grandmother with delusions living alone- my first post HELP!!

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by deedee, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. deedee

    deedee Registered User

    Mar 16, 2004
    This is my first hello. I am the primary caregiver for my grandmother who is 87. After a lengthy attempt at diagnosis , we are told she has dementia. I already figured that! Anyway, up until a week ago, she lived alone in a home she has lived in for 30 years (we now have someone come in at night to keep an eye on her).

    My grandfather passed away three years ago. Up until 5 months ago, she was coping quite well. Her physical health is quite good - mobile, no major problems. However, five months ago she began having auditory hallucinations, which progressed into visual and auditory hallucinations. Her symptoms would come and go. Her cognitive abilities were only mildly affected. The doctors prescribed seraquil.........disasterous. She is now on rispadryl. Have seen some improvement.

    While the hallucinations have greatly decreased, she still has very persistant paranoid delusions about her neighbor trying to harm her. She has a very persistant delusion (I don't think I would call it a hallucination) that she is having a personal relationship with one of her prior doctors. She talks to him constantly and they often make plans for dinner, etc.

    A week ago we started having a caregiver stay with her at night because that is when her delusions would become most intense and she once wandered out in the rain (to meet a date), and locked herself out of the house. She is quite irate at the idea of having anyone stay in her home.

    She seems to be doing better in the day, more calm. I would like to think she would be OK at night at home alone, but I'm terrified that her delusions or hallucinations may cause her to do something unsafe.........HELP!! any suggestions? I live about 10 minutes from her home.
  2. Angela

    Angela Registered User

    May 28, 2003
    Hi deedee and welcome
    You really need to contact either the GP or consultant about these delusions.
    You are quite right to call it a delusion.
    It might be quite simple in that the timing of her medication needs to be changed, or another tablet added.
    If your Nan is taking Risperidone (Risperdal) than other medication can easily be added.
    Let us know how u r getting on.
  3. stoney

    stoney Registered User

    May 11, 2004
    Hi there
    This is my first post,I need help urgently, I do not know what to do any more. My mom went to a doctor and has dementia and dulsional paranoia, and I dont know how to deal with it and I am getting so angry with her I do understand it is not her fault, does anyone have an idea or a place I can go to. I live in South
    Africa and cannot find a web site.
  4. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hi Stoney

    Welcome to TalkingPoint, and the UK! Sorry that you had to come so far to ask for help, but Alzheimer's knows no boundaries, so why not?

    Several points come to mind.

    Firstly, please try not to be angry with your Mom. Keep telling yourself it is not her fault, and that she is desperately trying to make sense of a world that keeps getting stranger and stranger for her. She can't help that.

    Neither can you help getting angry, of course. That is just natural, and is not really anger at your Mom, but more frustration at not knowing what to do next, and fear of what might come next.

    But if you show anger to her, that will simply make her more confused, and the last thing you want to do is to make her life more difficult.

    One way to cope is to enter her world temporarily when with her. Accept when with her that her delusions are real, if only to her. You won't be able to talk her out of them, but you may be able to reassure her that you will be there to support her.

    Clearly since your Mom has been diagnosed, she should have some sort of care plan, some medication, whatever. Have you spoken to her doctor?

    You don't say whether your Mom lives alone. Are you the only person around with her?

    Have you contacted Alzheimer's and Related Dementias Association of South Africa (ARDA)?

    You will find them at:

    PO Box 81183
    South Africa

    ARDA may be able to suggest ways that help may be available locally.

    Final point. Don't panic. Gather as much information as you can about your Mom's situation as that will help anyone who may be helping you in the near future.

    Realistically, any real help will need to come from within South Africa, but you can arm yourself with knowledge you can get from the Alzheimer's Society web pages, from this forum, and from wherever else you can find information. Once you have some knowledge, it will become less frightening.

    Best Wishes.

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