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Unresponsive guests - how advanced is this?

Vec

New member
May 25, 2020
2
0
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
15,178
0
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
0
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
15,178
0
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
166
0
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
1,521
0
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
11
0
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
2,844
0
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.
 

Up the Creek

Registered User
Sep 9, 2020
95
0
East Anglia
My mum too, has book cover and magazine guests. It was this behaviour that first alerted me to something not being quite right .

She loves reading and I noticed middle of last year that she would leave the book propped up at the end of the settee. When I was out of the room I could hear her talking to someone but she stopped as soon I returned. Out of the corner of my eye I could see her smiling at the picture on the cover of the book.

It all came to a head at the end of the year when she became ‘involved‘ with some of the Strictly celebrities - she had pictures of them from the TV guide, all lined up on the settee beside her. She wrapped Christmas presents up to herself from them and got really annoyed with me when I didn’t drive her to the studio to see them when they were all waiting for her. Having spent the best part of 12 hours just staring at the pics, grinning at them, saying that they knew where she was if they were unhappy, I lost my cool and ripped the pictures up. She didn’t talk to me for two days, complained to my daughter that I had thrown them out of the house without them having a chance to pack...but it was the nudge I needed to book an appointment with the GP

She still routinely gets drawn into pics on book covers. A month ago she was standing in the hallway and when I went to see why she was so long, she asked me had they gone yet? She’d been reading two biographies (I won’t mention the celebrities to save their blushes) and had had the two happy, smiling faces beside her for about a week. I asked her did she want them to go home and she said yes, they were overstaying their welcome. I removed the books and told her they had gone home and taken their books with them. She was totally calm and relaxed that they were no longer there.

That has given me the tool i need to break the spell she seems to fall under. She has been recently reading A Street Cat Named Bob and the book has been sat beside her for a few days. This morning I though I was going to have to send Bob home as she was chatting away to him, grinning and smiling at him For the best part of half an hour. I mentioned in passing that our real cat was off his food and that maybe he wasn’t happy with Bob spending so much time here and that he might have to go home. She didn‘t like the idea of our cat being upset and she hasn’t talked to Bob since!

The one thing in common with all these pics are that they are of happy, smiling people.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
10,330
0
Yorkshire
hello @Up the Creek
just to offer a warm welcome to DTP

your way of supporting your mum is kind and thoughtful, and effective ... she's fortunate to have you looking out for her

sometimes people also come to believe that a reflection, in a mirror or window, is another person and, as your mum may not always smile into a mirror, you may want to watch out for that (net curtains can be a blessing)
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
15,178
0
South coast
Mum got to the stage where she did not recognise her own reflection in a mirror, thought that people on the TV were talking to her and that what was happening on TV was actually happening in her home. I have heard of people thinking that photos were real, so I think this is part of the same thing.

When I was at school we had to cover our school text books with brown paper to protect the covers. Could you do that to her books so that she cant see the photos?
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,485
0
High Peak
My mum too. The man on the roof was just a tree branch moving in the wind, The rabbits on the grass were just dead leaves. I never found out the origin of the men who came into her room, got undressed and performed sexual acts in front of her, but they were frequent visitors, as were the dead babies/children in the corridors.

I'd also say watch out for mirrors or cover them. Mum hated the old woman who was always in her bathroom watching her.
 

VET

Registered User
Dec 9, 2019
14
0
My Mum thinks people on the TV are in the house. She gets quite distressed when people argue on the tv . She also speaks to my Dad who sits on the sofa , this Is in fact several cushions. I will often arrive to cold cups of tea that she has made him. My Dad passed away 6 years ago.
She has also prepared food for guests , usually they are children. She gets cross with them though as they won’t tell her want they want to eat .
 

Up the Creek

Registered User
Sep 9, 2020
95
0
East Anglia
My Mum thinks people on the TV are in the house. She gets quite distressed when people argue on the tv . She also speaks to my Dad who sits on the sofa , this Is in fact several cushions. I will often arrive to cold cups of tea that she has made him. My Dad passed away 6 years ago.
She has also prepared food for guests , usually they are children. She gets cross with them though as they won’t tell her want they want to eat .

My mum seems to believe people on TV are in the room or watching her too. She started not to watch specific program because of people arguing and now there is very little on the main channels and freeview we watch. You don’t realise how many programs have loud, shouty, argumentative content until you have someone affected by it.

She no longer watches Bargain Hunt because of the disagreements between some of the couples. I can’t work out what is wrong with Country File but she won’t watch that anymore. It’s possible she didn’t like how she was spoken too at some point. Anything confrontational she now asks me to switch off so it is easier not to have the TV on. Our viewing is down to between 6pm - 9pm watching box sets of 1980/90s tv comedies or the occasional animal or food program.
 

Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
782
0
Some of the things mum used to "see" made me laugh, though not in front of her! There was a new animal species that came into her garden, a cross between a squirrel and a fox, we used to sit for ages looking through the window to see it!

Any car that was parked outside the house totally confused her, she was convinced that people were sat inside but it was just the head rests. Mum would go outside and bang on the window to tell them to go away, even trying to open the door. One day she frightened the life out of a couple snuggling up when she opened the door, they were obviously not partners and possibly having an affair as the man looked terrified! I was watching through the security cameras ready to intervene but he just slammed the door shut and drove off in a hurry!

A knitted Father Christmas sat on her settee as company for her, she would chat away to him and told him all sorts of tales.
 

Ramblingrose

Registered User
Feb 2, 2020
53
0
Snap! My mum is convinced that the head rests in the neighbours care are people who are constantly looking in. She waves to them and even went out talking to them. A flower waving in the breeze becomes a person who she waves to, talks to and sings to them. My shopping bag was a dog the other day. This is just a small selection of the "visitors" she has. Nothing will convince her that these people or animals are figments of her imagination. Mum has imaginary trips out too.
 

Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
782
0
I had forgotten about the human bushes in the garden! My mum also thought tall branches moving in the wind were people and used to get cross with them. If I took her out into the garden she could understand that it was a branch but looking through the window seemed to distort her perception. I ended up asking her lovely neighbours to prune their bushes which poked up over the fence and he was such a lovely man that he did them straight away.

I have the knitted Father Christmas at my house now mum is in a care home, washed and disinfected ready to go into her room at Christmas.
 

JoannePat

Registered User
Jan 24, 2019
83
0
My mum is now in end stage, we have never had a LBD diagnosis, but the more I read the more I think she has it.

We noticed some unusual behaviour with mum but for me the first true sign was Christmas 2017, we came home after spending the holidays with family and about three weeks later she gave me a brand new purse, she said "I don't want another purse, and its from one of those strangers at Christmas". When I asked her to explain which stranger, she said "you know, all those people sitting in the lounge". I calmly explained to her that there was just us and her three grandchildren (all grown up), she didn't believe me.

When she had the stroke in Nov 2018, she used to see her cat in the hospital room. And then when the book lady came round, she said "oh hello, didn't we have a lovely time in the west end!".

There have been loads of other things. Sadly she is now in a CH, unable to talk or move. We are not able to see her as the CH is in strict lockdown.

Wow! That was cathartic! Hugs to you all

Jxx