Agitation caused by family-what to do?

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/8/2011 9:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello! I'll try to keep this concise..

I have been working as a live-in caregiver for an 88 year old woman with stage 2 alzheimer's for about a year now. For the most part, things have been going really well. The majority of the time she sleeps through the night, hallucinations have been mild and there has been zero aggression. I am with her almost all of the time (I'm only able to do this because I work with my partner who takes care of the house!). I took a week off for christmas this year, and during the time her daughters covered nights for me. One of her daughters is very kind and understanding of her mother's condition. She doesn't ask her to "remember" things and is very mellow. Another daughter, whom I'll call Becky, is diagnosed schizophrenic and is often quite unsettling to her mother. She frequently brings up past events trying to get her to remember, and talks constantly at her, not with her. Becky has a boyfriend whom her mother has had major issues with in the past (during her earlier stages of alzheimers and before she had the disease). While I was gone over christmas, Becky had her boyfriend over for dinner and they stayed up quite late (the woman I care for usually goes to bed around 8:30, and Becky had her up with her boyfriend until around 11). Well, that night the woman I care for did not sleep and became extremely agitated with her daughter, paranoid that she had "someone" in bed with her (her boyfriend had left for the night).
Well, ever since I got back from that trip the woman I care for had been having night time hallucinations surrounding children and babies quite frequently (3-4 times a week, when she would maybe wake up once a week to go to the bathroom before this incident). In the hallucinations, she is concerned she needs to help the child or put it to bed etc. showing that she is concerned for her children. These would intensify any time Becky would come for a day visit. Things progressed in this manner for about a month and a half. Then, one night she had a fall in the middle of the night because she thought she heard a baby crying in the other room (I have a motion detector to let me know when she sits up in bed, but she was already out of bed by the time I got down the hall!). She had a pelvic fracture from this incident. She has been recovering well, and the hallucinations entirely stopped! Becky has been around much less because of work, also.

Becky came back for a visit a couple days ago, and this morning when I came in to check on the woman I care for she was hallucinating about children again. I am very very worried that this pattern will start again. But what can I do? Becky is a very unstable person in general and she deserves to be able to visit, but I think the way she interacts causes more harm than good. I feel that the woman I care for's hallucinations/agitation stems from unresolved family issues (her being upset with Becky's boyfriend). There's no way to resolve this, and I'm not sure how to responde when she hallucinates. I tell her the children are alright, but she is pretty obsessed at the worst moments and can't be distracted (her short term memory is pretty much gone). Any suggestions would be much appreciated! Sorry this was so long! Thank You!

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 4/9/2011 8:01 AM (GMT -6)   
This Becky may not know what she is doing. And pointing out this to her may not be the best either especially if she is Schizophrenic. What if you were to talk to the other sister about Becky? See if she might be able to help?

Is your charge under medication at this present time?
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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/9/2011 10:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you, Red!
That is a good idea. She may be able to help. Currently, the problem is that of the four children, Becky is around the most (but she definitely visits so that she feels better, not really for her mom). It seems like the other kids have a better understanding of the situation. They do visit, but at this point they see that a quick visit is probably better than a long one, and the frequency doesn't matter so much. But, this also means they're out of town more. Well, she slept pretty well last night so hopefully this will pass without incident.

I administer her medication currently, and I have made the more responsible daughter aware of the issues with hallucinations that come up. She currently takes an all natural sleep aid. I have heard there are some drugs used to treat hallucinations in alzheimer's patients, but it seems like they have a lot of side effects.
Thanks again!

Mothers love
New Member

Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/11/2013 9:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi I and my 2 older sisters take care of my mother who has dementia 81yrs old iam having the same problem when my older sister stays with my mum she gets into these angry and quite moods and sometimes aggressive and talking about babies and children and wakes up at night and stays up .and will not take her meds (not for dementia)my older sister is constant worrier and has anxiety but when I or my other sister stays we do not have this she is happy sleeps well only to go to the toilet yes she does sometime talk about the children and baby's I do not know if this is true someone told me to get her a baby doll do think this might help I think I might my sister to come and visit but not to stay

Gizzy'n me
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1870
   Posted 10/13/2013 10:18 AM (GMT -6)   
   Is it possible the other three children could sit down with Becky and explain to her that her visits should be shorter for the mothers benefit. The mother does need her rest. And if the request comes from family - and not you, I would think it might be more seriously considered by Becky. And then there are no fingers being pointed at you by Becky.
Rob and Gizzy
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Elite Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 36310
   Posted 10/27/2013 1:47 PM (GMT -6)   
My FIL had hallucinations that would really disturb him as well. I got the idea to try to convince him that either I or my husband had "taken care of it" and sometimes had to explain how, but it worked because he had trust in us.

One time he just knew that there was a wall of water on the other side of the closet that was going to come crashing down on him in the middle of the night. There is no water or even pipes near that room or the adjoining room. I finally convinced him that my husband (his son) had been working in there all day long and had finally not only drained all that water out but had everything fixed so that it wouldn't happen again.

These are not hallucinations to them, they are real (as you know) so if we treat them as real, sometimes it can help. It would be worth a try anyway.

We also had issues similar to what you have experienced, and had to ask that person (his other DIL) to never bring up the subject again. It didn't fix the issue (he continued to have issues with this person), but it did keep my FIL from having more hallucinations because of a visit.
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