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Unresponsive guests - how advanced is this?

Vec

New member
May 25, 2020
2
My mother is 80 and I believe suffering from dementia. We recently went to her (new) GP and she was referred to a memory clinic for the future. For the past 3 weeks she has received guests at weekends that have kept her up late as she does not want to be rude. They make her annoyed as they do not reply to her. They are actually the front covers of newspapers or magazines. I visited this morning and had to ask one of these guests to leave as they had stayed in the sofa overnight. She can’t tell the difference between one of these magazine guests or a real person other than they won’t reply to her. She blames herself for not asking them the right questions. On occasion has prepared food for them and left lights on.
The closet thing I have seen in the forum is believing the TV is real, which she also used to do, but since the programmes changes the guests don’t overstay their welcome.

I currently deal with it by asking about the guest and if they inconvenienced her before taking them out and discreetly disposing of the magazine. I reassure her that it’s just a change in her behaviours and she shouldn’t be scared or embarrassed. At no point has she ever accepted or reflected on these guests as being magazines or not real, despite some being celebrities.

Thoughts and opinions on the severity of this and any possible consequences welcome.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,604
South coast
Hello @Vec and welcome to DTP

I dont have personal experience of this, but I remember a member on here talking about the way her mum (with Lewy Bodies) was really concerned about a child who was lying on her sofa and looked very pale and unwell. When she went and checked, this child was actually some pale coloured cushions on the sofa. People with dementia often have trouble interpreting what they see, but cannot be persuaded that they are wrong.

I wouldnt try and explain what is happening to your mum as this will probably upset her even more. Just remove the magazines as you did and tell her that the guests have gone.
 

Vec

New member
May 25, 2020
2
Thanks for the info, very interesting. This is the first connection I have seen with Lewy Bodies, but my initial research does show this majors on hallucinations. To be clear, she extrapolates from the picture so it has a visual basis, it is not entirely imaginary, maybe this is specific to LB? She has been a widow alone for many years, and it is clear she is lonely. I had assumed the guests came from that loneliness. She has complained about my own behaviour in the past, but I have determined that the "me" she refers to were photo portraits, which I have subsequently removed as she cannot differentiate between the real me and an unresponsive portrait- undermining her trust in me.
  1. Does anyone else have such an experience of confusing people and pictures?
  2. Does this support a possible connection to Lewy Bodies?
  3. We have removed many images to simplify her life and reduce these hallucinations, it feels a little cold to reduce family reminders for her, so we have kept some of the grandchildren up. I think there is a risk of keeping them up, but don't want to remove everything. Any experiences/thoughts on the pros/cons of this?
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,604
South coast
Does anyone else have such an experience of confusing people and pictures?
Yes, its quite common, though not as common as thinking that people on TV are actually in the room. I once found all mums photos in a drwer in her care home room because she "didnt like people watching her getting dressed", but it wasnt consistent.
Does this support a possible connection to Lewy Bodies?
I think you will have to wait for the memory clinic and a scan before you can get a more precise diagnosis. It isnt all as cut and dried as that.
We have removed many images to simplify her life and reduce these hallucinations, it feels a little cold to reduce family reminders for her, so we have kept some of the grandchildren up. I think there is a risk of keeping them up, but don't want to remove everything. Any experiences/thoughts on the pros/cons of this?
You just have to go with what happens. People with dementia are all different, although there are many common themes. See if she is OK, but be prepared to remove anything that causes distress.
 

Lemondrizzle

Registered User
Aug 26, 2018
65
My MIL had a glass bowl with artificial water and flowers in it which she began to talk to and then "feed" She believed it was a person and taking it away distressed her. The bowl had to be regularly emptied of biscuits and other foodstuffs. Perversely the "other people" who kept coming to the house upset her for numerous reasons, not least because they wouldn't go home or were in her bed. "Making the guests leave" was the only way to settle her.
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,276
My mother is 80 and I believe suffering from dementia. We recently went to her (new) GP and she was referred to a memory clinic for the future. For the past 3 weeks she has received guests at weekends that have kept her up late as she does not want to be rude. They make her annoyed as they do not reply to her. They are actually the front covers of newspapers or magazines. I visited this morning and had to ask one of these guests to leave as they had stayed in the sofa overnight. She can’t tell the difference between one of these magazine guests or a real person other than they won’t reply to her. She blames herself for not asking them the right questions. On occasion has prepared food for them and left lights on.
The closet thing I have seen in the forum is believing the TV is real, which she also used to do, but since the programmes changes the guests don’t overstay their welcome.

I currently deal with it by asking about the guest and if they inconvenienced her before taking them out and discreetly disposing of the magazine. I reassure her that it’s just a change in her behaviours and she shouldn’t be scared or embarrassed. At no point has she ever accepted or reflected on these guests as being magazines or not real, despite some being celebrities.

Thoughts and opinions on the severity of this and any possible consequences welcome.
My mother in law hallucinated quite frequently , she had mixed dementia and by the time she was in the care home, she often used to mix up the table in the dining area with a small child. The staff used to ask the child to "leave so that my mother in law could finish her meal. ". This would pacify her . When she was in her own home, we had all sorts of hallucinations , from a man performing a sex act in her bedroom, to a doctor in a white coat coming into the house. I've not heard of the types of things you're describing , but everyone is different.
 

LuLuP

Registered User
Apr 3, 2020
10
Hi, we have been told that my husband has Alzheimer's, but a major symptom lately is believing that there are people in the house and garden. Decreasing one of his medications has helped slightly. He also had tests for a urine infection, etc. which came out as negative, but worth a thought maybe? he stares fixedly at my feet and sometimes even hits them, because he thinks they are 'people'!
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
1,863
Dorset
The Banjoman had LBD and regularly saw people, when I phoned him he would say “ We’re all here”. At one point he insisted there was cat who came to visit him in his flat and while in hospital there was a veritable zoo apparently walking around the place.