O T My mom has Demesia (sp?) please help

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by sjogrens, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. sjogrens

    sjogrens New Member

    My mom just recently started seeing people that are not there.Yesterday at my house we were alone and she kept asking me when the person on the couch was going to wake up? Also she wispered in my ear that she saw a lady with children sitting on our couch and wanted to know if they were real? She knows they are real because I reasured her a week ago that people like her get halucinations and not to be afraid. She said thank you for telling her now she knows. The problem is she is having trouble figuring out if they are real or not when she is in puplic. Can any one else share some stories about this. She see's men ladies children and she also see half people.Like their top half or their bottom half. I feel bad for her. I told my husband I wonder if people with demensia develop a sixth sense. My mom says when she was a litte girl around 6 yrs old she saw her mom who died young come to her at night. She also saw some other relatives when she was young. Then she got older and they stopped. Now with her halucinations she doesnt know the people, they go on with there business as if she isn't there and they dissapear as soon as she acknoledges them. This is very strange. I'l talk to you soon. One more thing all her meds for this disease hurt her stomach, and idea's on new meds to try her doctors appt.is next week. Thanks Lisa
  2. shootingstar

    shootingstar New Member

    No experience with this here, but hope someone else can help.
  3. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    live alone, with you? How is she otherwise?

    My father had hallucinations. He thought strangers were climbing in his bed. He had to go to a nursing home. However, his mind was pretty much gone due to decades of heavy drinking.

    Perhaps your mother can still function if she is living w/ someone.
  4. carebelle

    carebelle New Member

    I know this is scary for you but it is part of growing old. She needs to see her Doctor for a check up and you need to make the doctor aware of what is going on.

    This could go on for a long time.
    I hope this does not upset you but I need to be straight with you and yes I have experience with my grandmother going through this. I took care of her and had to place her in a nursing home.

    It may be time for you to start thinking about where she will be placed if she looses her ability for reality.
    Other things can start happening and you should be ware .She may not know who you are at times and her personality as you know her will change. Some people become violent .They will leave their homes and get lost. Some will loose control of their body function and wet themselves.

    She is entering into that stage of life before she leaves us. This could be years and she may need to go into a home where they are trained to take care of these things.

    My heart goes out to you I know how very hard this can be on you. But sometimes placing them where they have the BEST of care 24 hour a day is what is safe for them.

    I'm not telling you its time yet only you and her Doctor will know. I'm just saying its part of life and shes entering into that stage. This is your time to educate yourself on places she may go to live when she gets worse.

    visit places your doctor can give you information about. Check for cleanliness and what I did was just go to a place where we were going to place her and I sat in the area and watched how people were treated Just like you might do if you were putting a child into a day care. You look for things so you know she will be taken care of .Even surprise visits at all different times of the day.

    Now my personal view I believe she is seeing spirits of people. Like the 6th sense .I myself when I became ill believe I saw angels .

    My father also saw people when he was dieing come into his hospital room. So did my grandmother before she became very ill. about a year before she died. I think these can be angels or family that have passed over.Just let her know they are friendly.

    I personally would not tell her you don't see them just stay calm and discuss them if she wants to.Dont lie about anything to her just talk around it.

    The best advice to you is be open minded and let your own feeling be put aside and make decisions as you need to knowing you can not do everything. and sometimes she will be safer where someone is awake at all hours.

    This is a time where you will reverse rolls with her .just love her and ask things you may never be able to ask again because she may not be able to remember. Talk about good loving memories and things will happen as they are met to.

    God bless you and your family. and just prepare by gaining knowledge. We all will be there someday. Shes lucky to have you. I'm sorry this was so long.You are in my prayers.

  5. Empower

    Empower New Member

    I am dealing with this also - my mom will be 85 in a couple of weeks

    She should be evaluated to make sure it is dementia and not a psychotic illness

    A neurologist or psychiatrist should be able to do this.

    ALSO, it is important to go over the meds she is taking to make sure that none of them are causing the hallucinations.

