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How do I care for my grandmother who has paranoid thinking?

My grandmother is 95 years old currently living in an Iowa Senior Care Facility and is wheel-chair bound. The following is frequent behavior:

She sees herself as the victim .... people (no specifics given as to who) are always talking about and/or rolling their eyes at her that she no longer wants to eat in the dining room with others. She thinks that someone is coming to take to her to prison or back to Texas (lived prior to coming to Iowa). She thinks people are investigating her and myself for stealing and the police are following me. They (again no specifics) have been to my home and know what I have. She thinks her insurance has been cut-off. She feels she is under house-arrest and can't leave her room. She won't use the telephone in her home for fear others are listening.

I'm frustrated .... what suggestions do you have? Is a psych evaluation needed?

Status: Open    Sep 08, 2015 - 07:34 AM

Senior Health & Nutrition

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Sep 10, 2015 - 04:58 PM

Not being a mental health professional, I can only offer my opinion, but here goes:
I think one of the most important things to remember is that she is no longer in control of all the aspects of her life, and is aware of it: she's living in an institutional setting, is wheel-chair bound, and can no longer even decide what she wants to eat. (I understand that there are some food choices but it's not the same as going to the refrigerator or cupboard in your home). Here are some questions to consider:
Does she see her living situation as some sort of punishment?
Was she someone who exhibited suspicious behavior before her body started to decline?
Is she on any new medications since coming to this facility?
If this were my family member, I would arrange for both a medical and psychiatric evalution.
Best of luck to you and your grandmother.

Source: KayeC

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