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My mum thinks people are trying to kill her

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by Scotsfloat, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. Scotsfloat

    Scotsfloat Registered User

    Dec 28, 2015
    My mum has been in a Care Home for nearly two years; we think she has a mix of Alzheimers and Vascular dementia. We weren't able to take her for scan as it was thought the detrimental effect of her leaving the Home outweighed knowing exactly what she was suffering with. My parents had been hiding the extent of her decline and when my dad died last February she had no capacity and after going for respite care, never went home again. My mum can be very un-cooperative and insists she owns the Care Home so can go where ever she likes, in and out of other resident's room, emptying drawers etc. She has hit people with her stick if she doesn't want to do what she is asked. I realise this is due to her condition and I talk with the Care Home workers so we can work out best strategies for whatever situations happen. She has no memory of people or places and usually looks straight through me as there is no recognition. Her speech is mostly garbled, but she is still eating and can usually go to the toilet on her own. She is still quite mobile. My mum had a fall a few months ago as she gets very tired as she refuses to go to bed at night. She had two black eyes and bashed her forehead. The Home explained exactly what happened.and I have faith in them; it's a small informal place and I have got to know a lot of the staff well.
    She had another fall a couple of days again by stepping backwards and falling over a step; she has a badly bruised face and cuts on her arm as she scraped it down a door frame. I visited her this morning and she had ripped all the bandages off her arm, that the nurse had put on. She seemed really suspicious of everyone and was eyeballing the other residents and when I went to help her stand up from her chair, she said 'Don't kill me'' several times. I found this really distressing as it made me think something had happened and she thought people were trying to kill her. Has anyone else had experience of a PWD saying this? I'm hoping it's just another phase of her illness. She is 88 and the Care Home recently said that she no longer seemed to be on a plateau, but was on a 'steady decline', whatever that means :( .
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Its difficult to know what may have triggered this off. PWD (people with dementia) lose their short-term memory, but retain their emotional memory, so it may be that she emotionally "remembers" that something bad happened to her and she was hurt, but doesnt remember exactly what it is so her brain has "filled in the gaps" (confabulated) that someone is tryng to kill her. Thats only a guess, however and it might be something quite different.

    It seems similar to the time when my mum had a cataract removed while she was in her care home (I dont mean the op was done in the CH - I just mean that she was living there when she had it done!). By the next day she had totally forgotten that she had had this done, but her eye was still quite sore and she confabulated that the staff had been beating her up. She was distressed for days:(
  3. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    I think you need to look at moving on to an EMI nursing home before the care home ask you to move her. The sort of thing you describe is everyday in an EMI home and the staff are used to it, there also has to be a qualified nurse there at all times and the staffing levels are usually much higher than a standard care home.
    You're also find that few EMI nursing homes have steps of any description, it's usually all one level and a single coloured floor throughout, no carpets or rugs.
  4. Scotsfloat

    Scotsfloat Registered User

    Dec 28, 2015
    Hi, Thank you, I'm hoping it might be something like that. Apparently, in the middle of the night she had refused to leave a new resident's room who was poorly in bed. I got the impression the carers would have had a difficult time trying to get her to leave and it was around this time she had her fall as she attempted to stomp off. I can imagine any memory of it will be that they were 'ganging' up on her. It's such a horrible disease :(
  5. Scotsfloat

    Scotsfloat Registered User

    Dec 28, 2015
    Hi, thanks for your reply. The Care Home only has 14 residents and all have various levels of dementia, my mother is in a later stage, but others there are further advanced. The residents normally see out their lives there as the staff have the training and ability to care for them. I have had numerous chats with the Home about her challenging behaviour and it is something that they are used to and I'm constantly updated about any issues. I've probably given the wrong impression with what I said as the situation was immediately dealt with and she was seen by the nurse straight away. It's just so difficult to understand how she see's the world and what happens in it. :(
  6. Ludlow

    Ludlow Registered User

    Jul 20, 2016
    SE England
    Hi, It is certainly possible for someone with dementia to believe that people are trying to kill them when nothing has happened. My mum was already living with me when she decided that a neighbour of ours (with whom we were on good terms) was trying to blind and then kill her. It co-incided with her rapidly fading vision from AMD. She obviously couldn't understand why her sight was disappearing and so felt the need to "explain" it by the neighbour creeping into the house and putting toxic chemicals on her pillow every night. In her case she became obsessed with this delusion and it filled every waking hour and caused her great distress for months until I could persuade the Mental Health team to prescribe anti-psychotics. (Now she seems to be over that phase and I am weaning her off them.) Hopefully your mum will not go this way and it is just a reaction to what was probably an unpleasant scene as Canary says.
  7. DollyBird16

    DollyBird16 Registered User

    Sep 5, 2017
    Greater London
    Sorry you have to go through this’ll. my mum has the same delusions neighbour spying up on her, talking about her, taking over the house, trying to poison her food (she sometimes won’t eat) again poison in the bed (she won’t get in bed) trying to kidnap her to kill her, planning to come in at night and kill her, switching her tablets to poison her and many others.

    Sadly the sufferer is tortured by this.

    I find I can make her laugh if I go and shout at them ( the neighbours must think i have a problem! ) I shout upstairs, into the garage, out the back door anywhere she believes them to be.
    I’m so cross about the misery and upset my Mum goes through my shout of ‘get out go away, leave my mum alone’ is genuine
    Let me know how you get on I’m keen to learn ways to manage this. X
  8. Scotsfloat

    Scotsfloat Registered User

    Dec 28, 2015
    Thank you for sharing this with me about your mum. I guess I can see PWD are trying to make sense of a situation they are in, but lack sufficient cognition for it to be logical. I can relate what you are saying to how my mum may have interpreted what had happened to her.
  9. Scotsfloat

    Scotsfloat Registered User

    Dec 28, 2015
    Thank you for your reply. I might try and use distraction techniques with my mum! It is very distressing as you say as you just can't imagine what it must be like to be suffering from this.:( I'll let you know if I find any successful ways of dealing with this.

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