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Daily hallucinations for Mum

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by janey106, Sep 9, 2015.

  1. janey106

    janey106 Registered User

    Dec 10, 2013
    139
    I have posted a few times before about how Mum has been struggling with her mixed Alzheimers, vascular dementia, depression and anxiety. We had terrible angry aggressive outbursts but we now seem to have entered a new, calmer but so much sadder phase. Mum has had hallucinations every day for past week about her Mum and Dad being in the house, "where have they gone, I was just chatting to them " ( they passed away 30 years ago), insisting her husband is her Dad as "my husband is 6 foot two and thick black hair" (which was true 25 years ago), forgetting most of the main family changes over past 10 years etc. she checks in about family members and when distraction fails we gently explain they have died but I wonder if we are making it harder. She eventually 'gets it' but it is just so sad watching her be in shock each time and then the dawning that something is wrong "my brain isn't working right, what's happening to me".

    Would it be kinder to pretend they are all alive? She forgets nearly everything in minutes in any event. Should we write it out for her or would this be rubbing salt in her wounds? Advice from anyone else caring for someone going through this would burps appreciated (pS, we checked and there is no infection). Thanks
     
  2. lin1

    lin1 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2010
    9,322
    Female
    East Kent
    Hi Janey
    Personally I would go for the love lies now.
    When my mum asked to see her mum who had died over sixty years before and I saw the distress it caused mum when my dad told her, no matter how gently, I decided the best way was not the truth
    So her mum was out shopping.
    Asleep , and mustn't be disturbed as she was tired out.
    We would go and see her later.
    The weather was too bad to go out
    Etc etc.

    At first it seemed so wrong telling mum love lies like this, but mum was much more content. It eventually did get easier.
     
  3. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    1,111
    Missing parents.

    My father went through this, "Have you seen mother/father?"
    My reply was "Not for many years" this seemed to satisfy him, and was perfectly true.

    Bod
     
  4. Lavender45

    Lavender45 Registered User

    Jun 7, 2015
    1,598
    Liverpool
    Hi

    I am no help I'm afraid, but I'm in a similar situation to you. In the last couple of weeks my much has become completely obsessed with where her mum is. My nan passed away 25 years ago.

    Mum is convinced she's seeing her mum regularly, she was having tea here yesterday apparently. My nan never lived with us, but now my mum truly believes my nan lives here with us, or that she visits us daily.

    I'm really struggling to lie, I'm saying things like she's gone home, or she's not here right now, or she hasn't been down today, but I'm very uncomfortable with telling all these lies, even though its for mum's benefit. Hopefully this obsession with my nan will pass, or i will get better with the lies.
     
  5. Nick71

    Nick71 Registered User

    Sep 9, 2015
    4
    I'm caring for my Aunt who has vascular dementia; she is experiencing the same things you have described. She often asks me when her husband is getting home from work - he died 7 years ago. She wants me to take her to see her mother - she died 37 years ago; or asks me why she never visits her.

    I tell her the truth about these things. She gets angry insisting that her husband sat with her the night before so how could he be dead? When I explain about her mother, she gets angry because "..no one told her."
    She insists that people come into the house at night making a racket in the kitchen, but she never gets up to see who it is. When I explain that it can't be happening and is just a dream...she gets angry and says I don't understand.

    For her, it's all real; it's like she's remembering things in the wrong order. When we discussed her husbands death, slowly she began to remember the sequence of events. Some of it is still there, just jumbled up and hard to grasp.

    She'll do things at home, forget she's done them, then insists someone is coming in and doing them.

    She'll forget things you've told her by the end of the sentence. You write things down to help her remember them - the notes disappear somewhere, who knows where?

    It's a difficult time.
     
  6. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,336
    Female
    South coast
    "For her, it's all real; it's like she's remembering things in the wrong order"

    I think that is the essence of the whole thing. Mum does the same thing and its no good trying to correct her.

    I recently came across the analagy of the thumbs. I cant remember now where I heard it, or who said it, so I hope no-one will be upset if I repeat it here.

    Suppose that the next person you meet says "Oh my, what happened to your thumbs? When did you lose them". You would think they are very odd because you know you havent lost them. Then your family starts saying the same thing and want you to go to the doctor, but you are very reluctant because, of course, you can see your thumbs and you know you havent lost them. Next you get sent for tests and the doctors try to convince you that you have indeed lost your thumbs and show you x-rays and results to prove it. By now you are convinced its a conspiracy and the results are all fake. You look at your hands, you can see your thumbs and you can feel them. You know that you havent lost them and no one will be able to convince you otherwise.