    From what I am told by healthcare workers, hallucinations are common with dementia (I did not know this)
  6. sjogrens

    sjogrens New Member

    My mom is 71 and sometimes she almost seems like her self when she is talking to me. Then she will forget words
    or say words that have nothing at all to do with what we are talking about. She always called my dad by the name

    dad. I don't know if any other people had parents that did that, I guess an old fashion thing for the kids benifit. Any ways now she calls him mom and my daughters are now my

    sisters. Today at the mall she asked me where my mom was? Then she realized she said something silly and corrected herself. She has done this before but didn't catch it so I

    was impressed. At lunch she told me that one of those (people) were touching her shoulder but she wasn't worried because she knew they would go away soon. She know's she is seeing fake things now and she knows she forgets. She says she can't wait for her next doctors appointment so

    she can hopefully get better. She use to be fisety,tempermentful moody but sweet when I was growing up but now she is calm, sweet eventempered and does what ever I suggest with out fussing like eating, taking her

    meds.,resting while. Funny she still gives my dad a hard time about her not eating etc. Today we went to the mall She said it was the best time she has had in a long time (school shopping with 3 granddaughters). She lives with my dad.

    She said her dream is for our whole family to live together for the rest of there time here. She wants to buy a house in my neighborhood.My mom has had a dream for the last 25 years to buy a new house. Now she said she would

    settle for a new kichen. I wish I could give that to her.My husband and I are struggling with 5 kids. She and my dad still work at there church making food and stuff for a yearly festival.My dad said she wont be able to keep

    up much longer because she' having trouble counting food items etc. They both love the church. When someone mentioned a home I remembered there is one two houses down from me. I don't think she is ready for that yet and I do

    hope the doctor can figure out a cure. I am ready for the worst ( I am trying to stay positive) and I am just enjoying as much of her real self as I can. Thank you for listening. Lisa
    [This Message was Edited on 08/10/2006]
    [This Message was Edited on 08/10/2006]
  7. jaltair

    jaltair New Member

    There are centers that can help her and your family by doing a really good evaluation. They can determine if it's dementia, alzheimers, or other things.

    You didn't say what medications she is on, but some of the medications that are used for mental health can cause the types of problems that you describe. When people get older, they don't metabolize their medication as well and the concentration can be too great over time causing hallucinations, etc. I'd definitely discuss this possibility with her doctor.

    Call the number for information and referral for seniors or the Area Agency on Aging (if you have one) and get the number of a good center.

    Warm wishes, Jeannette
  8. if you mean your mum has dementia,then i can tell you about my mum.

    she had dementia,and im told it was due to her having mini strokes.ive written a piece about it on this site,click my name and its on a mini strokes link.

    i looked after my mum,in my home for 19 months,up till her death.my mum used to tell me she could see people,and was once convinced that a dead cat was on her shoulder while she was in bed.she was very distraught about this cat.so i brought my dog into the room,and told my mum that my dog has made the cat go away.mum then calmed down.

    but i was told off by the district nurse who visited my home.she said i shouldnt pretend and go along with mums story about people being here,when they arent.

    she said instead,that i should tell my mum,that these people and things arent real,and that mum has injured her head,and is just seeing things.

    well my mum one day said to me....will you phone my mum and tell her to come and get me,i feel poorly today..

    so i had the heart breaking duty of telling my 76 year old mum,that her mum and dad died years ago.and i cant phone them up.

    well ill never forget my mums scream of despair.it was like she,s just found out her mum and dad have died,though my gran had died in 1969.ill never forget that day.

    so i made a choice.i went with my own gut feeling,and when mum told me that her friend george was in my house.i just looked and said hello george.(george was really my standard lamp)

    and when mum saw 9/11 on the tv,that horrible day.for a week she wouldnt sleep and said,the germans are coming.oohhh it was a sad time looking after my dear mum with that horrible illness.

    i think what im trying to say is..in my opinion..go with your gut feelings..i told mum that i can see those people too,because i couldnt bare seeing her distressed when she realised the truth..bless her..otherwise she would have panicked much more,because she would have thought those people and things were ghosts.

    take care sweetheart
    love fran
  9. what i think was happening to my mum was this..

    their brain is damaged,my mums was due to her having the mini strokes,so then the dementia kicks in.

    these people and pets that my mum saw,were real to her because they were memories being released from what ever part of the brain was active that day.

    and not only nice memories are released,we had days of really nasty ones too.

    god bless

    fran xx
  10. janieb

    janieb New Member

    Both of my parents had alzheimers. My mother's was familial, meaning all of her siblings had it too. My father was the only one in his family.

