my mum seems to be very confused all of a sudden and hallucinating.
my mother suffers from depression and anxiety. lately she has been hallucinating. she had some episodes last summer during away at our summer place but we didnt do anything as they stopped when we returned home. Actually she took antidepressants, Seropram and Xanax. but we stopped them after six months.Also she has very poor eyesight. so its easy to confuse shapes and shadows. She does not hear voices. Now the images have come back. she was seeing fires and waking me up to leave the flat or seeing people in the house. Her psychiatrist prescribed her now with Respidral for the hallucinations which does help a lot and Bespar for anxiety, both in very mild doses. It been about a month that she takes them and they help. but still she talks to poeple who arent there or me even tho im in another room. She dreams at night and wakes up but is in a total dream world state of mind. so she couldnt find the bathroom. and used the tub or the floor. also she suddenly bends a lot and walks in small steps. she never did that before. she dresses still and is ok in general but she does strange things and has very little energy. takes long to describe things sometimes they dont make sense and even she get tored to get her point across. she walked out of our flat in her underwear and the dog, said she left the door open cos she has trouble using the key so the door shut and she was left outside in the hall. she didnt go out of the building she thought better not. the neighbour helped as i was away for some hours. But now they think in the building she has alzheimers.
Last year we did a ct scan and there was nothing wrong apart form normal age depletion, could that have changed so fast towards dementia in one year? she also did blood tests a few weeks ago and they are all good. nothing there to worry about. but she is terribly absent minded specially as she gets tired throughout the day.
i am very worried about her and dont know if i should believe that this is dementia. i ask her if shes lost her mind and she says no. At first the doctor said it was depression with temporary psychotic effects. but now he told me it may well be the early satges of dementia. My mum was never a genius at following instructions they make her nervous, or anything to do with electrical appliances. shes quite cut off from practicalities as she is living in a foreign country from her native and chose not to learn the language very well. all this is due to personal experiences from withing her life. She is Australian but married a Greek and lives in Athens for over thirty years.
I dont know how to respond to all this. could it be something temporary? i hope so but maybe not.. any good advice anything that can help.
Welcome to the Senior Health Forum. I am so sorry to hear about your mom's condition. It it's absolutely tragic to watch our parents deterioration.... my heart goes out to you.
Anything could have happened since that last CT. I do encourage that you repeat a repeat CT, WITH contrast or an MRI. Your mom's symptoms sound like some form of Dementia, Alzheimer's is a form of Dementia.
In my opinion it's important that you know what is happening in order to treat it properly. Guessing is not the best way to approach her symptoms. If she has not been evaluated by a Gerontologist I suggest you make an appt for a consult. They are the specialist in aging and the complications of it. They also are very knowledgeable about medications and how they interact and effect a seniors.system..... which is often different them a younger person. There are also mental health professionals that specialize in treating seniors so I would make sure that they are involved in your mum's care.
You did not share with us your mum's age. Yes it makes a difference if she is 65 or 90 not only in a diagnostic sense but in prognosis and treatment. Doe she have a heart condition, diabetes or other major medical condition(s) that could contribute to her symptoms?
I look forward to hearing from you. You'll both be in my thoughts. Your mum is fortunate to have your love and concern. So many of our seniors do not have anyone... or at least anyone that is involved. It truly does make a difference in the care that they receive and the outcome.
hello, and thank you for getting back to me i really appreciate it. My mum is 72 years old, she has no diabeties nor a heart condition or anything else. I forgot to say that her husband, my dad died two and a half years ago. My mum lives in Greece but she is cut off and has no friends. he was her world as she doesnt speak the language other than to communicate at the shop and simple conversation. and i am an only child, (adult)35 years old. Her recent condition has turned my life upside down and it makes me very angry indeed as i am losing touch with my focus. I do service for her which begins in the morning and ends by force in the eveing when i must go to sleep. all day looking for something doing somehting for her and totaly neglecting my own life. So do you think a Gerondologist is more appropriate than a psychiatrist?
