1. AJay

    AJay Registered User

    Aug 21, 2007
    123
    Leics
    Hi

    I'm new to this site, and wondered if anyone can give me some advice on this.

    I care for my 86 year old step-dad who is in the early stages of AD. He suffers from short term memory loss, can't remember anything said to him just a few minutes before, and has completely lost his sense of logic. Sadly he won't accept anyone other than me in to help him, he has rejected all other members of my family and refuses to have any dealing with Social Services or any help offered through other sources. Luckily he's in reasonably good health otherwise, but I'm finding it increasingly difficult to deal with his dementia as I really don't understand what's happening in his mind and how to cope with how he's thinking as he can be incredibly illogical.

    Just recently he claimed that his next door neighbours were singing in the early hours of the morning and waking him up which I accepted until he claimed that they were singing again as I was visiting him. There was complete silence from next door and he got quite upset with me when I said I couldn't hear anything. When I questioned him further he claimed that they were singing old WW1 songs and he couldn't understand how people so young knew them, he was tapping his feet and singing along. I promptly booked him into the doctors for a quick check up for any infections, everything was OK.

    He now claims that his neighbours are singing all night, and also that other people living near to him are out in the streets singing the same songs. He's quite distressed about this as it keeps him awake. I have no idea whether to try to tell him that it's his mind playing tricks or whether to leave well alone and just hope he doesn't start confronting his neighbours as his relationship with them isn't particularly good. He can get quite agressive with me when he's upset about something and I want to avoid arguing with him but don't know how to approach this. Has anyone had any similar experiences and how did you deal with it?

    AJay
     
  2. allylee

    allylee Registered User

    Feb 28, 2005
    180
    west mids
    Hi Ajay,

    Pleased youve found TP, youll gain support and information to help you through caring for your step dad.

    My mum suffers both auditory and visual hallucinations and whislt living at home was convinced that the lady next door had a vendetta against her, that children were knocking the door asking for food amongst loads of others.

    I was never sure how to deal with the problem, in the early days I would reassure mum that hallucinations were a figment of her imagination, often resulting in her becoming very angry with me.
    Nowadays I go along with them and she gets much less upset with this.

    This is purely my own experience and others may be able to advise you better.

    Good luck
    Ally x
     
  3. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Hi and welcome to TP

    He seems to be experiencing auditory hallucinations and although they're not uncommon from what I've read here, they're not that common either, at least in isolation. Have you mentioned them to the GP? There are various types of medications that might help him, but you're going to have to get a medical person to take this seriously, which may well be easier said than done. It seems so benign, yet I can believe that it is extremely distressing: I know I'd be distraught if I kept hearing music and couldn't turn it off.

    Hopefully someone will be along who can give you personal input, although I doubt that there are any techniques (rather than meds) that will be able to help.

    Jennifer
     
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,586
    Kent
    If my husband tells me about something improbable, I try to pass it off by suggesting it might have been a dream.

    He often `cat naps` during the day, and I wonder if your step father does too, so the suggestion of dreaming can work for both night and day.

    Take care xx
     
  5. Trich

    Trich Registered User

    Aug 16, 2007
    31
    France
    Hallucinations

    Hi AJ,
    My dad also has auditory and visual hallucinations. We used to say that perhaps he was dreaming especially as he woke in the night to people outside trying to get a boy to go to school! He regularly saw a crying boy in his room and at one point said the boy attacked him with a knife! He calls them 'spooks and goolies' and wasn't especially worried about them but I think that as time progressed he seemed to be more in the imaginary than the real. His neighbour saw him outside and when he stopped to talk dad said "can't stop I've got somebody with me". He also stopped letting people in as he said that he had his family with him but the family wasn't us. Dad thinks they are local squatters who come and go but he can't understand how they get in as they don't have a key. He also sees real family members who are not there. Oh and there's a dog who is there who follows him around! Pretty crowded in there at times. He is now in hospital as he was found dehydrated and malnourished and this happened in a very short space of time. I think he was worried about going out in case the family took over. He has been diagnosed with medium to severe diamentia and has been in hospital for over 3 weeks now. He is waiting for a pacemaker operation but I think will send him home as he has been a problem on the ward. I also don't know what is the best thing to do. To be honest and tell him about the diagnosis. He wants to go home and if he thinks there is nothing wrong and he can cope then he won't accept going into a home. Unfortunately, this seems the only safe option for him but when it comes to the crunch i don't know whether he will accept this. I live in France so practically am about as much use as a chocolate teapot and this is constantly on my mind. I am visiting next week so will see first hand how he is. Sounds like you are doing a great job for your step father. and it's good that he feels he can trust you. Don't let the task become all yours though. If you seem to cope then perhaps people will let you!
    Take care
    Trichx
     
  6. AJay

    AJay Registered User

    Aug 21, 2007
    123
    Leics
    Hi again

    Thank you for all your replies to my post, your comments have been helpful and it's pretty good to know that there are others out there who are experiencing the same and in many cases a lot worse than I am! Sometime I can feel pretty isolated as nobody seems to understand the problems unless they are in a similar situation themselves.

    Trich - my Dad lived on his own in a small village in Scotland until a few years ago when a sudden and luckily not serious illness made us both realise that he needed much more help than he was getting at the time. The distance made me feel totally inadequate, and trying to deal with his day to day problems over the phone was pretty useless. I can understand how helpless you feel. I was very very lucky that I was able to get him rehoused in Leics. Also you're right about being seen to be able to cope - most people aren't interested in what Dad and I are going through - to them, me looking after Dad is just turning up to see him to make him a cup of tea and have a nice chat! Where's the problem in that!