    You need to get her in to a doctor and diagnosed. Carebelle gave you some good advice so I'll try to just add to that. Not all meds they give them will work. Sometimes it's trial and error, but you still need to keep trying.

    Once you are sure she has dementia, there are support groups out there that can give you good advice. There are many ways to make them more comfortable and keep yourself sane. Use the groups if you can.

    Unlike some of the other posts, I did not receive ANY help from my sibling. His wife informed me it was not her responsibility. This was in spite of the fact that she was a nurse and my parents had kept her children while she worked for years; free of charge. They had given them money, cars, lawnmowers, etc. and yes, I am still bitter.

    The other thing that I resent is our system. Both of my parents had worked and had pensions. While at home, they were extremely comfortable. When my father entered the nursing home there was no longer money available, so basically, we supported my mother. I would do it again, but it angered me that people who had never worked in their lives could get everything free, while those who tried to take care of themselves and their children, could get no help.

    My father was physically ill, as well, so he had to be in the nursing home. I was working and had my 3 year old granddaughter living with us. We were lucky to find home daycare for them. Mother lived with us for 2 1/2 years, or until she no longer knew who we were and wandered all night. At that point, she entered the nursing home.

    I found that a nursing home you can visit easily worked best for us. We took pains to keep them well dressed, as I felt that made a difference with the staff. Since my father was very tall, we had his sweat pants made for him so there wasn't a lot of leg showing when he sat in the wheel chair.

    Since it was convenient, I dropped in at all hours. When there was a flu epedemic and they were short on staff, I went in and helped feed the patients at night. We took our granddaughter along and the patients loved seeing little children. I felt my parents had very good care; better than I could have done at home.

    We had one problem with my mother's jewelry. Some of it disappeared. After I complained to all the staff and told them I hated to call the sheriff's department, it mysteriously reappeared and we dropped it. The jewelry wasn't priceless, it was the principle and if we had problems, what happened to patients who had no one to look after them?

    Please feel free to post anytime you want information. The word dementia in your title will alert us that you need help.


    [This Message was Edited on 08/11/2006]
  11. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    I am so sorry your mother has to go through this and sorry you have to go through this with her but at the same time I am very glad you will be there for her.

    Has your mother's physician told you the type of dementia or the underlying reason?

    Dementia is a non-specific term that encompasses many disease processes, just as fever is attributable to many etiologies.

    In my mother's case it is due to schizophrenia and dementia becoming worse as she ages she is only 66-years-old so we have a long road ahead.

    She is doing very well thanks to the right combination of medication and a carrying staff at a long term care facility which I had to place her in because I am unable to take care of her. I love her very much and visit often she is a great mother.

    I am sorry to disagree with anyone but this does not mean you mother has come to the end of her life.

    Dementia is not a normal process of ageing. For the record my grandfather is 101-years-old and very sharp mentally.

    I personally know a lot of the older generation who do not dementia. I just can not stress enough that dementia is not a normal process of getting older.

    There are many types of dementia and many reasons for it.

    I am going to make another post with more information and some good sites for you to take a look at if you have time.

    Please talk to you mother's physician about this also ask if he she will prescribe Pepcid for her stomach problems.

    You must educate yourself as much as possible it will help you and your mother plus it will make you feel better.

    It will also help in understanding what physicians are telling you but never hesitate to stop a physician and ask that he/she please explain in term that you better understand.

    I wish nothing but the best for you and you mother. You obviously love her very deeply and want to do the best you can for her and I am sure you will. Love does wonders.