My most important question you could advise me is if you think Risperdal 2mg dose each evening is ok. whst do you think about htis drug? She takes it to reduce hallucinations and they have declined a lot. but i have read soem nasty info about it. She also takes Bespar 10mg, for anxiety. 2 pills morning and evening.
Thank you again,
one more question, my mum never used to dream now she has these vivid dreams every night. could this be a reaction from the drugs or can it be a characteristic observed in dementia. She also feels like a rag doll, meaning she has no energy at all. i thnk this comes on from her endless searching around the house for her bits and pieces. ( watch, note books eye drops, etc). or is it the drugs. or is it characteristic in dementia. I have no idea what the physical symptoms are indementia. i understand the memory loss and confusion but what are the physical symptoms.
thanks you once again
Hi Isabelle, what a beautiful name! Everyone calls me Tuck, even my family. So though it's a nickname it truly is what most ppl call me. That is unless they are angry at me! :o) Nice to meet you.
I tried to respond to you last night but my new laptop decided to act up... so sorry I am tardy to your post.
In May one lot of Risperidone 2mg Tablets, marketed by Patriot Pharmaceuticals, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Janssen Pharmaceuticals was recalled. Risperidone is a second generation or atypical antipsychotic, sold under the trade name Risperdal. It is used to treat schizophrenia , even in adolescent schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, the mixed and manic states associated with bipolar disorder, and irritability in people with autism.
I am not fond of Risperdal in ppl over 65. As stated above it is an antipsychotic. Your
Physicians know far more then I do and I am not saying that it's the wrong medication. There are just a few things you need to be aware of when taking it.
Many sites list warnings on the use in suspected dementia patients or elderly patients. Indeed all sites that I have researched have this or a similar warning,
Begin Quote: " Risperdal is not for use in psychotic conditions related to dementia. Risperidone may cause heart failure, sudden death, or pneumonia in older adults with dementia-related conditions." End Quote. This came from a trusted and often used medication site.
Another trusted site has this to say, Begin Quote: "There may be a slightly increased risk of serious, possibly fatal side effects (such as stroke, heart failure) when this medication is used in elderly patients with dementia. Discuss the risks and benefits of this medication, as well as other effective and possibly safer treatments for dementia-related behavior problems, with your doctor." End Quote
I can tell you that I have seen great results/reduction of symptoms from this medication. Please be aware of the side effects of any antipsychotic medication which include Tardive Dyskinesia which can be irreversible. A Goggle search will list all side effects for you please make sure you know these side effects and any side effects of medications that are prescribed for your mum. This is a must for all of us.... know the side effects of all the medications your physician prescribes.
At first I thought you misspelled Buspar but when I searched I found the it also spelled as Bespar. It's basically the same as our Buspar. So Bespar or Buspirone hydrochloride (a derivative of Buspirone) is reported as an ingredient of Bespar in Greece. It's just a different brand name from what is used in the US. It is used primarily as an anxiolytic, specifically for generalized anxiety disorder. Her dose is relatively low. However among other side effects this drug can also induce Parkinson-like symptoms as I mentioned above when I wrote, Tardive Dyskinesia.
You are correct, your mum's vivid dreams is most likely a side effect of one or both of the meds she is being prescribed.
I would never substitute a Gerontologist for a Psychiatrist. However the two can make a great team and deliver a better, total overall plan of care for our seniors. They can help you recognize the physical symptoms of Dementia.
Remember that Dementia is not a specific disease it's actually a group of symptoms, Often physical symptoms are few early on, other then the obvious memory loss, inability to learn new information and personality changes. What's really happening is the deterioration of nerve cells. It's later on in the disease process that the physical complications appear, such as bowel and bladder function, muscle impairment and difficultly chewing and swallowing. Dementia is a cruel, insidious disease.
Her fatigue is probably a combination of the medications and her disease condition. I believe a Gerontologist will have more answers and suggestions for you and your mum.
