Funniest/strangest dementia patient stories - page 11

I'm sure we all have them, especially those of us who have worked in LTC. Here are some of mine: climbing into other residents' beds and taking a nap...one time we found the resident... Read More

  1. by   Orca
    Several come to mind. Inpatient geropsych unit in a metropolitan hospital, female patient who seemed to have her days and nights inverted, resisted being put to bed at night. Would walk the halls checking doors and looking in rooms. Found out after talking to family members that she was a retired RN who worked night shift for many years. I noticed that when she checked doors, it wasn't as if she was trying to escape the unit, but rather that she was checking to make sure that the doors were secured. If we let her sit in the nurse station for a few minutes and arrange papers, she was much happier because she believed that she was helping.

    Inpatient geropsych unit, free-standing mental health hospital. Female patient who didn't seem to have much memory left, walked by the desk where we had a copy of the patient rules and regulations out on the counter. Stopped, picked up the paper, read aloud word for word what was on the paper, put it down, and immediately walked into another patient's room.

    Inpatient adult mental health unit. Male patient from our companion geropsych unit came over to sit in the activity room. Spotted the piano, sat down and played beautifully (this man couldn't remember his own name).

    Same unit as above. Male patient from geropsych unit, convinced that he was the President of the United States. Wasn't happy until I agreed to sit down with him and listen to his ideas about foreign policy.
  2. by   bagladyrn
    Quote from Orca
    Several come to mind. Inpatient geropsych unit in a metropolitan hospital, female patient who seemed to have her days and nights inverted, resisted being put to bed at night. Would walk the halls checking doors and looking in rooms. Found out after talking to family members that she was a retired RN who worked night shift for many years. I noticed that when she checked doors, it wasn't as if she was trying to escape the unit, but rather that she was checking to make sure that the doors were secured. If we let her sit in the nurse station for a few minutes and arrange papers, she was much happier because she believed that she was helping.

    Inpatient geropsych unit, free-standing mental health hospital. Female patient who didn't seem to have much memory left, walked by the desk where we had a copy of the patient rules and regulations out on the counter. Stopped, picked up the paper, read aloud word for word what was on the paper, put it down, and immediately walked into another patient's room.

    Inpatient adult mental health unit. Male patient from our companion geropsych unit came over to sit in the activity room. Spotted the piano, sat down and played beautifully (this man couldn't remember his own name).

    Same unit as above. Male patient from geropsych unit, convinced that he was the President of the United States. Wasn't happy until I agreed to sit down with him and listen to his ideas about foreign policy.
    Orca - I'm going to be the old lady from your first example someday.
    Maybe we need to create a special unit for old healthcare workers with a mockup nurses station. Would keep us all occupied and out of everyone's hair!
  3. by   Hygiene Queen
    Quote from Orca
    Several come to mind. Inpatient geropsych unit in a metropolitan hospital, female patient who seemed to have her days and nights inverted, resisted being put to bed at night. Would walk the halls checking doors and looking in rooms. Found out after talking to family members that she was a retired RN who worked night shift for many years. I noticed that when she checked doors, it wasn't as if she was trying to escape the unit, but rather that she was checking to make sure that the doors were secured. If we let her sit in the nurse station for a few minutes and arrange papers, she was much happier because she believed that she was helping.
    I also worked geropsych. We had a dementia patient -- and former nurse-- who would take off running down the hall yelling, "Call the pharmacy! Call the pharmacy! I've made a med error!".

    Talk about being trapped in Hell.
    Last edit by Hygiene Queen on Oct 7, '17 : Reason: spelling
  4. by   jodispamodi
    I worked as an aide in a snf many years ago and was also a ff/emt-p, then worked in geropysch for a couple of years. Some of my favorites:
    The lady with prolapsed uterus (in her 90's) who kept asking why she had a balloon "there" (thus was a huge prolapse and couldnt be fixed) and her 70+ year old dementia daughter who kept yelling "oh my god, its gonna pop".
    There was the guy who was a wandered that I did a 1-1 with all night, he was mentally back in the 40's and thought I was a british bomber pilot! He asked me where I was stationed and I said , uh England(???), it got even trickier when he started asking me about my plane,lol. Then he told me he knew he wouldnt get lost with me because I was a wwII bomber pilot and had to have a good sense of direction.
    Then there was the end stage dementia guy who thought I was his son (i'm a female,lol) he got up one elbow in bed, peered at me closely and said "you know Mark, you just don't look like you", then to top matters off he somehow became convinced my HAND was a PHONE, and spent the night grabbing my hand and making phone calls on it and having lengthy conversations with his friends (sigh) it was hysterical but also sad.
  5. by   Orca
    Quote from Hygiene Queen
    I also worked geropsych. We had a dementia patient -- and former nurse-- who would take off running down the hall yelling, "Call the pharmacy! Call the pharmacy! I've made a med error!".

    Talk about being trapped in Hell.
    That will be my luck. When my mind has drifted off into nothingness, instead of some remote beach, in my mind I will be at work.