    I know this is so hard to watch you dear mother go through for I watch it too and know that it is heartbreaking.

    I just wish I could give you a big hug (((((Lisa))))) that will have to do :)

    I will keep you both in my good thoughts.

    Please do not forget to take care of you,

    Karen :)

    [This Message was Edited on 08/11/2006]
    [This Message was Edited on 08/11/2006]
  12. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    Just some information and a few sites to save you some time you can use them if you want.

    Best wishes,






    Dementia (from Latin de- "apart, away" + mens (genitive mentis) "mind") is the progressive decline in cognitive function due to damage or disease in the brain beyond what might be expected from normal aging.

    Particularly affected areas may be memory, attention, language and problem solving, although particularly in the later stages of the condition, affected persons may be disoriented in time (not knowing what day, week, month or year it is), place (not knowing where they are) and person (not knowing who they are).

    Symptoms of dementia can be classified as either reversible or irreversible depending upon the etiology of the disease. Less than 10% of all dementias are reversible.

    Dementia is a non-specific term that encompasses many disease processes, just as fever is attributable to many etiologies.

    Early symptoms of dementia often consist of changes in personality, or in behavior. Often dementia can be first evident during an episode of delirium.

    There is a higher prevalence of eventually developing dementia in individuals who experience an acute episode of confusion while hospitalized.

    Dementia can affect language, comprehension, motor skills, short-term memory, ability to identify commonly used items, reaction time, personality traits, and executive functioning.

    Even without signs of general intellectual decline, delusions are common in dementia (15-56% incidence rate in Alzheimer's type, and 27-60% incidence rate in multi-infarct dementia).

    Often these delusions take the form of monothematic delusions, like mirrored self-misidentification.

    Elderly people can also react with dementia-like symptoms to surgery, infections, sleep deprivation, irregular food intake, dehydration, loneliness, change in domicile or personal crises.

    This is called delirium, and many if not most dementia patients also have a delirium on top of the physiologial dementia, adding to the symptoms.

    The delirium can go away or greatly improve when treated with tender care, improved food and sleeping habits, but this does not affect the alterations in the brain.

    Affected persons may also show signs of psychosis or depression. It is important to be able to differentiate between delirium and dementia.

    Proper differential diagnosis between the types of dementia (see below) will require, at the least, referral to a specialist, e.g. a geriatric internist, geriatric psychiatrist or neurologist.

    However, there are some brief (5-15 minutes) tests that have good reliability and can be used in the office or other setting to evaluate cognitive status.

    Examples of such tests include the abbreviated mental test score (AMTS) and the mini mental state examination (MMSE).

    An AMTS score of less than six and an MMSE score under 24 suggests a need for further evaluation. Of course, this must be interpreted in the context of the person's educational and other background, and particular circumstances.

    Routine blood tests are usually performed to rule out treatable causes. These tests include vitamin B12, folic acid, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), C-reactive protein, full blood count, electrolytes, calcium, renal function and liver enzymes.

    Abnormalities may suggest vitamin deficiency, infection or other problems that commonly cause confusion or disorientation in the elderly.

    Chronic use of substances such as alcohol can also predispose the patient to cognitive changes suggestive of dementia.

    A CT scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scan) is commonly performed.

    This may suggest normal pressure hydrocephalus, a potentially reversible cause of dementia, and can yield information relevant to other types of dementia, such as infarction (stroke) that would point at a vascular type of dementia.

    Sometimes neuropsychological testing is helpful as well.

    The final diagnosis of dementia is made on the basis of the clinical picture.

    For research purposes, the diagnosis depends on both a clinical diagnosis and a pathological diagnosis (ie, based on the examination of brain tissue, usually from autopsy).