Last but not least Isabelle you need to take good care of you! I was a Caregiver for the most wonderful, kind and loving man I have ever met, my father. I cared for him in my home for almost eight years. I had days I thought I would lose my sanity. It was the hardest thing I ever did in my life... but I wouldn't take back a second. I am not sorry for giving up my life the last two years of his.... I have no guilt, no second guesses, I did my best.... and when he left this world last year with me at his side he took a huge piece of me and my heart. Gone is the unconditional love that he gave so freely. But he left me so much more then he took. I call it gifts of the heart that only a father can leave their daughter.... or perhaps a mother can leave her daughter.
That said I too needed respites... breaks. I had to take care of me too. It's tough to balance their needs with yours. Don't be afraid to reach out for help. You will need it. The last nine-ten months I had the assistance of Hospice. They were God sent!
We are here for you. I encourage you to take any support that is offered. We (MedHelp) also have a Caregiver Forum. I am the CL on that Forum also. It's not near as active as I would like it to be... but it is a great community. If you have a Faith it will help you now. My faith was and continues to be a great source of comfort.
I hope you will be active in our community. Please continue to respond to posts and feel free to post again. Sometimes when caring for my father I posted just for support, vents and chats. It helped.... and I confident it will be beneficial for you too.
Please excuse my tardy but a bit long response. I'll look forward to hearing from you again soon. And again...Don't forget to Take Care of Yourself too!!!
Thank you for your kind message, and compliment to my name, i understand about yr father i had the same in a way. I took care of hm for six months. i used to work in the uk but when i found out he was ill i had to quit and stay in athens to care for him and i dont regret a minute. He was the person that always gave me the right advice and i miss him so much.
I took a while to reply as im stil tryng to make sense of what is going on. I was told we should see a neurologist. My mum feels her flat is not hers in a way but she knows it is. but then again she has eye problems with long sighted, i was told this can cause imges being created by the brain and eyes being tired and unfocused.
i didnt know dementia is not a specific desease, i didnt know it is a cause of several symptoms. i thought its one thing. someone told me that having hallucinaitons is not lazheimers therefor a neurologist would be best.
Should we do a brain scan? she does still have a shower dress and put her make up on. these have always been her rituals and she keeps them up. I noticed that she doesnt make as small steps as she did and talks better. though very absent minded in her thinking. and panicky if she is alone. I 'm wondering if she will get over this and come back to normality or if we have entered a one way route.
I try totake care of myself but im afrad ive lost the touch with what that means. i dont have interest in seeing people other than my closest friends a couple of peolple. She is so alone here that im her only person. I lose my temper a lot as each day i wake up i know what im faced with so it really puts a damper on my life. its really hard trying to make make sense of the world again. like how to use the key to open the door. It obviously helps to wear her glasses and turn on the light but she seems to not find that being the solution.
You said i should post to get support is there anyone else reading my post or am i writing directly to you.
Thank you once again for your time and long post. i read it all with care.
There are others that should be reading. They don't always respond. We more readers then we have responders. Hang in you should get more responses. I am just the Community Leader.
Your info is NOT correct. Ppl with Alzheimer’s can and do hallucinate. However seeing a neurologist should provide with with better answers. Hallucinations are sensory experiences that seem real to people with Alzheimer's disease, yet they are not really happening. The most common hallucinations are visual (seeing something that isn't really there) and auditory (hearing something that isn't really there), but hallucinations can also occur in regard to taste, smell, and touch. They usually are unable to be brought back to reality, at least in most instances... these hallucinations are real to ppl with Alzheimer's disease. It's best not to argue with them but comfort them and try to distract them with more pleasant thoughts or activities.
Here's some information:
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, a serious brain disorder that impacts daily living through memory loss and cognitive changes. Although not all memory loss indicates Alzheimer’s disease, one in ten people over 65 years of age, and over half of those over 85 have Alzheimer’s disease.
