Charles Bonnet Syndrome...Hallucinations Due to Failing Eyesight in Elderly

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DDD, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    This morning I took Ace for a short walk and had a conversation with the adult son of an elderly neighbor who I knew has macular degeneration. I knew many of you are coping with aging parents/grandparents and thought I would share this info..something I have never heard before just "in case" it comes in handy.

    He told me his Mom has vivid hallucinations on a regular basis that frighten her and that she beieved she was likely "losing her mind". He shared that it is not uncommon for people who are losing their vision to "see people" on a regular basis. His Mom (a refined elderly lady, by the way) regularly sees a black male who appears to be eight feet tall or more. Sometimes she sees a group of five or six people sitting out on her patio. She has a regular bathroom attendant who stands by the door as she goes in and out.

    He did research and found this is called Charles Bonnet Syndrome. It is not dementia. Opthamologists are aware of this syndrome and since there is no cure they don't mention it to families unless the family asks about it BUT there is no cure. on the other hand it made me wonder how many elderly people may be in dementia wards with-o actually having dementia. The neighbor understands that she has this syndrome, hates having it but no longer is fearful and remains in her home. Very interesting...or I think so. DDD
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Hmm. Very interesting. I hadn't heard of it. Now I'll do some research. Because Mom HAS macular degeneration, so she will probably have issues with this at some point......good idea to have the family informed just in case.

    Like you, I wonder how many elderly are diagnosed with dementia due to this condition that do not have it. Probably a great number.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yes, Very interesting!
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wonderful. Something else to look forward to when we get old!
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I shared the info with our Miami easy child daughter who cares for elderly people with-o family around to drive them to appts. etc. etc. She takes care of one at a time and brings them to her house for dinner etc. Guess what??? I can't believe it!
    The lady she is providing support for at this time is in the Independent Living section of a high end tiered senior development. Recently she started telling easy child that some strange people have gotten thru security and come into her apartment. One of the people she believes hid some of her possessions etc. The lady is completely lucid and has called security to tell them not to allow visitors unless she approves of them. Sigh. easy child told me that twice the medical
    people have come to talk to her trying to ascertain if she has dementia. easy child had never heard of this syndrome and just told the lady "don't call me". Lo and behold she has macular degeneration. Sigh! easy child is going to look up the info, print it out and read it to the lady...and have it near at hand too. She fears the facility may contact the out of State adult children and suggest they relocate her into the dementia section. Scarey. DDD