If you have read our post Watch the anti-psychotics you will know mum has taken a massive turn for the worse. This happened overnight and seems to have been triggered by a new drug the doctor tried her on although no one will admit to that.
She became extremely agitated; walking around the block of flats, ringing people’s doorbells at 3am, becoming hysterical and having hallucinations that men were coming to set her on fire. Obviously this couldn’t go on and after two attempts her Consultant managed to Section her under the Mental Health Act and she was taken into a lovely hospital.
Once there she did calm down but the hallucinations continued. Up until now we haven’t been that bothered about her hallucinations as in the main they have been benign and even provided her with some friendship (see our posts about her imaginary friend, Mary) but there has now been a development which has been both distressing and funny (if you can distance yourself from the fact that it’s happening to your mother!)
Mum thinks our dad is in the hospital with her (she doesn’t actually think she is in hospital but waiting in an airport to go somewhere. We haven’t been able to establish where!). She says she has married him, and when you ask who, she points to a male patient (who looks nothing like her husband).
She walks around holding this man’s hand. We have no idea who he is or what he thinks. The distressing part is that we got a call from a nurse saying they had found mum in her bedroom with this man. Nothing actually happened but the nurses were clearly shaken up, as were we. So for a while they put mum on one to one watch to try to stop any further incidents.
Obviously this is very worrying. She clearly believes it is her husband and so I guess it is not unreasonable for her to want to spend intimate time with him. When we talk to her about dad and tell her that he isn’t there with her, she readily agrees. But still the behaviour goes on.
However, the slightly comforting news, the last time my sister saw her, was that she said her husband (the man in the hospital) is angry and she is sorry she married him so she isn’t holding his hand anymore. Since then she has found a nice lady friend. Long may that last! At least until we can get her moved somewhere else.
Behaviour that is outside the boundaries of what is deemed socially acceptable is not unusual in people who have late stage dementia. The brain’s ‘braking system’ is affected and normal inhibitions stop, but it’s hard not to respond to it with a ‘normal’ moral attitude, i.e. “What is my mother doing with some random man?”
To mum it is all real. And for us it is all part of the never ending lessons of dealing with dementia! With luck, she will get on that flight soon and leave the angry ‘husband’ at the airport!