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Mum has become paranoid.

Sarah1208

Registered User
Jun 22, 2020
80
Can anyone give me some guidance on this? Mum moved into a care home 5 weeks ago and is very unsettled. With Covid restrictions, no visiting, changing her rooms, a fall and a UTI there really is no wonder. But over the last week they tell me she has become paranoid about things. This has never happened before. She is convinced the carers are talking about her and that other residents are judging her. Is this common in dementia? And does it come and go? Or get worse? They are looking at her meds with the doctor to try something to make her less anxious but the paranoia is really worrying.
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
5,634
N Ireland
I don't know how common this is but with my wife she always tells me not to report her behaviours to the medics and thinks that every conversation I have with someone is about her.

Anxiety can be a big issue with dementia and my wife is medicated for that as well as her dementia.

I have to admit that I ignore my wife's instructions about not keeping the medics advised as I would see that as counter productive.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
566
Hello @Sarah1208 . My mum had advanced vascular dementia and is in a care-home. She is frequently paranoid when agitated and the staff have arranged tweaks in her medication along the way to help. My mum is quite paranoid by nature, so probably an ongoing problem for her but I don't think it has got worse, it just comes and goes with her mood. It is very much worse if there is a UTI present (I'm always boring on about those but they really do play havoc with dementia). It takes a while to sort medication out, so hopefully this is a temporary thing. Your mum hasn't been in the care home long and being surrounded by people she doesn't know well may be making her a little nervous. If your mum has recently had a /UTI, it may be worth asking for the care home staff to test her urine. Doctors tend to only give a short course of anti-biotics these days and they don't always do the trick!
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,349
My mother in law was paranoid most of the time, years before the dementia diagnosis. She had a personality disorder and there was always, according to her , someone making remarks about her . This got worse with the diagnosis, even before she went into care. She had mixed dementia and was always telling me the carers , whether in her own home or in the care home, were whispering about her. She never had any medication for it as her vascular problems would have been exacerbated .
 

Sarah1208

Registered User
Jun 22, 2020
80
Thank you both....yes mum has just had a UTI...she gets them a lot. Hopefully some new meds will help it just worries me that they will give her something that will wipe her out, I think they were suggesting diazepam?
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
566
Thank you both....yes mum has just had a UTI...she gets them a lot. Hopefully some new meds will help it just worries me that they will give her something that will wipe her out, I think they were suggesting diazepam?
Care homes sometimes use medication as a short term solution to help settle newer residents. If you are worried, I would ask the manager or a senior staff member how long they intend to use it for. It may make your mum a little sleepy but that is probably better than her being very anxious. Most care homes will use other ways of calming residents where possible, so I would imagine this is just a temporary measure for your mum.
 

Sarah1208

Registered User
Jun 22, 2020
80
Thank you. Yes that makes sense. I would rather she sleep a little more than be upset. At least until we can get in a routine with proper visits. I really hope that will be soon. I desperately want to get her out for some fresh air and she loves an ice-cream on the seafront bless her.
 

PMM1485

Registered User
Dec 16, 2018
40
My mum had just moved into a care home and behaving in exactly the same way. She says the carers leave her all day without talking to her, that the other residents whisper behind her back and are locking her in her room. It's not helped by the fact that she has hallucinations so really 'sees' these this. Apparently I visit regularly but just sit there sand don't say anything, which she gets very distressed about. She thinks I'm freezing her out or that she's fine something wrong. It is very distressing for all involved. She was bad at here before going into the care home but is now much worse. So I really feel for your concern. I hope things improve.