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89 Year Old Mother

Question:

My mother is 89. She sees people outside of her window and now she speaks to them. She sees ants, bugs, etc. on her floor. She imagines someone is stealing from her on a daily basis and thinks someone is spying on her through a small “crack” in her door. This is impossible. My mother also hides things and doesn’t remember where she put them. 

Lastly, she lives in an assisted living place and is becoming aggressive toward the staff. Yet, there are other times when she is fine is lucid .I fear she will be asked to leave soon. I’m not certain of the next step in dealing with this.

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Answer:

From your description it appears that your elderly mother is going through some type of dementing process. This may be the result of Alzheimers disease, mini strokes, or some other type of dementing process. The result is the same: she is becoming less and less lucid.

It is common for people to believe that dementia is a part of aging. That is not true. That is why I am strongly recommending that you have your mother examined by either a psychiatrist or neurologist to diagnose what is happening to her so that the correct decisions can be made for her future. It may be that, depending on her diagnosis, she may do better living in a different type of setting where there is more focus on her type of problem.

I want to point out that dementia can be a tricky type of thing to understand in an aged person. What I mean is that something as simple as being on a  new medication from her MD can cause this type of symptom. It is not uncommon for elderly people to become confused about their dosages of their daily meds and take too much and that can have the effect of looking like dementia.

I really believe she needs to be seen by a medical doctor, ie, psychiatrist or neurologist and proceed from their findings.

Best of Luck

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