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Jane
Reply with quote  #61 

It is so interesting reading these - I logged on to see if I could find some help for my grandmother, who is 86 and partly looking after her 96 year old sister (my great aunt).  My great aunt sees people almost constantly now, they used to be children who were friendly, but now they are adults and children who are in the house, climbing over the verandah, under the beds etc.  She also sees water flowing down the street constantly.  She is not taking any medication whatsoever.  I am so glad to see that this isn't just happening to her (she is fine, it's my grandmother and my great aunt's daughter who do all the caring that are suffering). 

 

Does anyone know what they think causes hallucinations when the person hallucinating isn't taking medication?

 

I admire so much all of you who are caring for your parents or other elderly people, I can only begin to imagine how hard it must be. 

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Jane
Reply with quote  #62 

Charles Bonnet syndrome - there is a load of information on the net, as I have just found out - it is all about hallucinations and the elderly.  It is fascinating and makes so much sense!!!  It seems to be related to vision, and has nothing to do with deteriorating mental capacity.  I hope that you guys might find some answers there, if medication doesn't cause your elderly loved ones' hallucinations. 

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KAREN
Reply with quote  #63 

my 89 year old grandmother began an acute onset of hallucinations approx 4-5 weeks ago.  She previously had a better memory then my mother or myself.  She began seeing people and animals at night, some friendly, some violent. 

 

She states she knows "they aren't real, but it is so vivid at the time". She has actually threatened to harm herself of things don't change.  As an e.r.  and former critical care nurse I knew there was an underlying physiological, not psychological reason for this acute onset. she refused to come to my e.r. for evaluation so dealing with her family dr. has been a slow process.  She started on a couple of new meds which she stopped per my request, but with no change.  Her Dr. recently started her on an antipsychotic medication which is freaking me out because it has severe side effects.  Mothers day she happened to mention that her Dr told her about 4 weeks ago to take tylenol pm to help her sleep. I couldn't believe she never mentioned this!! benadryl (the main

ingredient with tylenol) cause such hallucinations in the elderly that we stopped using it as a sleep aide for the elderly in the hospital!!  I hope and pray this is the cause. the antibiotic cipro can also cause this problem. This is the first night without it-it takes at least 3 days to completely metabolize, but the sideffects can last much longer. why did her Dr. not figure this out!! I hope this helps someone!!

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Sandra
Reply with quote  #64 

Hi,

 

I've spent some time now reading everyone's postings.   My mom is 80, is a widow and lives alone.  To my knowledge, the only medications she takes are a blood pressure medicine and a prescription calcium supplement.

 

She is having visions/hallucinations of certain tv shows actually broadcasting from her home.  She started out by just waving to the characters or talking to them, but now she believes they talk to her, and that one particular show actually comes to her home and broadcasts from there.   The show in question is a game show and involves large amounts of money.   She is actually afraid that someone will find out that "they" are there and break into her home to steal the money.  She has begun to rearrange her schedule to be home when "they" come.  She doesn't feel that it's right for them to be at her home and her not be there.   

 

She has also started talking to photos of my family (I am an only child and have a husband and two children).   She gets upset that we don't talk, move around or eat when she offers food.  She can be talking to me on the phone and mention that we (and she calls us by name) are in the den watching tv, or that we won't eat or talk to her.

 

In the beginning we chalked everything up to her being lonely, but I am beginning to think that it has moved beyond being lonely.   My concern now is am I looking at Alzheimer's, dementia, depression, etc.?

 

Any ideas? 

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Bert Coules
Reply with quote  #65 

My mother (early 80s, in the UK) began experiencing visions of people and objects last year: mostly of small children and animals, usually very real and solid, almost always non-threatening.  We finally identified this as classic Charles Bonnet syndrome, a frequent consequence of deteriorating eyesight (she has dry macular degeneration).  As others have said here, the knowledge that it *isn't* a sign of mental illness is in itself an enormous help in dealing with it.

 

As well as the hallucinations my mother also experienced distortions in her normal vision: repeated images of whatever she was looking at, stretching away to the side or up and down.  Sometimes these multiple images were static, sometimes they moved.  This also seems to be a Charles Bonnet symptom, though a less common one.

 

As happens with many sufferers my mother found that after about a year the symptoms suddenly disappeared: she simply noticed that one day she wasn't seeing things any more.

 

However - and as far as we can find out, this is unusual - they have now returned.  We wonder if a change in medication, especially a course of antibiotics for a throat infection, could have triggered the return.

 

I'd be very interested to know if anyone here has encountered anything similar, especially the repeated distortion effect and the return of hallucinations after a period of being free from them.

 

Many thanks.

 

 

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connie
Reply with quote  #66 

Hi,

 

   My mom was big time hallucinating when she had a relatively mild infection and was on antibiotics.  Those were hard days!  I hope they end again for your loved one.