    Dad is fiercely independent, can be pretty stubborn if he doesn't want to do something, has no idea about his AD and the chaos it can cause, and can drive me to distraction at times. I'm just glad though that he's retained his wicked sense of humour and we can generally have a laugh about things. He's also a minefield of interesting stories and anedotes about his younger years (and was a bit of a devil by all accounts), we love getting him to talk about his times abroad and I'm glad I'm able to enjoy the years he's got left and be able to make them a bit easier for him. Talking of which I'd better get on the phone to him before he starts worrying....

    Many thanks again to all who replied

    AJay xx
     
  7. Trich

    Trich Registered User

    Aug 16, 2007
    31
    France
    Hallucinations

    Hi Ajay,
    If you can find some humour some where and laugh together it makes the situation bearable. I heard by chance that dad had gone 'walkabout' at the hopspital and was missing for some time. He was found on the maternity ward!He had got through the security measures and was wandering round in his pink and blue jammies. When my brother in law asked him about this he smiled and said in a very proud voice "It was twins".
    Take care
    Trichx
     
  8. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    3,518
    #8 Nebiroth, Aug 22, 2007
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2007
    I would say that this is classed as an auditory hallucination, but of a "harmless" type.

    If delusions/hallucinations are harmless it is probably better not to confront them. Dad won;t be open to reason or logic, and arguing will only upset him - remember that he really does hear the songs - which is why I say it's an halluciantion rather than a delusional belief. So he will cling to his reality no matter what, partly because to him it is real, and partly because it;s a defense mechanism (less painful than accepting you;re hearing things that aren;t there).

    I would say go along with this unless it starts to become a problem; if dad starts to become distressed or agitated, or starts hearing things like people plotting against him or stuff like that. At which point it;s time for medical intervention.

    You also need to warn your neighbours in case he confronts them.

    This could persist, or get worse, or vanish. If it becomes a problem then there are probably medications that will help.

    Perhaps he would benefit from something to help with sleep if he's being "kept awake" at night.
     
  9. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    While I would agree with everyone else that there is absolutely no point in trying to persuade him about the truth of the matter, I'm not sure you're going to be able to take a wait and see approach to this: from what you say it is a) increasing and b) causing him real distress. Apart from anything else, lack of sleep is going to compound the issue, or at least make him more confused. If there really was noise, a "white noise" machine might help, but from a brief review of the literature it appears that "white noise" can actually increase auditory hallucinations, rather than the reverse.
     
  10. AJay

    AJay Registered User

    Aug 21, 2007
    123
    Leics
    Music update

    Hi again

    Thanks for the latest 2 posts but things had to be taken further yesterday as when I got over to Dads yesterday morning he was convinced that a man (wearing a homburg and the cheek of it, he wouldn't take it off when he came into his bedroom!) was sent into his house by his neighbour at 2.30am to complain about the heating, and that his neighbour also rang him at 2.30am just to wake him up. I was also accused of stealing all his money - he's lost the ability to grasp what a bank account is and does, and because he can't 'see' his money thinks I've stolen it. Dad was getting quite aggressive and agitated with me, so it was a phone call to the doc and we cooked up an excuse to get Dad in there without upsetting him with the real reason. The upshot is, Dad has been prescribed with a drug to try to alleviate his 'visions' so I'm off to the chemist shortly to get that filled. The doc has told Dad that it's to help him sleep through the music.

    His neighbour is actually away on holiday but I'm going to leave a note for her to give me a ring when she returns. Dad however is convinced that the rest of her family are staying in her little one bedroomed bungalow and that I need to ring the council to report it! Interesting times ahead, with crossed fingers and toes that this drug will work soon and he has a more peaceful time! Thank goodness I'm on a weeks leave from my job just now. And then there's the saga of the wasps nest in his attic - there really is a massive one! Maybe that's what he's hearing.

    AJay
     
  11. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Actually, you know, it may have something to do with the wasp nest. The research I looked at indicated that "white noise" (or in the case of the research muffled traffic noise) actually caused an increase in these auditory halluicinations. It obviously isn't the whole thing (and I'm so sorry that there has been a deterioration all round), but it might not be helping.

    Jennifer
     
  12. AJay

    AJay Registered User

    Aug 21, 2007
    123
    Leics
    Wasps

    Hi Jennifer.

    Hmmm, it'll be interesting to see if the music stops when the pest control people have been next week.

    AJay
     
  13. dave b

    dave b Registered User

    Nov 21, 2006
    63
    staffs
    hi ajay, halucinations tell me about em!
    mom sees the girls all the time,
    in the loo, bedroom at night etc
    i just tell her iv,e told them to go home & it works for a time
    don't deny there there just keep the humour, some time it works!
     
  14. cris

    cris Registered User

    Aug 23, 2006
    326
    Chelmsford
    the nest may have something to do with it, but i doubt it. My wifes mother used to claim that the woman downstairs was coming up and stealing. My wife now hears
    things all the time. She too now has dementia. Strangely though if I call her she has no sense of direction of the sound. Also I read that music / songs come from a different part of the brain and that's why they can remember the words.
    cris
     
  15. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    3,518
    That problem is extremely common, it sounds like the classic "I have put something away but can't remember doing that or where it is, therefore the only explanation is someone is stealing".

    People with dementia will put something away, often in a bizarre place, then can't remember doing it - to them things mysteriously "disappear", therefore the only explanation is that someone is stealing things. Even though this explanation is far less reasonable ... there is an element of denial, because otherwise it would mean admitting that you can't remember putting your slippers in the oven two minutes ago...

    My dad also "remembers" having things he has never had, or had and got rid of twenty years ago, but insists that they must be somewhere and he (and poor mum) spent hours turning out drawers looking for them. Eventually he has to sulkily admit the things "aren;t where I put them" but continues to insist he is right and that "someone" has "done something" with them.
     

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