    The most common types of dementia are as follows and vary according to the history and the presentation of the disease:

    Most common causes
    *Alzheimer's disease
    *Vascular dementia (also known as multi-infarct dementia), including Binswanger's disease
    *Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB)
    *Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), including Pick's disease
    *Frontotemporal dementia (or frontal variant FTLD)
    *Semantic dementia (or temporal variant FTLD)
    *Progressive non-fluent aphasia

    Less common causes
    It can also be a consequence of:

    *Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
    *Huntington's disease
    *Parkinson's disease
    *HIV infection (leading to AIDS dementia complex)
    *Head trauma
    *People with Down's syndrome have an increased risk of developing dementia of the Alzheimer's type. This risk increases as the person ages.

    Treatable causes
    Less than 5% of a sample of dementia cases have a potentially treatable cause. These include:

    *Vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency
    *Vtamin B12, Vitamin A deficiency
    *Depressive pseudodementia (note: dementia and depression can coexist in many patients and can be difficult to differentiate.)
    *Normal pressure hydrocephalus

    Except for the treatable types listed above, there is no cure to this illness, although scientists are progressing in making a type of medication that will slow down the process.

    Snoezelen rooms that provide patients with a soothing and stimulating environment of light, color, music and scent have been used in the therapy of dementia patients.

    External links
    Dementia Research News from ScienceDaily
    Dementia - new research, news reports, new books, web sites
    The Dementia Services Development Centre, University of Stirling
    Dementia tutorial for U.K. practitioners by the Alzheimer's Society
    Getting Started in Telecare for Patients with Dementia
    GPnotebook -1650851840
    eMedicine:Consumer 38533-1
    MedlinePlus Overview dementia
    Merck Geriatrics 5-40a
    Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dementia"
    Categories: Cognitive disorders | Neurology | Psychiatry | Pathology

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    [This Message was Edited on 08/11/2006]
  13. gnanny

    gnanny New Member

    has severe dementia. This has been going on for more than 5 or 6 years that we know of. In the beginning she was very secretive about what she was seeing but made little comments that later were clear to us what she was talking about. Some illusions were consistent and made me wonder if she wasnt seeing spirits. Then came the paranoia and she hides her jewelry or money.

    She would look in her closet and not remember her own wardrobe and be furious with my step dad that he had a girlfriend and she left her clothes in moms closet. sigh.

    She constantly asks to be taken 'home'. None of us have a clue what she means. She has lived in that house about 50 years and when she was a child was shuffled from one relative to another so there is not a home to refer to.

    when she forgets who we are (she will say she had children but she doesnt know where they are now) we just go along with her. It doesnt feel right to correct her and make her feel worse.

    On the other hand my mother was not a nice person when younger. Very critical and harsh spoken. I was always afraid of her. Now she has been 'defused' and I dont worry about her temper any longer. For the first time I am not afraid of her.

    A very difficult time. I wish you luck.
  14. sjogrens

    sjogrens New Member

    Thank you everyone for all your help. I love all the help and information you all have given me. I am glad I have all of you.

    Thanks lisa
  15. PTRC

    PTRC New Member

    My heart goes out to you. My mother was like this also she started at about 80yrs old. The first thing that made us know this was she said my dad was hiting her. She watch a T.V. show and thought that was her. He would never hit her. She got so bad but seem a little better when we came over. My dad was her care giver and he died at home with just her there. She knew enough to get a neighbor. The bad thing was she never knew he was dead. She call doctors and places all day looking for him. We tried to tell her that she was there and she say not that dad the other one. It was so hard and we finnaly against what we wanted put her in asst. living where they could keep her from going out trying to find him. When she got here she seen little bald head men that she said came under her door. They were very real to her. She talked about Babies crying and ladies having babies. They really did not give her much medicine. She died a year and a few months after my dad. The neat thing is the night she woke up and went out to talk with the nurse to tell her that her arm hurt she also told her that my dad was coming to get her tonight, She got all dressed up and said he would be there soon. to make this short they took her to the hospital and by the time my sisters got there she told them my dad was on his way and she loved all of us and just died. I feel maybe she really did find him at the end. Love your mom even if she is not the same mom. Try as hard as it is to not tell her over and over that the things she sees is not real because this will just make her worst. It is so hard but I am so glad I could spend this time with her. I prayed God would take her before she went all the way out with this and he answer my prayers I miss her and loved her so much but now she is with my dad they were married 61yrs. Hang in there and take one day at a time. Love abd prayers PTRC
  16. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    My 91-year-old mother has dementia. She sometimes sees people who are not there, although she usually doesn't mention them until they are "gone" - she'll talk about hte lady who was sitting over there or something. For awhile she kept thinking there was a baby in the house, and also that they had a dog (they have a cat).