Connie

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Bert Coules
Reply with quote  #67 

Connie, that's very interesting and helpful; many thanks.  I'll pass the information on to my mother.

Bert

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MollyD
Reply with quote  #68 

My father had a crazy personality to begin with, so I don't think we caught some of his odd behavior until he started hallucinating.  He became very paranoid, saw children, babies, talked to people who were not there,and hid money around the house.  We had all physical causes ruled out, and eventually came to the conclusion of Alzheimers.  Back then it wasn't as common, and not talked about, so we were really frightened.  He faded away right in front of us, more hallucinations, not recognizing us, and wandering off.  He required 24 hour supervision and it just drained all of us to see him decline.  I think, now, if we would have taken  him to a safe place where he could have been cared for it would have been the best  for all of us, and probably him, too.  My best wishes to all of you  going through this, I hope you find answers.

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Bert Coules
Reply with quote  #69 

Just in case it's of interest, the conclusion (so far) of the story I posted above: a couple of weeks after finishing the course of antibiotics, my mother reports that the returned Charles Bonnet hallucinations have completely stopped; however her general eyesight has deteriorated slightly from its previous condition.  Obviously, the hope is that things will stay as they are rather than degenerating further.

Thanks again to everyone who replied.

 

Bert

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Diane
Reply with quote  #70 

Hello Bette and all elderly caregivers,

My 90 year old grandmother, who definitely has her wits about her, started having hallucinations several months ago. Strange lizards in her bathtub, a snake in her room, a cat in her room, a restaurant in her backyard, a news man broadcasting from her bedroom, people walking through her house, and more. She is very adamnent that these things are really happening. It took us all by suprise! Especially when Chuck Norris dropped by. We have thouroughly researched her perscriptions and talked to the doctors about drug interactions. Nothing! She does have macular degeneration and she does take the Occuvite with Lutein.  I am going to research this some more. I was very relieved to see this site. I will keep checking and updating. God Bless anyone that takes care of the elderly!

Diane

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Bert Coules
Reply with quote  #71 

Diane,

 

Sounds like pretty classic Charles Bonnet Syndrome.  My Mum will be jealous: she didn't see anyone as famous as Chuck Norris...

 

Bert

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diane
Reply with quote  #72 

My Mom has had hallucinations, also.  At first her blood pressure would go to around 200 at that time - ended up in ER.  Gave her med to get the bp down - she would sleep the next day and basically be back to what was normal for her.  They ran tests - didn't show a stroke - but said couldn't dismiss it completely.  One ER dr said something about calcification - would eventually break off and that would be the end.  Nothing in the report about more details - and contacted the ER, but couldn't seem to help me.

 

She has had others w/o the bp problem.  She wants to talk and talk - usually complaining - which is not her normal nature.  Sees and hears things. 

 

She has urinary tract infection a lot - she hardly drinks or eats anything.  She has temporal artiritis which is an inflamation - is on a high dose of prednisone to keep things the best they can be.

 

Some of these times she has thought she could get up and walk on her own - she can't.  She is in a nursing home - have found her on the floor a couple times.  Thank goodness no broken bones, yet.

 

There must be a reason we go through this with our parents - hope my children don't have to experience it.

 

 

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Diane
Reply with quote  #73 

The problem is that she is adament she is seeing these things.

I was under the impression that people with CBS know they are

hallucinating. If this continues we will be forced to move her to

assissted living. We recently talked to a friend whose mother

was having hallucinations  Norvasc was her problem. Even though

it is not listed as a side affect, and the doctor assured them it

was not the cause, they were persistent and found a doctor that

agreed. They stopped the Norvasc and the hallucinations stopped

soon after.

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Lezah
Reply with quote  #74 

My mom is just being released from a psych hospital for hallucentations.  She's been there 6 days and had a UTI.  I also found that some of the meds given to treat UTI will cause hallucenations, so there you go.  As my brother says to me "Good Luck, Mr. Phelps" (from Mission Impossible)

 

Good luck and good humour to you all,

 

Lezah

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Arianna
Reply with quote  #75 

Evening everyone!  I am an LNA (Licensed Nursing Assistant) on the med/surg unit of a skilled nursing facility working the graveyard shift.  It's really amazing how when you think you've seen everything, don't look now but here comes another surprise.  We deal with hallucinations on a nightly basis.  The number of reasons for hallucinations are unimaginable.  Some can be diagnosed or figured out with trial and error and still others are unexplainable.  Medical checks, medication, redirection and relocation do work most of the time.  Other times it seems that there is just no getting away from it.  It sometimes seems cruel to try and redirect them, tell them they could have possibly been dreaming (which of course is sometimes the case) especially when they are so adamant about what they saw or heard.  Other times redirection can be very useful and beneficial to the elderly person and soothe them enough for them to continue on with their activities/sleep.  I look forward to continue reading your posts and I am far from an expert but I might be able to help someone with my limited experience.     

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