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My heart goes out to you all.

Galanthus

New member
Jan 17, 2020
2
Hi, I’m new to the forum, my mum has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Compared to some of the stories I’ve read on here, our troubles are fairly lightweight so far. I’m overwhelmed by what you all go through - I feel like I’ve joined a secret club which is hidden in plain sight, and I salute you.
i wondered if any of you wise souls have any advice to offer - I’ve been trawling through the goldmine of info on here, but not seen this yet:
My mum lives in an annexe next door. She is regularly seeing prowlers, hearing people trying to kick her door in or kicking footballs at her window. Last week she saw a man climbing our 6’ hedge, despite the open gate being a few paces away! She is convinced that intruders are trying to get in In the early hours. I don’t know how to help her. I hate the idea that she is frightened, but any reassurance, for example reasoning that our dogs (who bark at the slightest noise outside) didn’t hear anything, results in her being upset that we don‘t believe her. We’ve asked her to phone us when anything happens, what ever the time, but she says she won’t wake us up in the middle of the night! Any thoughts greatly appreciated.
Have a peaceful Sunday all.
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
4,054
Nottinghamshire
Welcome to Dementia Talking Point @Galanthus .

My dad used to see things occasionally and I just went along with what he believed but he was never upset by his hallucinations except for the (invisible to me) bugs all over his carpet which I dealt with by stamping on them and then sweeping them up. To my amazement this actually worked and the bugs disappeared!

Is there anything which she could be seeing or hearing that makes her imagine these things? My dad, for example was convinced that a peach coloured plant in his garden was the neighbour spying on him from over the fence - it took me a while to work what he was seeing.

I found the best thing to do was to deal with what dad believed - e.g. telling the man climbing over the hedge to leave and not come back would work better than trying to explain that it can’t be happening. To your mum it’s real so trying to explain that it isn’t will upset her as you’ve found.
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,137
Is there anything which she could be seeing or hearing that makes her imagine these things? My dad, for example was convinced that a peach coloured plant in his garden was the neighbour spying on him from over the fence - it took me a while to work what he was seeing.
Very good advice from Bunpoots, and this made me wonder - it has been extremely windy, so I wonder if the noise of the wind and the movement of trees/hedges, especially in the dark, has been misinterpreted by your mum?
 

Woo2

Registered User
Apr 30, 2019
1,095
South East
Have you got blinds /curtains ? I say this as my mum gets anxious in the dark and her reflection in patio door confused her so shut curtains when getting dark. Sorry if you already do this and it’s not the problem . I would also agree with her and maybe say you have had the police out and they have sorted him out and won’t be doing it again .
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
5,263
N Ireland
Hello @Galanthus and welcome from me too

I wonder if you may find any local support services like a memory café to be of some use. You can do a post code check to see what's available to you by following this link https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/find-support-near-you

The full list of the very informative Factsheets, including a Dementia Guide, can be found with this link https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/publications-factsheets-full-list.

The Factsheet that can be read by clicking the 2nd line of the following link describes behaviours, including sundowning that may be of particular interest
Changes in behaviour (525)
PDF printable version

It would also be worth looking at the Factsheet about anxiety and depression as they are common bedfellows of dementia. My wife had many of the symptoms you describe and she is medicated separately for anxiety and depression, to good effect. Evening and night time used to be a nightmare for both of us but that has lessened a great deal after going on and then adjusting the medication.

If communicating becomes an issue, a few handy tips can be picked from the useful thread that can be reached with this link https://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/threads/compassionate-communication-with-the-memory-impaired.30801/

The advice about closing curtains is good. I put lights on and close blinds etc quite early to prevent the issues with shadows and reflections.
 

reedysue

Registered User
Nov 4, 2014
4,753
Scotland
My mum who lives with us was convinced that people would break in and attack her and used to get very agitated at bedtime, she was prescribed a low dose of respiridone which helped enormously.
 

Dimpsy

Registered User
Sep 2, 2019
1,165
My idea is the same as @Woohoo's, let mum see you take her worry seriously and that you have contacted the police who have sorted the problem and will patrol the area at night, so she mustn't feel anxious any more.
In my mum's room, we plug in a couple of those light's that stay on all night, so her room is dim but not dark, it helps with the night-time bathroom visit's as well, as she doesn't remember to switch a lamp on.
 

Galanthus

New member
Jan 17, 2020
2
Thanks to you all for your replies, info and links, and I will definitely take up the police ideas, I think that could work very well.