10 Signs of Alzheimer's per Alzheimer's Association:
Memory loss that disrupts daily life
Challenges in planning or solving problems
Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
Confusion with time or place
Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
New problems with words in speaking or writing
Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
Decreased or poor judgment
Withdrawal from work or social activities
Changes in mood and personality
....And they feel the cold more the other ppl in their age range.
Anger is useless in your situation though I understand how frustrating it can be to care for a loved one day in and day out, especially with they may have a form of dementia. Do you and your mom a favor and get some outside help. It doesn't make you less of a person, or weak or anything of that nature. Caregiving is a very difficult thing to do. You need to get away from the situation and challenges of a Caregiver for a little while at least.... and not lock yourself up with your mom. It can be just an afternoon or a week of respite. Please ask for help. It's out there.
You are brave and you are strong, don't ever forget that fact. Not many can do what you are doing. I'll look forward to your continued updates.
i spoke to our psychiatrist today and he told me to be prepared. Will i see awful things? My mum said that she thinks people with alzheimers or dementia are not too sad because they are unaware of what is going on. I felt relief whe she said that. at least the peson doesnt suffer physically.. i do hope that anyway...
She also said today.. "when is this going to go away, it shoudl have gone by now..
she askes me and i dont know what to answer. she askes me why she keeps sleeping.
What do you tell her when shes asks she is still not that far off from reality. and gets depressed.
hello, i found out froma friend whos family member suufers from the vascular dimentia (dementia) that they have seen some positive reaction by the use these natural remedies. i post the protocol here and ask what your opinion may be if you do believe in natural form of healing.
2-4 tablespoons organic coconut oil-helps regen blood vessels
1-4 drops cayenne tincture i have had my mum on cayenne capsules before and i thought they helped her, i will start very low as it will increase heart rate, it generaly strengthen blood vessels - excellant first aid to stop internal bleeding large dose!
1-4 teasspoons satruated himalayen rock salt solution (local tack shop) in whatever
plenty of good water
raw fruit veg"
I'm sorry that you are having to go through this with your Sweet Mother!! I know, all too well, all of the fears and frustrations that you are facing at this time. There's nothing more frightening than what you are going through at the present time.
I lost both my Mother and Father in the summer of 1994 just 6 weeks apart. I lost my Dad to a broken hears 6 weeks after the loss of my Mom. My Dad and I went through several years of heartache with my Mom before she passed away from Cancer. She not only had Cancer but she also suffered from Moderate Alzheimer's!! I told you this so that you would understand that I, too, know the numerous challenges that come with being an, only Caregiver for your Mom. Even though it has been more than 17 years now, I still remember the numerous challenges that you face daily as you go through all that you are going through daily.
It was such a sad thing to watch my Mom, who was an extremely brilliant woman, have to suffer from this debilitating disease. As you are seeing, it's so sad to have them ask you when this will get better and when will they start to remember again. My Mom felt so helpless and in turn it made me feel so helpless when it came to helping her. There was nothing that I could do or say to her that would make everything alright for her again. All she wanted was for everything to go back to normal as it hd been before all of this started. I, too, would feel so helpless when it came to giving her the answers that she longed for. I didn't know what to say to her or how to answer any of her questions, no matter what they were. :(
As Tuck has told you, you must keep up your strength and try your hardest to keep some semblance of a normal life!!! There is nothing more important than that, so that you will keep your sanity about you!!!! You must not forget about YOU!!! You are the most important person here as it's up to you to take care of your Sweet Mother. If you lose yourself then you won't be of any help to your Sweet Mother. I know that you want to be there to help her but you need to come up with some way to get some breaks for yourself.
Have you contacted any of the Hospice's or any of the Alzheimer's Organization's around the area where you live?
When my Husband was dying in 1997, I was able to get help from the Hospice Organizations for some "Babysitting" so I could get out for some important Legal meetings or Grocery Shopping or just to get out for an hour or 2 every week. It literally saved my sanity!!
