My sister (49 yrs old) has been claiming over the last few months that staff enters her room & moves the head/foot of the bed up & down to make her uncomfortable. In the last few days she has claimed that she was sexually assaulted during the overnight.
When we talk it out, she tells me that it didn't happen and that she "made a mistake". She cries because she's sad that she's making claims that could affect the staff & their employment status. She's ashamed & embarrassed of the things she says once she's had time to think it out, but she doesn't seem to have any control when she first wakes up & makes the claims. At the time, she believes it to be true.
She has lived there for more than 8 years & she loves it. I've asked her if she wants to move, but she says no, this is my home. The staff are wonderful to her, but people are afraid to assist her for fear they will be accused of something.
I'm concerned that there could be something more going on with her neurologically? I've spoken to the Director of Nursing, they've had her speak with a psychiatrist and they are going to change her medication.
Is there something more that I need to do?

Dear "tlongo67,"

I agree with "AlvaDeer" and "JoAnn29."

You are doing what I think is all you can do. By speaking first with your sister, fully discussing the situation with her and asking if she would like to move. You seem to have a full grasp on what your sister is doing and how she feels about it as well as about living there. After that, you went to the Director of Nursing and they had her speak with a psychiatrist who will be changing her medication.

I'm glad that staff are wonderful to her and that she has lived there a long time so she's well established. I do understand about people being afraid to assist her for fear of a false accusation being made as that is a "real" possibility. So maybe you could talk with the Director of Nursing again but, specifically about that issue and see what she has to say as I'm sure your sister isn't the first one nor will she be the last to do something like this having dementia issues.

Other than that honestly, I can't think of anything more you need to do. I would just hang tight, see how the new medication works and go from there. I hope it all works out for you and your sister since it sounds like she's in a nice facility - sometimes they are hard to come by especially during the pandemic.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to NobodyGetsIt

Your profile says sister has had a stroke and suffers from Dementia. For me, those are both good reasons why she says what she does. Or, do you think it "maybe" Dementia?

Your sister is so young. Being isolated because of COVID may have brought this on. My friend, in a NH, had to be hospitalized because of a mental break resulting from isolation. We are not made to sit in a room 24/7 with little human contact. I would say a psych eval wouldn't hurt.

If your sister has Dementia, in her mind these things are happening. The staff at the NH should be very aware of how Dementia works. With Dementia a person loses the ability to reason, to comprehend and process what is being said to them. Their reality is TV and dreams. They start living in a world in their own mind. They become paranoid. There is no cure and meds do help.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to JoAnn29

It sounds as though you are being wonderfully attentive and it is so lucky that your Sister does share with you that the accusations are false. This is one of the saddest things about working in long term care and all suffer from it. My own brother was almost always completely rational, but just a few times lost money (he shouldn't have had in his room) and accused someone. I scolded him and told him "not to go there because as a nurse I knew what false accusations felt like". He later found the cash which he thought he had put in his books, in his white towel stack instead. He didn't tell me until I noticed it another way, saying he was afraid that he would have a "black mark" that would get him memory care. He was so frightened of his diagnosis of "early Lewy's" and where it would take him, esp. after that mistake. You have gone to the director. Good for you. They will work with you. I doubt anyone will be accused but it DOES happen and is tragic when it does; what is more painful is that occ. bad things do happen and loved ones are left not knowing what is true and what isn't.
So sorry this is going on and I hope medication changes will help. There is a tendency to slip easily, in brain problems, into paranoia. We, as humans, are quite normally and quite naturally "self-protective " by nature. In bad times it goes to paranoia, and is quite common. You are handling it so well, I think.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to AlvaDeer

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