1. Stimpfig

    Stimpfig Registered User

    Oct 15, 2005
    135
    Germany/India
    Hello again

    While wishing everyone here all the very best in 2006 and always, ;) I have a new worry in the new year. :(

    I bought a new wardrobe with mirrors on doors in July 2005. Ever since, my mum has been sitting in front of this and chatting away to her own image, addressing the other person as friend, sister, some relative and grandfather. In the past, even while chatting to this mirror image, she used to be aware of my opening the door and coming in after work, or would be 'open' to distractions such as sitting quietly and listening to music which she was familiar with. She was even eager about doing odd jobs such as folding laundry, chopping vegetables, dusting some furniture etc. She used to respond quite well to such interventions and actually 'concentrate' on the task in hand.

    However, of late, she is so engrossed in her constant chatter, she fails to notice my arrival, plays truant when asked to chop veggies, leaves laundry unfolded and continues to chat non-stop. She doesn't like being interrupted at all. It's such a great compulsion for her that she starts this the moment she gets out of bed in the morning till she is coaxed back into bed, at times late in the night. It's quite clear that she 'enjoys' this to the exclusion of everything else including eating and drinking.

    I haven't been able to get any new info on this aspect of Dementia from the internet and would appreciate any response on how to deal with this - whether it is a cause for concern or not in the first place .:confused:

    Thanks a lot for any help !
     
  2. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Hi Sue, I really don't know what to say on this issue.

    I know that sometimes mirrors can be frightening, (obviously not in this case) or that "conversations" can take place, but not to this extreme. Please mention this to your CPN, or social care worker, or doctor, as it seems very complusive and something may be able to help.

    I would not think that it is harmful (but that is only my opinion). Feel sure you will have some positive feedback soon. Take care, Connie
     
  3. TED

    TED Registered User

    Sep 14, 2004
    154
    Middlesex
    Hi
    Have exactly the same problem with my Mum
    she doesnt stop all day long and though you try to comfort her
    and to some extent join in.....she doesnt really know you are there
    and if anything it makes the whole thing worse.

    I do wish there was something they could give her, cos everything else we can deal with .... most of the time too it's little children she's talking to, but every now and again she drops in my name as if they are MY children (i dont have any, not now) and it confuses my Dad and also me now, as I find it harder to deal with.

    Afraid i do not have any resolutions for you on this, other than to sympathise with your situation , i am really hopefully that I will come back and someone here will have some ideas adn suggestions.

    Not sure how long this has been going on for you
    I was also hoping it was a phase and would wear off, but she's been at it and getting worse for well over a year now.....started off with one little girl (which was ok we could handle that) now it's as if there is a whole classroom of them and it's a nightmare frankly

    sorry for being honest and brutally truthful.
    but I see it every day wearing out my Dad, and if we cant get some resolution to this episode soon there is no doubt in my mind she would be in need of more permanent and professional care.

    Happy new year all
    hope your 2006 has less trials and tribulations for all

    TED X
     
  4. Mjaqmac

    Mjaqmac Registered User

    Mar 13, 2004
    939
    Dear Stimpfig

    We had this problem too. Mum would either chat away or be convinced there was a man moving around in the mirror, watching her. Sometimes this used to even frighten me when I was exhausted and overwraught, and I wondered myself what on earth was going on?

    This is a very frightening illness for all involved. The good thing is that your mother appears to be enjoying this and not frightened. Perhaps you could work in the food and drink by asking if her and her friend would like something to eat together? Sorry if this reply offends you, but I found with my mum if she was contented and happy, I would play along with anything, rather than let her go through one of those terrible distressing episodes of "where's my parents and when am I going home?"

    Sorry if I haven't helped. Just trying to reassure you that this happens and if your mum's not upset maybe it's ok to go along with it for a while. Nothing seems to last forever with this illness, phases come and go. Of course I can only speak from my experiences with my own mother.
     
  5. Michael E

    Michael E Registered User

    Apr 14, 2005
    618
    Male
    Ronda Spain
    Although Monique does not 'use' the mirror she does have a bevy of friends and relations - from school, our children as youngsters and so on. she actually seems to get quite a lot of pleasure from 'their presence' - This fantasy world obviously appears to be very real to her and from her reactions to it much more fun and amusing than than the real/ world that she inhabits with me....... Maybe it is not such a bad thing - I mean if its a fun place to be with nice interesting people - well it cannot be that bad a trip!

    The only problem I have with it is when asked where they have gone? Which room are they in? When do we have to go back to school? Where have the children gone? et al I am sometimes at a bit of a loss to arrive at a suitable answer.....!!! seriously if it gives pleasure then let them enjoy... If it produces horrors then that's something different.......

    Monique went into hospital just before Christmas with her constipation problems- real or imagined - she was kept in over the holiday and came home the day before yesterday with a very sore bum! I had Christmas alone... Just wonderful.... stripped a windlass and rebuilt it... drank a little wine... did not have to bother with all those bloody pills in the morning .... watched some French telly - did some writing and really enjoyed myself then drank a little more wine... I had not realised how stressed out I had become and a few days 'off' made a world of difference!

    It really is such a balancing act between looking after someone who needs you so desperately and keeping your own sanity. I feel guilty when I do not do enough! Trouble is I am not sure what enough is?
    The French social services system seems to be working well. I have Astrid who comes in 4 hours on Tuesdays so I can escape and play! I have to pay her but it is worth it. I have just got a paper from the GP to pay for a nurse (they have a system of independent nurses) to come in 3 mornings a week to get Monique up and wash her etc..... Starts tomorrow morning... It will make a big difference I think. do not mind all the chat - hallucinations, sticking medications up her bum, shopping, cooking, washing up, doing house work etc.. but the drudgery of trying to persuade her to clean her teeth, wash, shower I just find OTT. I never was very good at mornings - the habit of too much fun at night and waiting for the curtain t come down.

    So here's to a very happy 2006 to all you guy out there.... Change the things you can change and just accept the things you can't! This is it - it is not a rehearsal!
     
  6. mominthemiddle

    mominthemiddle Registered User

    Dec 26, 2005
    7
    California USA
    Sue,

    My father also has had an issue with a mirror. He saw his image in it and thought it was his own father. He also has tried to walk into the mirror, not realizing it was glass, which could have resulted in an injury.

    One of the participants at my mother's Alzheimer's Support Group had encountered this problem with his wife. He suggested my mother cover the mirror with a large sheet of paper, to prevent my father from injuring himself by walking into the mirror and to stop the obsession before it got a foothold. It has worked very well.

    If your mother is chatting with the mirror morning to evening and is disinterested in activities that are beneficial to her (socializing, doing simple chores, eating, etc.), you might consider taping some paper over the mirrors and see what happens.

    I wish you all the best and hope this is helpful.

    Mominthemiddle
     
  7. Stimpfig

    Stimpfig Registered User

    Oct 15, 2005
    135
    Germany/India
    Hello again

    I thank you all for your reassuring responses. I forgot to mention in my initial post that mum didn't use to chatter incessantly when she was not in front of the mirror but of late, she has been talking endlessly irrespective of where she is - in the bathroom, in the kitchen, in rooms without mirrors and even when she is with the group that she goes to every week, where they now place a doll (depicting a 2 year old girl) in front of her so that she can 'talk to' the doll. I suppose they are doing this as she is not much receptive to the other activities . In the past, she had even completed a piece of embroidery ,painted some glass and passed the parcel at the right time. Now it's just chatting away and I was wondering if this is a prelude to something awful to come - God forbid :(

    But that you all shared your thoughts has lifted my spirits and as others have suggested, will go with the flow for want of something else to do :)
     

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