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we have had hospice with us since Thanksgiving, my mom sometimes asks about friends or family members that are already gone. Then she will shout someones name that is no longer here. what does this mean?

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Also, sometimes when people are entering their final stages of life, they will see and speak with other's that have already passed or to others who are living but who are not in the room. There is a British psychiatrist who calls them "deathbed visions".
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It's part of their dementia and is referred to as a "False Belief". Realize that they are not going to change their mind. What to do really depends on how you can best deal with it and if the false belief poses a safety issue, imho. If her thing is like "Uncle Bill came by and brought me apples" and you can just gloss over it, like "Oh how nice of Uncle Bill" and then move onto & into (lmao) the present and she goes with you, then maybe do that. But if her thing is more "Uncle Bill came over and broke into the house and took apples and I want to call the police" and she is just fixated on it big time, then you have to approach it differently.

The type of dementia she has will over time make a big difference in what type of false belief she has and how often they occur. My mom has Lewy Body Dementia so her false beliefs are usually hallucinations of animals & paranoia that she is being robbed and visits from the long, long dead (her aunts & uncles and people that died when I was still a girl!). How I handle it, is to say “You know mom, that isn’t happening” and then talk about her clothes and hand her an article of clothing or talk about a plant and have her touch it, if we are outside in the patio; about ½ the time she moves on. (Having her touch something helps break from the belief). But if she doesn’t and she is just fixed on harping on & on & on about “what they stole”, then I say “I’m not going to talk about that as it isn’t happening and if you bring it up again, I’m going to need to leave” and if she does, then I leave. I know that doesn’t sound very kum-ba-ya, but if she is just fixated on it, there won’t be any other conversation and all it does it get her super agitated and anxious. The next time I go, she doesn’t even remember anyway.

If you can find the time, try to journal when the outbursts happen. See if there is a pattern. It could be that the mailman triggers the thought of Uncle Bill or that nightfall shadows create an illusion of a person, so putting lamps on timers so there is no shadow spots to make her "see" a person. Good Luck.
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Have you asked the hospice nurse? I'm used to my mother-in-law talking about wanting to call her parents who have been dead for 10+ years, but she has dementia. Your mom on the other hand if she's not suffering from Alz/dementia, then it could be some other reason like meds, UTI or just because. My mom was using Hospice a few months before she died of cancer. There was a couple of drugs that they automatically put her on, like Haldol in particular, that we told them to take her off of because she was not in her right head on it. Her brain cleared up once she was off of it, but then again she never had dementia.
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