We have had a terrible week with mum and it hasn’t been much of a picnic for her either. The doctor changed her tablets; they are always trying new ones to attempt to control her hallucinations which have become really frequent again.
The trouble is when you look at the risks I have to wonder what is more dangerous, taking the tablet or seeing crowds of people in her flat? Most of the tablets have horrid side effects including, with this latest one, death for people with dementia!
Anyway, we didn’t only have to worry about the side effects, the tablet seemed to have multiplied the hallucinations overnight. Mum woke one day believing she was not in her own flat but had been moved to another one two floors up (which would be impossible because she lives on the top floor!). Of course it must be terrifying to think you are not in your own place and that someone moved you whilst you were sleeping.
She has also become very agitated and, according to the warden, was wandering the corridors in the middle of the night knocking on other people’s doors. The poor warden spent most of her day off trying to comfort mum.
The doctor came and said she thought mum was a danger to herself and needed to be in hospital or to go to a Care Home for respite. Suggesting this to mum made her even more agitated and distressed and she point blank refused to go to either.
The doctor reluctantly said she would Section her under the Mental Health Act but a second opinion was needed.
When mum is like this, one thing she is able to do is to pull herself together when it suits her. The second doctor therefore found her in a relatively calm state and said she was fine to be left alone.
Next morning poor mum was raving again. Luckily this happened when my sister was there and she called the social worker in. Mum was screaming about people moving her out of her flat, brass bands playing all night and dad, who she believes lives in a little house she can see outside her window (where no house exists) had a gun and was planning to shoot her.
The social worker was so shocked she managed to get additional help for mum. We now have four carer visits a day, at least for the next week, and they have fitted an alarm on her door so that if she tries to wonder in the night it will go off. She also has an alarm she can wear around her neck which will go off automatically if she falls.
Whilst none of this is very funny, mum does present an amusing challenge to her new carers. She is continually hiding stuff that they need, the remote control for the TV, the phone handsets, her handbag and the latest was a piece of cheese which was meant for her tea.
The poor carers spend a good chunk of their precious time playing seek the missing object.
Of course mum denies it is her. She says it is one of her many ‘visitors’, some of whom are familiar to us and some of whom are new hallucinations.
Of course it is inevitable that one of her imaginary friends will hide her alarm very soon!