    Another dementia story. Hospital inpatient geropsych unit. I was in the report room giving report to the oncoming shift when I heard an overhead announcement for a mental health emergency - for my unit. I opened the report room door to see what was going on, and I was shot in the face with a chemical fire extinguisher by a male patient who had removed it from its case on the wall and was spraying it all over the unit. All of the dust set off the smoke alarms. Three people from other floors, believing that we had a fire, reported to the unit with fire extinguishers. I told them, "Thanks for coming, but we have one too many of those here already."
  6. by   YumCookies
    A few months ago, my 80 year old lady rang her call bell to tell us that the patient next door walked into her room, peed on the floor, and left. She was a good sport about it - she laughed and said she just wanted to make sure he was okay.
  7. by   ctdfmags
    Had a resident known for escaping, he thinks he needs to go to work.
    he will nonchalantly roams the halls until no one is looking and he will bolt (he's in a wheelchair but he is fast!)
    one time he made it to the door, said "*** its cold!" And turned around.
    yesterday we were having a meeting in a closed room and he peeped in looking for an exit. I went out and talked to him and he explained to me he was just counting the metal bars on the handrail. I followed him down the hall for a bit to let him have his fun and stopped him before he reached the exit. He told me he just wants to talk to that "large woman out there!" We explain it's too cold and he doesn't have a coat.
    later in the cafeteria he is yelling at one of the therapy dogs that it's cold outside.
  8. by   djh123
    Had a great one a few days ago. She asked 'Do you like working here?' - in this authoritative voice that she doesn't usually use. I said 'yeah, kinda' :^), and had no idea where this was headed, but then she said 'Do you want to stay here?', followed by "I'm taking over! And I want people who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty"... the 'job interview' was on. I told my CNA's a bit later, and one said oh yeah, that she had offered her an 'executive position'. Great stuff... I'm sure she really was some kind of manager somewhere.
  9. by   jodispamodi
    I remembered another one from ltc. Had a 90 yr old mid stage dementia patient, One shift he started talking about trains, getting on them, getting off them, the sound they made. It was just trains, trains, trains. We put him to bed and he got up 10 mins later talking about having to go to work. We put him back to bed about 3 times and he stayed 5 minutes and then back up. When I went in for the last time I had an epiphany(lol). I said to him, "hey Frank, look outside, its the middle of the night, I know you have to go to work in the morning and you have a train to catch, you don't want to miss your train by oversleeping, do you?" He got in his bed and stayed put all night.
  10. by   Orca
    Many years ago, state hospital in a Midwestern state. I am monitoring patients who are watching a football game between USC and Alabama.

    Patient: USC is going to win.

    Me: Why do you say that?

    Patient: Because it's what Jesus wants.

    USC won the game, through either skill or divine intervention.


    Different unit in the same hospital. Elderly male who is incontinent of urine and feces. He feels a bowel movement coming on. "Help! Help! It's coming out of my butt and I can't stop it!"
    Last edit by Orca on Dec 19, '17
  11. by   Davey Do
    Quote from jodispamodi
    I said to him, "hey Frank, look outside, its the middle of the night, I know you have to go to work in the morning and you have a train to catch, you don't want to miss your train by oversleeping, do you?" He got in his bed and stayed put all night.
    Great intervention, jodispasmodi!

    This type of intervention is called "Supporting the patient's perspective of reality" and not "Feeding into the patient's delusional system"!
  12. by   Orca
    A male patient told me that he flew a helicopter in the Army during the Vietnam War. He was about the right age, but he didn't seem to have quite enough upstairs for the Army to hand him an expensive and complicated piece of equipment like that. I had to explore this.

    Me: How long was your flight training?

    Patient: They didn't make me take any. I used to drive a combine in Kansas, and the controls are the same.

    I had to walk away, silently.
    Last edit by Orca on Jan 2
  13. by   Ioreth
    During nursing school first semester clinicals, we were all assigned to long-term care centers. There was a pleasantly confused gentleman that would always tell me that I looked like an angel because our uniforms are white. This progressed to requests for me to bless him. I would just smile (probably like a deer in headlights) and then do what patient care I needed to do and move on. One day, he came into the hall with a huge stack of dry wipes and asked me if he could use them. I responded that he may and took him back into his room so that I could check his briefs and toilet him if needed. He was dry and clean, so I washed his hands. He grabbed the stack of dry wipes and stuffed all of them down the front of his pants (outside the brief) and said that it was the only way to keep them safe. OK then. I figured that we probably can't use the wipes after they've been in his pants, so I let him keep them there.

    Another patient was laying in bed saying that he was hot and asked for a cool washcloth. That isn't too strange of a request, so my classmate obliged. As soon as the damp washcloth touched him, he accused my classmate of burning him (the water was room temperature) and called her the devil. Then he turned to me and asked me why I put the hat on him (he was not wearing a hat). A little while later he told another classmate that it was a good thing he was paralyzed (he was not paralyzed) because he going to give her a beating. That was about the time all the students scuttled out of there and made sure we had a staff member with us during any interactions with this patient. On my last day, he was wailing that he wanted to be taken outside to the back porch and to let him die. I felt so bad for him, but I know that the staff were doing all they could for him.
    Last edit by Ioreth on Jan 17 : Reason: Added another story

Must Read Topics


close