Is This Common?
Our family is just now beginning to stuggle with what appears to be the symptoms of Alzheimer's in my 100 year old grandmother. She was quite well up until recently. Her mental ability was functioning extremely well, only in the past year have we begun to notice a decline and it was not bad at all for the most part. She is under the care of a psychiatrist now.
However, in recent months it seems to be getting worse quite rapidly. The main problem is that she seems to be convinced that her caretakers are "assaulting" her. I can assure everyone, that this is most definitely not the case especially since she has now made the claim on each and every one of them (there are several - she has 24 hour in-home care). We know all of the people who care for her pretty well, and would be stunned if we found out any of them were abusing her.
She has already called the police on one of them and it was proven that nothing happened. This morning, she once again attempted to call the police on yet another one of them. We are aware that these thing do happen, however, we are sure in this case that it is my grandmother imagining that they are doing this.
BTW, if you ask her, when none of them are around if anything if any of them have ever treated her improperly, she always denies it and swears that she loves all of them and they treat her very well - that they are her friends. These women have been working for her, many of them for several years.
I know that people with this disease can get aggressive and confused about situations. I can see that she may be misinterpreting things. I also know that she herself, has admitted to yelling at these women at times. My Aunt and cousin (who are the 2 people who live closest to her) have witnessed these arguments first hand. My grandmother can be very cranky, although I don't blame her one bit. She even swiped at me the other day when I was helping her eat her dinner. I didn't take it personally - but I was kind of shocked, as this was something she'd never done to me before.
We are concerned that if this continues, the agency which provides the care will decide to withdraw from her service, which will put us in a situation where we will have to contemplate a nursing home for her. We do not wish this to happen, as she has made it abundently clear that she wishes to remain in her home until the end of her life. But, we can not see how this will be possible if she continues to decline in this fashion. It is one thing to need personal care with your daily routine, but if she is putting the caretakers at risk for being arrested for no reason - this is very serious. And, at 100 years old, there is not anyone is the immediate family qualified to care for her with her other health needs (heart failure and CLL, a form of leukemia).
My cousin, who is her prime family contact person is getting in touch with her psychiatrist today, at my suggestion, to see what he has to say about this. But I would like to hear from others in this position too. I could use a bit of comfort from other people who are going through similar situations - we've never encountered this before and are feeling quite lost - since it is happening so fast.