Now I realize that your Sweet Mother isn't terminal and hasn't even been diagnosed with Alzheimer's as of yet but as soon as you get a diagnosis, you definitely need to start searching for Organization's that can be of help to you, my Dear Isabelle!!! You need help for yourself as both Tuck and I have said. :( I can't even begin to tell you the times that I just wanted to climb into a hole and never come out again as it just seemed so over-whelming to me. I couldn't stand to see my Beautiful and vivacious Mother the way that she had become. It, literally, broke my heart to watch her!!! Please take care of yourself!!!
I definitely agree with Tuck the you do need to get another CT Scan or MRI done immediately!! Things most definitely could have changed in a year's time. You wan to get this diagnosed as early as possible as they have made some astounding improvements in the treatment of Alzheimer's or Dementia. You need to catch it on the ground floor so that you can start immediately with the medications so that your Sweet Mother can have the help that she needs and deserves as early as possible!! Please don't hesitate as this is crucial to your Sweet Mother's healthy outlook in life.
I wish you the very best and I hope that you will continue to keep us updated on your Mother's well-being as well as your own.
We will all be looking for your updates and look forward to seeing how you are doing. I'm keeping you in my thoughts and Prayers and just know that we are here for you.
I'm sending you ((((HUGS)))) form one Caregiver to another...........Sherry :)
thank you for the encouragement. it is nice to hear. it helps.
on a medical level please do you knwo to tell me about Risperidone. Risperdal otherwise.
when i give it to her she has tremors and feels very heavy i had to massage her around the neck as she gets stifness.
doctor insist i continue giving it to her. but on the directions of the med in the box it says not to be gven to patients with dementia. is that true? i have reduced it a little bit but hallucinaitons through dream are still there..
Sorry I am tardy with my response. I have been helping with the care of my mom. She had a Brain Scan the other day and she needed some groceries, etc.
Back to your first question regarding "Will I see awful things." Much depends on her diagnosis. Unless I missed it she doesn't have a true diagnosis as of yet. I really suggest that she have a Brain Scan so you know what you are dealing with and what lies ahead.
Sorry to say that Alzheimer's is a terrible Disease. Among other things it robs a person of their memories which bring many ppl comfort in their Senior Years. Initially they are aware that they are losing their cognitive abilities. I think that is sad. As time passes they are no longer aware of what they have lost and to a degree that is almost better in my opinion.
What to say to your mother? A great question and one that at this point I don't think you can truthfully answer. Be comforting, always be comforting. Maybe something like, "We don't know. We'll just have to wait and see.... but I will be here to help you through whatever lies ahead." I would not lie to her but I wouldn't tell her things like, "You'll lose your mind." She needs all the kindness and comfort she can get right now.
As far as the supplements, I would ask her physician and pharmacist to make sure that none of them will interfere with her medications. If they won't, anything that is safe is worth a try.
Risperdal does come with a warning not to be given to patients with Dementia. That is one of the reasons I have suggested a consult with a Gerontologist. They are the best at sorting out medications and treatments for Seniors.
Don't forget to take care of you. There are support groups and we even have an Alzheimer's Forum. You are going to need support as much as your mother needs it. We're here.
Isabelle, I'm so sorry that I'm late with your answer as to the Risperdal. I don't have any direct knowledge of that medication as far as Alzheimer's and the elderly. When my Mom ahd Alzheimer's in the early 1990's there weren't many medications out there to help her. Unfortunately, we didn't have any medications to ease her suffering what-so-ever. We were all on our own at that time. :(
I do know from my Autistic Granddaughter having taken it and reading the literature that came with it, that, just as Tuck has stated, it is not recommended for anyone with Dementia!! If it were me, I'd do exactly what Tuck recommended that you do and contact a Doctor that specializes in Geriatric Medicine. We were fortunate enough to have a Geriatric Specialist otherwise known as a Geronotologist, that treated my Mother. I do hope that you will find such a Specialist, immediately, to help with your Mother's treatment. I hope that you will see a change in her after he/she begins to treat your Mother. At least I Pray that you will see a change quickly!!
