the next month I do need to start looking for where she can be placed to be looked after properly when the time comes. I think I am at the moment in denial of doing this. I am a only child and at the moment I am in the frame of mind that I can keep Mum safe in her home where she is but reality is kicking in and I am beginning to get quite anxious!!!! My Mum means the world to me and the reason we emigrated 14 years ago was to get away from Narcissistic Mother in Law who tried to run my life and my Husbands but as time has gone on and my Father past away and then my Mum was diagnosed with mixed dementia, guilt began to set in with me and I have just begun to realize I wish I was back there to be with my Mum. Both of my parents never minded us moving away for a better life but now I do have regrets and question myself. We have got businesses her and both of our boy's who are now both young men have there respected partners and I do not want to leave them.
I have spoken with her Doctor at great length about Mum having the visitations from My Dad and she has told me not to worry about it as my Mum does not seem distressed in any way. She is keeping a eye on her and keeps in contact with me. My Mum had two friends on the complex where she lives but I have a feeling that she may have told them about my Dad coming to visit her, one of the friends has stopped going to see her but the other is still alright with her. Sometimes some people do not understand how this horrible disease affects people. I am sorry to be rambling on but I am so worried about the future for my Mum with me not living there anymore. What did you look for in a safe place for your Mum? how do you know they will look after her alright? Do you think I would be better to get her some private help at home for as long as possible? Any thoughts would be great to hear.
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Angel, you're doing brilliantly! Wow, what a great support system you have set up for mom AND an understanding doctor. It sounds as though mom is in some kind of apartment complex, with others around, which is really good.

You can start doing internet searches for supportive senior housing in the area where mom lives. Ask her doctor. Have any of mom's friends gone into care places?

Research from afar and then plan to make the rounds on your next visit.
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Thank you RayLinStephens for your answer above.

We have no proof that our loved ones are not seeing those who have passed before. I had that experience, once 50 years ago when I was in my late twenties, another twenty years ago, and one this past past year. These were "dreams" but like no other dream. I see no reason to question or "need proof." I don't go to psychics, but I don't disbelieve them either. I still lead an independent life and am active in my community. But I acknowledge that there's so much we don't know. Don't be afraid of death; two near-death experiences (one a sudden accident, the other slow suffocation) have taught me that. There's a moment when you transition from alarm and terror to tranquility and it's peaceful and beautiful. Others have given good advice on the ultimate practical care your mother needs. There's no reason to question the visits from Dad. It's really quite lovely.
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angeleyes123, what a great question. I'd heard the story, but didn't know how frequently it happened or if it was visitation or hallucination. Glad to hear both answers. My Dad saw his brother a few months before his death. He told Dad that he was sent to help him cross over when it was time. I told him to believe it. Of course, he was also often talking with his sergeant from WW II, and did have some dementia. Who knows.

Mum on the other hand was mentally sharp till the end. Less than a year before her death she told me she'd been seeing her on mother sitting at the kitchen table in the mornings. She enjoyed it.
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The doctors say when the brain is winding down, it begins to 'see' things - as when people who are near death and revived often say they see a bright light or a tunnel, and seeing deceased loved ones is part of this, too.

I refuse to believe that! I want to believe our loved ones are crossing over to help us transition out of life. I would love to see my grandmother again, and hopefully all my pets will be waiting for me at the rainbow bridge, too.
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