I take care of an elderly woman who is 79, with spinal stenosis. As it says in my profile, i am not a nurse. I know nothing of the detereoration of the mind of the elderly and when to say something. The woman i cook and clean for tells me, about a month ago, that her neighbor 2 houses down put some kind of device in her house and she can hear his music and his radio sports show and it wakes her up every night about midnight. She's asking about a tape recorder, so i humor her and go buy one for her, thinking that maybe, if she hears the next day that there is nothing to hear, that it will convince her. But it's gotten worse, now she says this man is physically coming into her house, into her rafters, but, she says, how is he getting in? She locks all her doors and windows....She told her sons about the music, but that was pretty much all she told them. They say it's because she was in the hospital a year ago for surgery and they say she has "musical ears" whatever that means. that's when she said it started, after these people moved into the house while she was in the hospital. She won't tell anybody else because she's afraid they will think she's lost her mind...but she wants me to take her to the police station to try to get the man arrested. Jeez, what should i do? I feel I will betray her trust if I tell her sons. But I can't see her do this either, so i'm stuck between a rock and a hard place, fearing her sons will call her and confront her about all of it, she might deny it and never want to speak to me again :-(
You might ask her permission to go with her to her physician during one of her physical examinations. Often dementia isn't 24/7, but comes and goes.
I don't have any easy answers, but the problem is that dementia often progresses.
Hallucinations, such as imagining people come into the house, are common with out-of-control diabetes. They are called "sugar people" and are not necessarily signs of mental illness. They are simply strong halucinations that seem very real.
One of the things to do is to have her take what is called an Hba1c test, which will assess her glucose levels.
Insure that there isn't some actual reality attached to her alleged delusions. Does she have a name for this man who is supposedly coming in to her home?
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