Please know that I'm keeping you in my Thoughts and Prayers as you go through this journey with your Sweet Mother.
We will be here for you, always,,,,,,,,,,,,Sherry :)
Dear Tuck ,
Thanks for asking.. things are going difficult. in the recent days ive seen her have urinary incontinence at night and yesterday it was faecal. luckily i got her to the WC but i was shoked to see that - sorry for the detailing here - that she was stooling so much. not diarea (diarrhea). just the regular. it seemed the muscle couldnt keep the passage shut. Is this a common symptom?
She is very very weak. and i took her weight in kilos she is about 40 kgrm and 160cm hight.
Has she entered into a further stage? her behaviour has not changed much. she might say some things that are surreal but we communicate.
I would liek to know if she ismoving at a fast pace or is this standard and how long does each stage last.
What surprises me the most is the sudden come down within a month. Tho of course there were signs but her total lack of beleif and comprehension of her surroundings changed suddenly. Is this a typical way?
I am so very sad to hear about your mom's sudden down turn. I know how very difficult it is to watch a beloved parent deteriorate. My heart goes out to you.
This does seem sudden. However it sounds like you've had her checked to make sure something else isn't going on and there are no underlying medical issues that could be causing these new symptoms.
I understand your mom doesn't have Alzheimer's but Alzheimer's is a Dementia. There are several kinds/types of Dementia. We don't have a Dementia Forum per say but I do think the Alzheimer's Community could offer you additional suggestions and support. Here's the link:
Each "stage" has it's own variety of symptoms. How swiftly you enter one or move to the next is very individualized. I don't think anyone can predict this with any certainity. Her physician may offer some insight. Again I encourage you to obtain a second opinion.
Are you obtaining the help of an outside agency to care for your mom? If not I encourage you to do so. I assume Hospice would be an option. Please look into it. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, you need to take care of yourself too.
Please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing. You'll remain in my thoughts and prayers.
I started taking her to a center for Alzheimers where they do some physio excercises talking and drawing. three times a week.
I'm yet to find a home carer.
I dont think she is ready for hospice as she is still well aware and trying to keep up with her life style.
I understand that Alzheimers though true as you say is a dementia it also changes ones personality in ways that don't characterize them etc. whereas dementia seems like a mental decline inability to perform tasks but the person remains within its decline.. more or less.. maybe im being fooled here..
what im trying to figure out is not the "how and when" each stage comes into action but to realize which stage we already are in. Is this the beginning or is it advanced..
The facts show that she cannot perform her duties and sidetracks onto something else while shes heading to the kitchen.
You dont sound like a broken record on the contrary i appreciate your kind words. im aware i need to get involved with my life. But this hit suddenly just over a month. so im still figuring things out. still trying to see how this will level out so i can maneuver myself again.
Im not sure if i quite understand where i am at with this.
Thanks for letting us know how things are going for you and your mom. I am glad you have her in an Adult Activity three times a week.
Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and other Dementia Conditions have a lot of similarities as well as differences. The experts in this area provide the best, most accurate answers. Actually " Dementia” is a term that has replaced a more out-of-date word, “senility,” to refer to cognitive changes with advanced age. In other words Dementia is a symptom rather then an actual disease.
Here's some quotes from a trusted website:
"The most common cause of dementia is AD, accounting for as many as 70-80% of all cases of dementia. some uncommon degenerative causes of dementia include vascular dementia (also referred to as multi-infarct dementia), frontotemporal dementia, Lewy Body disease, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy".
There is much to read and research about AD and Dementia.
Only someone that has been there can understand the stress and anxiety that comes with caring for a loved one. However the rewards can not be dismissed either. Gently rubbing my dad's back and chatting with him before he turned in at night is a memory I will cherish forever. It was also an opportunity to give a hug and say, "I love you." I miss those moments more then I can say. Find and cherish those opportunities with your mom too, if you haven't already.....too quickly they will be gone.
I'll look forward to hearing from you again.
My Best to You,
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