Advanced Dementia Patients See the Other Side?



Mom, Aunt Freda and Friend


Mom seems to have had 2 bad days in a row, leading into a sleepless night last night. Usually when she has these sleepless nights and walks around the house appearing to be in some sort of transe-like astonishment, I have no idea as to what she is thinking or experiencing. Last night, I finally got her to talk to me about it.

The evening went normally with her having dinner, meds, dessert, watching a little tv and then to sleep. I keep a low light on in her room as she seems to be afraid and disorientated in a completely dark room. We all went to bed around normal time and all was well, or so I thought. A few hours later I was woken up out of a dead sleep by Tonya the dog following my mother around the house. Tonya seems to instinctively know that my mother should be sleeping and not wandering around on her own, so she takes responsibility to keep an eye on her. When I got up to see what was going on, Tonya looks up as if to say…”ok, she’s your problem now”…and she goes off to bed. When I think of that, it’s really amazing how dogs just know and spring into action. She protects my mother without training…she just knows.

So after talking my mother off the ledge and back into her room, she finally sat at the edge of the bed appearing to be in some sort of trance, saying over and over again “I can’t believe it, what am I going to do? Where do we go? I can’t believe it.” It was as if she was traumatized having seen something incredible. After a half an hour of sitting there with her, asking her to go back to bed, she said again “I can’t believe it. I asked her “what can’t you believe, what happened?” She replied, death…there are a lot of people outside the house running up and down the street. I asked her what people…and she replied Dead People. I had to stop and think for a minute before replying…then repeating what she said…You see dead people? She confirmed that they are outside walking all around. I asked her if she saw her mother (family deceased in the photo above) and she replied, no. That would explain all that she said about not believing what she had seen…it’s incredible.

Now, do I assume she is having a dementia attack and hallucinating, or can I dare to believe that she got a rare glimpse of the other side because she is wandering on the outskirts of another dimension? Do old people in her position also see things like this? I don’t know but I will research it. I believe that there are things going on around us all the time that we can’t see. There are radio waves, tv waves back when we all used antennas on the roof, now there is wifi for our tvs and phones, wireless everything…and we can’t see it, but it’s there. When a baby is born, it has been said that they can remember their past life but cannot speak to verbalize it and forget as they start growing. Is it possible that Mom saw dead people? Since I can’t disprove it, I’d have to say yes.

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Oh What a Night…Sleeping Problems and Dementia


Wedding Day, 1949


Young and Feeling Pretty in Greenwood Lake

Dementia is a nasty and dehumanizing disease. Taking care of Mom can be challenging at times. I know at some point I will laugh about this, hopefully big belly laughs and good memories, but I am not there yet. It was a rough night last night. Matter of fact, lately, every night is rough because Mom has her days and nights mixed up. She naps a lot during the day and is asleep by the time I get home from work. Not just napping, but sound asleep, as if she is exhausted. I wake her up and she opts to skip dinner, although I must give her the nightly meds. She isn’t hungry for dinner but she sure would appreciate something sweet to wash down those nasty meds. I comply because she must have her meds with something in her stomach, so rather than argue with her and have regrets later, I just give her something sweet.

She will then go right back to sleep and at 3:00 am, I hear shuffling around the house. I get up and let her know that it is the middle of the night and that she must go back to bed. Of course, she couldn’t care less and just goes about her business. My mother is a child again…I’ve come to learn that children are for the young! There is a very good reason why young people have babies…they can do it. Grandparents send the little ones home…because they can’t handle it. When you are getting up at 5am to get ready for work, this is not a good thing. Makes for a cranky daughter and a crankier employee.

Not exactly sure how to handle this situation although I’ve been given advise that she is at the point of possibly taking sedatives at night to help her sleep until she is back to being awake during the days and sleeping during the nights. Now I understand why the doctor always asks “Is she sleeping during the night?”

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