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My mother sees dead people - Should I be worried?

Hello. Here is my situation.

My mother is 80 years old. I am a 46-year-old male. We have lived together in the same single-family home in Chicago for the past 37 years. My father lived with us in that home until he died 12 years ago.

About 2 years ago, my mother started acting as if my father was still alive. I knew that, if a person had Alzheimer's Disease, then that person would lose her memories, starting with the most recent memories and going backwards. So, I became alarmed, thinking that she had Alzheimer's Disease.

However, when I asked her whether she thought she was living in the past, she said that she was not. She said that she was seeing my father in the house, as if he was a living, breathing person. This was very similar to what had happened to the little boy in the film "The Sixth Sense".


At around that time, my mother saw a neurologist for vertigo, syncope, etc. I told the neurologist that my mother was seeing my deceased father in the house, but the neurologist dismissed this as nothing. The neurologist did order some brain tests (MRI, etc.). The following statements were included in the results of the tests:

"Marked white matter T2 hyperintensity most suspicious for ischemic degenerative etiology. There is limited characterization of decreased T1 signal and enhancement in the right lateral mass of C1."

I didn't know whether the above statements were good or bad.

I told my mother's primary doctor that she was seeing my deceased father, and he, too, dismissed this as nothing.


Last year, my mother went through a period of time in which she believed that I had moved her and myself to a different home. She did not seem to recognize our home anymore. I mentioned this to her primary doctor, but he didn't do anything about this.

This year, she has started seeing her deceased parents, her deceased sister, and her deceased mother-in-law (my father's mother) in our home. A few days ago, she woke up in the middle of the night and thought that she saw her deceased parents fighting with an intruder inside her bedroom. She got out of bed very quickly and took a fall. She kept asking where her parents were and where the intruder was. I kept telling her that her parents had died decades earlier in our native country and had never even been in our Chicago home.

During the past few years, she has experienced repeated urinary tract infections. She has taken antibiotics (amoxicillin, bactrim) for these infections. In fact, she has been experiencing such an infection over the past few weeks. I know that urinary tract infections sometimes cause hallucinations.

So, what's going on here? Is my mother seeing dead people because she has some form of dementia? Because of her urinary tract infections? Or because of some other reason?

Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.



1 Responses
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15695260 tn?1549593113
Hello and welcome to the forum.  Thanks for your question and this must be very difficult for you.  Your mother is likely hallucinating or deep in imagination.  Dementia can be associated with hallucinations and actually that is quite common.  What is the age of your mother?  My concern is that the doctors are not working with you on this.  There are medicines that can help, antipsychotic medications.  Perhaps the fear is that these hallucinations while disconcerting are harmless.  This article may be helpful to you regarding how to respond to hallucinations in seniors.  https://dailycaring.com/10-ways-to-respond-to-dementia-hallucinations-in-seniors/  Please let us know if there are any updates to your mother's condition since you posted this.  
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