    Thats how it feels to someone with dementia. If it upsets someone to be corrected, then little white lies are the way to go.
     
  7. Moleskin

    Moleskin Registered User

    Jul 22, 2015
    6
    My mum (diagnosed with mixed dementia yesterday) is convinced my father (who died in May) is in the house with her. She complains he doesn't answer her, won't take her anywhere, won't eat the food she cooks for him and she insists he's having an affair. I've tried correcting her - which just makes her cross, the mental health nurse suggests I try and distract here - which doesn't work as the idea your 84 year old husband is having a fling is a deeply worrying concern so she just carries on regardless. If I give vague responses that doesn't work as mum then chastises me for not taking her seriously! Mum also imagines my brother (dead for 30 years) and her parents come to her house. I find it terribly upsetting - and to see the distress my mum experiences as a result of her hallucinations only adds to it. She is terribly isolated and lonely and I really don't know how much longer she'll be able to live independently. I don't have any answers but your situation sounds very similar to my own.
     
  8. Lavender45

    Lavender45 Registered User

    Jun 7, 2015
    1,598
    Liverpool
    Oh wow

    We have been having a time of it tonight. Mum has been asking in a loop where is my mum. She's been convinced my nan was in the dining room and she's been fretting about where she's got to. She suspects I've left her somewhere when I nipped out to walk the dog down the road and back.

    I'll be honest and say the repetition is getting to me, I swear she knows that my evasive lies are just that. At one point mum got a wild look to her eye, its the first time I'd truly appreciated that she has absolutely no control over what she's saying and that dementia is totally in control. I could cry, except we are sitting here together and me crying wouldn't help her in the slightest. Its also the first time I've wondered just what she's capable of doing, I don't exactly know why I feel that way.
     
  9. Moleskin

    Moleskin Registered User

    Jul 22, 2015
    6
    Lavender45 I am sending you a big hug. I hate myself for getting tetchy with my mum but find I do because the repitition business is so wearing. There are others out here who know some of what you're going through.
     
  10. Lavender45

    Lavender45 Registered User

    Jun 7, 2015
    1,598
    Liverpool
    Thank you Moleskin

    I don't think anyone can be blamed for being in any way tetchy, the repetition is hard work, you deserve a hug too. I had no idea how exhausting this would be. I guess I'm tired, but something about mum I can't explain has spooked me. I'm going to put our knife block out of sight. I have no idea why I feel this way, its not like she was threatening, I can only put it down to that odd look in her eye. Its a huge overreaction, but I'll sleep better knowing its out of sight.
     
  11. wilf

    wilf Registered User

    Mar 19, 2014
    30
    Hello Janey,
    As sad and painfull as it is you musnt say they are dead. You have to live in your mums world. I tell my Mum that they are coming back later, chances are your Mum wont realise later that they havent come back. If your Mum starts again tell her they have phoned to say its a bit late now so they will come tomorrow or the weathers too bad or got a bit if a cold. Works for me and dont feel bad as its white lies for love. Keep smiling and when its all getting too much take comfort in the knowledge that your Mum would love you all the more if she realised how much you were caring for her. Wilf.
     
  12. beverrino

    beverrino Registered User

    Jan 12, 2015
    1,111
    Canary - so impressed with this post - I think it totally puts into context what I imagine is the mind of someone with dementia. Very well said
     
  13. janey106

    janey106 Registered User

    Dec 10, 2013
    139
    Thank you Wilf for your advice and kind words. Your last sentence in particular touched me ..... I will hold on to that.
     
  14. janey106

    janey106 Registered User

    Dec 10, 2013
    139
    Thank you Moleskin, you're right, we are on similar paths. So much gets said and done I'd forgotten about the illicit affairs 81-yr old Dad ( barely walk) is having. Laughable if it wasn't so sad that Mum believes it and Dad still feels the cruel barb even though he knows it's the A & D. Mum has always had a vile temper anyway and it is sometimes hard to believe she is totally oblivious to the hurt she causes. I try to tell myself it is the only way she can comprehend her fears and anger.....but it's hard to keep forgiving.
     
  15. janey106

    janey106 Registered User

    Dec 10, 2013
    139
    Thank you Lin, several people are suggesting this way forward so I'm going to try and get Dad and family on board with this. Dad in particular struggles with 'love lies' concept as he feels disloyal but as Wilf says, she will benefit more and would love us more for it if she understood.
     
  16. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,336
    Female
    South coast

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