1. calmar

    calmar Registered User

    Jul 13, 2006
    Hi, I'm new to this forum and am in desperation.
    I care for my 90 year old mother who is suffering from dementia. She has now reached the stage where she is talking to photographs and has the people in them walking around the house. I've tried to explain that these people aren't here but to no avail. I've also tried taking the photos away but this upsets her even more.
    Has anyone else had this sort of experience please and can you give any advice?
    Thank you.
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hi calmar and welcome to TP.

    my advice would be to leave well alone.

    does it cause problems if she talks to photos? does she become alarmed at seeing the photograph people walking about?

    if the answer to these is no, then I would leave her to it. Her world is getting smaller and these are perhaps something she can cling to, call her own.

    Absolutely no use in trying to explain anything, it is the nature of the illness that she won't understand what you are on about.

    if she is distressed in any way by the pictures, then that is the time to get help for her. That might be medication, it might be something else.

    these are just my first thoughts, but I wanted to reply as soon as possible.

    best wishes
  3. calmar

    calmar Registered User

    Jul 13, 2006
    Thanks Bruce
    Unfortunately these people are wreaking havoc (supposedly) and Mum also tries to give tea parties for them. Yesterday I walked in and found that she'd made a loaf of jam sandwiches!! She didn't seem to notice that no-one had eaten anything. She also thinks she has a man in doing building work and , having worked in the nursing profession all her life, often thinks she is on duty.
    I don't know hwether it's Mum or me that needs the medication - maybe both.
    Thanks again.
  4. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    hi Calmar

    Welcome. It's all pretty unnerving at first when people start to see things that we don't. (Un)fortunately, you might find you get used to it after a while. It freaked me a bit when dad (who'd lived alone for nearly 10 years since my mother died) started talking about all the other people who lived in his house.

    Mostly the advice I've seen is to just go along with it, so long as nothing dangerous is happening. After all, a pile of jam sandwiches is just a pile of jam sandwiches, it's not the end of the world - though I'm sure I'd have seen it that way a few months ago. With dad I've tried to take a line that acknowledges that the world he sees is real, whilst not elaborating on or getting further into the fantasy. I have at times, when he's been distressed by what he's seen/imagined, tried to suggest to him that he might have been dreaming. There was a point a while ago where that was possible, but I don't think he can take that on board now. Yesterday was horrible because he was rambling on about my mother having run off with another man who'd taken his house and everything he'd earned, and saying that he'd lost 2 mothers and a father all in the last couple of years. I tried to tell him that he'd dreamed it ...... to no avail.

    best wishes

  5. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
    Hi Calmar
    god advice from Bruce,but he did not give the rule that I have survived by now for years: "you cannot reason with the unreasonable"
    Go with it,ride it out,agree it is the only way.
    You don't say if you are receiving any help from Social services or any medical help?
  6. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    Advvice needed

    My Mum had a family living in her front bedroom and shadowy men sitting on her lounge floor watching television. One night, she rang us up to ask what she should do about them, as she wanted to go to bed. She was ringing from the upstairs' phone and had left the light on downstairs for her uninvited visitors. One evening, she was really distressed because she thought my Dad had returned, but when she looked he had gone. The GP prescribed pills and a Mental Health Doctor came to her house to make an assessment.
    Now Mum is in a NH and her condition is more stable, her imaginary visitors don't seem to worry her and she apparently hides my Dad under her bed, so the nurses can't see him. At one time she was very upset that he wasn't helping her (he has been dead for 6 years)!
    Medication and 24 hour care seems to be the only safe option if the hallucinations are particularly distressing, as Mum became too frightened of the imaginary people to stay by herself at home. She settled down really well in the care home, but had problems adjusting to the NH after her fall.

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