    On the bright side, she is sweeter and warmer than she was before this hit. She seems happier in some ways. Actually, some of my siblings and myself like her better now - she's more of a mother even though her memory is shot to hell. She was always rather distant before.

    She knows who all of her 10 chidlren are, although she gets confused about grandchildren. She sometimes thinks my 34-year-old twin sons are small boys.

    So, you're not necessarily looking at the beginning of something horrible. You've gotten a lot of good advice from the people on this board.

    As the others said, check her meds. Some of them can cause this kind of reaction.

    I would be careful of any meds her doctors may want to prescribe. My mom's doctor gave her Aricept last year to help with the dementia. It made her extremely tired and took away her appetite - it was horrible - we preferred her ditzy and awake with a good appetite. The doctor cut her dose in half, and kept her on it for many months. She had numerous bladder infections during this time and also complained of trouble urinating. One crazy doctor attributed it to the dementia. Well, fortunately we did some reseaerch on our own and discovered that Aricept can cause urinary tract blockage - they stopped the Aricept, and voila! the bladder infections stopped, and my mom got more energy.

    So research carefully any meds they give her. Watch her for any side effects. I had to read the very fine print in the Aricept package insert (I did it on-line) to find the one sentence which said it could cause urinary tract blockage. The doctors didn't know a thing about it.

    Take care --

  17. Empower

    Empower New Member

    Okay, I may get slammed or removed from the board for this one. I don't mean any disrespect for patients with dementia. My mom has it, and my best friends mom and dad has it.

    Since laughter is the best medicine, here goes -

    As I said, my best friend is dealing with her mom's dementia and I would like to relay this story she told me.

    The other day, her mom (I'll call her Grace), is at my friend's (I'll call her Hope)home

    Grace says to Hope, "who is that man?" (meaning Hope's husband) Hope says "mom, that is my husband"

    Grace says "your husband?" "when did you get married?"

    Hope says "mom, I have been married for 25 years!"

    Grace says (in a very disgruntled voice) "Gee, I wish someone would have told ME!"

    I howled when my friend told me this, but then I felt bad for laughing, and told her, "I'm sorry, if we don't laugh, we will go insane!" Hope agreed.

    Again, I don't intend to poke fun, because it is a very frightening thing to see your parents like this. I was told by a social worker, that although the hallucination tales may be frightening to us, the dementia patient USUALLY isn't bothered by them.

    The way that you can tell if they are is if they ACT on the hallucinations, like swatting at imaginary bugs, or jumping on the bed if they see a bug.

    It is very tragic and sad and depressing to see our parents like this and that is why I had to relay the story to lighten the load.

    I hope you found the story cute like I did and I REALLY hope you all weren't offended by it.

    A little levity has got mean through some really really tough times.

    Take care all!
  18. 69mach1

    69mach1 New Member

    then she was also getting dementia ect...they put her on meds...and she lived a comfortable life till the end...and very happy...may forget sometimes people that she doesn't see in a day in and day out baisis...

    i hurt i got to go..

  19. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    I loved your story about your friend's mom - we do the same thing, have to laugh.

    I called my mom for her birthday last spring and we had a nice phone visit for 10 minutes or so, and at the end of the conversation, she asked "Do you have a telephone?" I bit my lip very hard and replied, into the telehpone, that I did indeed have a phone. And she was glad to hear this and said she would call me sometime. Of course she never remembers but each time I call her she asks if she has my phone number so she can call me.

  20. Empower

    Empower New Member

    How sweet your mom is- you have to laugh at that, right???

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