My 87 year old grandmother has had delusions for over 3 decades and has lived with her daughter during that time. We don't want to put her in a home. I'm the grandson and have helped my mother (her daughter) take care of my grandmother for 30 years now. She came to live with us when I was 9 and she was living in her car before that. I think she may have had delusions far longer than that given that she couldn't keep a job or stable place to live. She hears a man night and day who apparently plays music, sounds of people dying in various ways, grinding or high-pitched sounds, etc. She thinks 'he' is an old neighbor from a couple of houses down a few decades ago. In her mind, he has speakers and microphones set up all over the neighborhood. She talks to him throughout the day and especially at night after lying down. She has lost her ability to understand how sound travels and that she can't 'hear him running on the floor in a vacant house on a back street'. She once called the bomb squad out to our neighbor's house and told them that someone in their attic said a bomb would go off in 15 minutes. A massive team showed up. Fortunately, they didn't kick down the door; he was at work. They refused to take her for a mental evaluation, as well.
Her daughter has to buy her shoes, food, clothing, etc. She doesn't seem to have mind enough to buy them for herself, doesn't want to take showers/baths, won't eat properly, says she hates water and doesn't want to drink water, etc. She has used tobacco snuff since the age of 7; her own mother got her hooked. Odd for a child to even have interest in such a thing.
Her mind associates odd events that aren't connected as being related. She seems to be terrified of "woods" and "darkness" for some odd reason. She refuses to close and lock the bathroom door. She wants to sit on the toilet with the light off and door open because she's 'only going to be in there for a minute' as an excuse why. If she hears someone coming, she wants to clear her throat to alert them she's in there. Her daughter says this same thing is practiced in public bathrooms with the stall door open. Curiously, she's hooked on the bathroom. Sometimes, she'll go 1-2 minutes apart because she's so anxious that she couldn't sit down to pee for a minute and 'didn't finish' in her own words. Then she gets defensive because someone else needs to get in there to get ready for work and she's playing around going in and out not knowing if she has to pee a few drops or not. Now, being older, one might think that's incontinence and that's understandable. However, other times she'll sit and read or watch TV for 1-2 hours and not go to the bathroom a single time. Until she hears someone go into the bathroom and shut the door, then she gets up running and hanging onto her pants saying she's about to pee on herself. It's puzzling. When asked why she didn't get up before that, she'll claim that she "didn't have to go then" and it doesn't make sense what she's saying. She'll get up during the early morning and nearly pee her pants because, instead of going to the bathroom immediately, she runs to the window first to "look out" and of course there's nobody out there. She opens the curtains when it's still dark outside and wants to keep the front door open at night when it's dark, sitting around in the dark with the light off just to stare out. It's like she's scared of the dark and yet scared of turning on the light at the same time. She'll turn the outdoor lights on an hour or more before it is actually dark, as if that's some majorly hard task that had to be done well before dark.
She exhibits incoherent actions, mindlessly pacing from room to room probably hundreds of times per day. Usually tearing off a paper towel between each window to "clean it off" and it's not dirty and doesn't have fog on it. She's looking out of the windows at certain neighbor's houses, essentially trying to keep up with what they do, when they leave/come back, etc. When her daughter (64 years old) goes to work, you'd think the mother is seeing off a little school girl with the paranoid way that she watches her leave out and drive out of sight. She's 'there' enough to decline mental health doctors and meds, but off enough to not know how to function in society or do basic things around the house.
She is an absolute 'nervous' wreck all of the time, literally shaking to pieces, knocking stuff over, never paying attention to her actions or limb movements. Usually completing things halfway. She has a severe problem with generally paying attention in life, so a lot of her problems are self-induced, out of anxiousness or pure spite towards other people. I'm not kidding, if she had owned a house of her own, she would have probably done something absurd like burnt it down to spite a neighbor or something.
She always seems to be in turmoil within herself, hating someone like the neighbors, news reporters and such. She is a compulsive liar, makes up the most absurd things about neighbors, TV reports, news events and such. She can be watching the news and see a random reporter and say, "That's an Asian! He's got black eyes!" and it's a colored guy with no hint of being Asian or having the 'black eyes' that she speaks of. She frequently accuses genuine women of being "gay guys dressed up like women" and has "AIDS" on the brain for whatever reason. Most decisions in her life were to attempt to spite other people and backfired on her.
She is incapable of properly functioning, even at home with others around. We do all of the tasks. She can't cook even the most basic things, doesn't know how to wash a plate, bowl, utensil or cup properly. She'll swish it a little under the water and throw it in the drainer with grease, food, etc., all over it. She'll bring a package to one of us and say that no one ever taught her how to open things. My 5 year old nephew knew how to open packages without being taught.
She always quit/got fired from a lot of jobs for absurd reasons or after making up some deluded conspiracy theory against the employer. She was married twice. She has never owned her own home and literally to this day is still broke at 87 years old, living on a $800 or so SSI check from blood clot issues in her legs from her upper 50's supposedly. I just don't know what to say about her decision process throughout her life. It has always been so backwards. She'd get a car from the car lot and when it needed something like brakes, a repair part, etc., she'd "take it back" out of spite and get another car instead of maintaining it or getting the repair done. She wanted a car, but grudged having to pay for gas to put in it. She exhibits a shocking lack of accountability since she was a child.
She has always had the, "Oh well, I'll just let it go" mindset for everything. Got a bill in the mail? Tear it up and forget about it. Car repair? Take it back, get another. Her son died of Covid a while back. She's the sole heir, but her daughter is the estate administrator doing everything for the mother to inherit what the son has. My grandmother (the heir) is intercepting the mail/bills "tearing them up" in a little fit and basically halting the estate process because it wasn't fast enough for her. She can't wait to give the money from the productive son to the youngest criminal son who is running from state to state trying to stay ahead of bill collectors.
Her daughter is a saint for putting up with all of this stuff over the decades. Is this some kind of dementia on top of paranoid schizophrenia or what? Psychosis? Sometimes you can talk to her and it's like she's not even listening. You can spend 30 minutes talking to her about something and she missed 99% of it. The part that she did hear, it's all twisted around permanently in her mind and you'll never get her to understand it the original way. It has to be 'her' way that she wants things to be.