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There are a couple of causes for delusions which are altered thought processes: infections (UTIs being a primary one for women who are incontinent), blood chemistry imbalances, strokes or other insults to the brain, poor oxygenation, poor eating that leads to blood glucose problems... Since most seniors (75% of those 75 years old and more as get older) have Alzheimer's disease to some degree, consider whether your mother may be reliving trauma from an earlier time in her life or misinterpreting baths and toileting help as sexual assault. It might be a good idea to have the doctor examine her for the usual physical causes as well as evidence of sexual assault (just to ease your mind and clear staff of wrong-doing).Consider that she is anxious and frustrated being in her current situation and may do better with a mild anti-anxiety medication.
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Reply to Taarna
Tothill Feb 8, 2021

I am not sure where you got your numbers? I reflected on my own experience and that of my classmates and friends and your numbers did not make sense.

I checked for reputable Canadian sources and found this link.

In Canada at over age 85 and over about 25% of seniors have some form of dementia, the rate is higher in women and closer to 20% in men.

I do agree that OP's Mum may be reliving an early trauma that has been suppressed all these years.
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I care for my 84 yr old mother . She has dementia and makes up stuff all the time. Says people are around that have passed away. She spoke to people who passed away. She is going to do this or that. She is bed ridden her knees are so bad. She refuses to get out of bed. Even tho her arms work she refuses to feed herself so we sit and feed her. Watch movies w her. She usually doesn’t even understand what’s going on in the movie. It’s very difficult but we love her and do our best w her. I would do a nanny cam for peace of mind. But I guarantee what she is saying is not true.
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Reply to Jayci1964

You may also want to have her checked for a UTI-whenever my MIL’s delusions like that ramped up is when she had had a UTI. They don’t present the same in elders. She would associate pain in her nether regions with being raped. One time she also had extreme constipation and impaction and went on a huge rant about being raped. After that was all clear-the accusations went away. 🤷🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️ Any time she she would start back up with “they’re trying to kill me” or “they’re poisoning me” we’d always check for UTI and that was usually the case!
Another thing it could be is “hospital delirium” even though it’s not a hospital. They also refer to it as “new facility” delirium. They are so out of their normal place and routine they have a break with reality and their broken brains construct things to explain what’s going on. It sometimes resolves and sometimes stays. 🤦🏼‍♀️
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Reply to DILKimba

My mother's delusions were quite disturbing to me - I recognized them for what they were, but it was heartbreaking to hear her wild stories, because I knew that my Mama was indeed slipping away from me. It was only when they turned into personal accusations that I experienced true horror. Fortunately, the ones like that were few and far between.

On analyzing her delusions, I deduced that many of them stemmed from her subconscious, and sprang from a combination of bad experiences, preconceived notions, personal ideologies and many disappointments that had occurred throughout her lifetime - a mixed bag of highly emotional things, many of which were magnified in her poor tired brain, and manifested themselves in delusional stories.

Thinking about your mother's past life and personality may help with understanding what's going on. By all means, practice due diligence in determining if any of her delusions have any basis in fact, but proceed with caution and practicality.
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Reply to PeeWee57

I’d say - nanny cam just for your own peace of mind. The staff will be fine if you discuss it with them first. Let them know that you are aware that mum has these delusions that are normal for her condition, that you don’t think they’re true but that they are making you anxious. You don’t even have to watch the footage, it may help you just to know it’s there.
It must be quite lonely for mum now dad’s getting out and about more. I’d talk to the staff about this too - see if they can get her out to socialise with other residents so she’s not so reliant on dad. It will give her other things to do and think about. It does feel to me like there’s some social isolation involved in the paranoia and delusions. My mum’s tendency towards this is getting worse the longer she is unable to get out due to COVID risk. I love the ideas about the biographies and memory books. I agree not to move them unless absolutely necessary - the more change that’s introduced to their lives, the more they will struggle with their conditions - consistency and routine are comforting for dementia.
I hope you find a good solution and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you.
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Reply to Leo1972

There is no reason to move someone who is delusional as will have the EXACT same delusions in another MC. Surely since you know she is fabricating these stories, moving won’t make a bit of difference. This is the time sadly where you have to grow a very thick skin. You can use therapeutic fibs and say you are looking into it and then drop it. Do not argue with her about these delusions as that will make it worse.
be sure you do discuss her behavior with her doctor as perhaps he or she might have something helpful she can take. Depakote or Tegretol helped my dad when he became delusional and at times even combative. But you are sadly dealing with dementia.
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Reply to Harpcat

