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New paranoia any ideas


Registered User
Oct 11, 2012
Hi all,
I want to scream "Help me!" though my situation is no way near as bad as many others on this forum.

My mother has been in a nursing home for three years with Alz and Vasc dem. The nursing home are 95% excellent and to my suprise she has been comparitively content. She has been "in a hotel" "at a lovely boarding school" and although quite far down the dementia road has been mostly content. She has liked "the girls" "the teachers" and "the nurses".

This week it has all changed and my visit today was quite traumatic. She was pleading for me to get her out of this prison. She said I expect I will always be here and to my suprise apologised for "loosing my mind" She was in such distress, telling me that they whip her and beat her and when I tried to distract her said that she wished I could be in a cupboard to see what they are doing to her. She said you can ask the others. I tried to reassure her which was pointless. I couldn't distract her and I could not calm her. She was so , so scared. It was horrible to see. She said it was the owners who were whipping her and could I find her another place to live. She then added that she hopes heaven will be better than this. I assured her it was (was this ME talking!!)

My heart wanted to take her home straight away.- obviously not the answer.

I am shocked to read in another post by Ann Mac that we can make sure all the practicalities are done but we cannot give our loved ones the peace of mind that they need. I know this is true but it shocks me in this new phase.

When my mother talks about horrible things that have happened to her, will this all be fabrication? Can it be true? There was a lot of sexual abuse in her parent grandparents generation. She was also married to a man who was very unkind to put it mildly.

I spoke to staff this morning and they spoke of her being like this for a week. They give her one to one in the afternoon and this helps her but they could not do this in the mornings. They will talk with GP tomorrow but rightly he will be reluctant to prescribe unless really necessary as she has react severly to previous meds. Half way through the conversation I realised that a resident aged 103 yrs had died a few hours earlier and all in all it was a distressing visit.

Isn't it horrible to see someone suffer and little can be done? All I can say is thank God I I have faith in the nursing home. They are so kind to her.

This is really an offload but any ideas?
Thanks for bearing with me through the tears x
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Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
South coast
Im afraid that i do not know the answer, or am able to give any advice as mum is still in the contented stage at her CH.
Common sense says to me, though, that if your mum was being whipped as she says, then there would be deep, straight lacerations all over her which would be very obvious.
You have hinted that there may have been violence in her past. Is it possible that she has gone back in her mind to a time when violence took place so that she now thinks that it is happening in the present? Her mind could also be "embroidering" on things that, in that mindset, she is afraid might happen.
Im sure it must be very distressing for both you and her. I think that speaking to the staff was the right thing to do and Im glad you say that they are kind to her.
Im sorry I cannot be of more help.


Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
SW London
Your poor mum, and poor you, having to witness it - I am so sorry. I should imagine that something has triggered a memory from her past - maybe from her childhood? - or from something she saw, perhaps in a film, or read about in the past.

I wish I could offer any help, except to say that I do hope the stage will pass soon. My own mother went through two stages which were intensely distressing for her - in one case I knew the cause exactly - her mind had muddled up, in a dream, my father's death with something she had seen on TV the night before. This took over 48 hours to pass, but in the meantime she was inconsolable and her distress was awful to see. I felt quite powerless since nothing even her most trusted carers said could convince her. This was before she went into the CH so I was there the whole time.

On the later occasion she became convinced that her care home staff were 'killing people' - she insisted that I was being completely taken in by their outward pleasant behaviour, she knew exactly what they were up to.

I could only conclude that although the CH obviously did their best to arrange it as discreetly as possible, during her frequent nightly wanderings she had probably come across undertakers taking away a resident who had died.

This fixation went on for a lot longer than 48 hours, but it did pass eventually. In the meantime all I could think of to say - trying to reassure her that she was mistaken was no earthly use - was that I had told the police and they were 'on to them' and I would very soon be taking her away to live in a nice little flat, near me. These did seem to pacify her to some extent for the moment - she had so often talked of moving to a 'nice little flat' anyway.

I do hope you will find that your poor mother's distress will pass soon. Is there really nothing they can give her? It seems so cruel to leave someone is such distress of mind.
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Registered User
Oct 11, 2012
Thank you for your kind words. It does help!

Your post was helpful. I think in my internal panic I was assuming this was a set phase so it was good to hear that it may well pass.

In terms of medication she is very sensitive and reacted badly to a sleeping med and to an antidepressant. She collapsed/fainted and fell on several occassions during the first week of a med. Once off them she went back to normal.

I have just bought some aromatherapy oils and some "Sleepy time" tea for her. A long shot but worth a try - at least I feel I am doing something.

In relation to the undertakers, dare I say a funny thing happened to me. In the nursing home, activity organisers were arranging a play in the lounge reception. Residents were acting "a wedding". Two men in formal dress were standing behind me and I thought they were playing at being part of the wedding groom or best man. I joked with them about it and 10 seconds later, a trolley was taken out and I realised that they were undertakers (!)

Thank you Canary and Witzend. It is good to know I am not alone (sounds corny but true)