My mother suffered from Lewy Body Dementia and her accusations about the staff were almost exactly the same as your mother's.
Her carers were great with her but my worry was that it was hard to like her and that that might result in her being treated badly when I wasn't there.
We considered a camera at one point - just in case! However we didn't do that because not only did the accusations become wilder - including people who weren't there but my mother's frail body was free of any signs of rough handling and the staff did not seem to be acting any differently whether people were visiting or not. There was a kind of open transparency about the place.
It didn't stop me worrying but my rational evaluation was always satisfied - after consideration. I used to pop in at unexpected times and nothing seemed amiss.
It is so much more difficult during covid. I hope you manage to settle your worries soon. Good luck. x
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Reply to wiseowl

Ignore her claims... but you may talk to her doctor about prescribing something to ease her anxiety. It sounds as though she is very stressed and her behavior likely will continue to worsen.
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Reply to ACaringDaughter

No, I don't think you should worry, and your mom's caregivers have seen and heard it all. She's OK, and she'll acclimate eventually.

Here's a thought, though -- when I moved my mom into her nursing home, and any time she goes somewhere like the hospital, I send along a two-page biography I wrote about her life. I ask the staff to take the time to read it, and it helps them get to know my mom when she can't really help them herself. It was the starting point for conversations, such as "Tell me what it was like growing up in the desert?" or "Can you say the 'Och Tamale' [her college school cheer] for me?"

I've also put in little details of her reality these days, like the fact that my mom has an imaginary husband named Dan, and while yes, he was a real person -- her first boyfriend -- he was not in fact her husband. I've put in Dan's profession (telephone lineman and private pilot to the Kennedy family!), and I even brought in her high school yearbook with the real Dan's picture. I also brought in pictures of her and her real husband, my dad, to whom she was married for 66 years.

Everyone I've given this biography to has been so happy to be able to get to know my mom as she was as well as how she is. I even gave it to the hospice company, and her hospice nurse knows as much about her in the month she's known her as others who have cared for her for years.

Consider doing that for both your parents, and ask the staff to have some conversations with your mom using her fact sheet as a springboard. It might make her feel more like she's among friends and help her acclimate better. Right now she's afraid because her protector -- your dad -- isn't always around.
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Reply to MJ1929
graygrammie Feb 8, 2021
I love this!
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Claims like hers are normal for someone in her condition. Ignore.
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Reply to ZippyZee

Your mother has cognitive decline which is also known as dementia. Shes weaving wild stories which are obviously untrue and delusional, but if you feel there's a shred of truth in what she's saying, by all means install cameras to put your mind at ease. Because I guarantee you she'll be saying the same things at the next MC you send her to. It's the nature of the beast. Contact her doctor for calming medication, that's my suggestion, she sounds highly agitated which is also common with dementia. Check with the executive director to make sure cameras are permissible in the facility and go from there. I'm sure you are not the first to make such a request!

Good luck!
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Reply to lealonnie1

Has your mother been diagnosed with dementia? Because that’s what these delusions sound like.
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Reply to worriedinCali

Your mom's delusions aren't age induced, they're dementia induced. Accusatory delusions are very common. With so many accusations, I know you want to separate fact from fiction ( I can almost assure you that is all fiction). If placing a camera in her room would make you feel more comfortable and help you see what is truth and what is not, ask the director about doing that. I never did but there are people in this forum that have and can speak to it. I always thought doing that would mean you don't trust the staff, and if that's the case, maybe a relocation is in store. Trust is your only option when you can no longer be with your parents, especially during this pandemic.

Addressing her delusions can be an exercise in futility unless you try to validate her concerns by learning how to fit into her world. We're no longer talking about honesty and truthfulness, we're now talking about properly responding to her worries so she feels understood. So don't ignore what she believes. You might tell her that you'll talk to the staff about them mistreating her. As for her perception that a caregiver is having an affair with your dad, you could validate her by saying something like “that caregiver has been fired.” Coming up with the responses to satisfy your mom's fears is not easy not is it intuitive. It takes practice.

It is wonderful that your dad has acclimated so well. It sounds like he is happy in his new home.
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Reply to sjplegacy

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