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Alzheimer`s Disease/Hearing Voices During Sleep - Could be Alzheimer's?


Hello Ms. Cindy,

While researching caregiving tips for my mother, 86, who, I believe, has mid-stage Alzheimer's (not officially diagnosed), I found something that I have been having just lately.  Regarding the voices that are sometimes heard, I have noticed that shortly before I should be waking up, I hear what sounds like people talking quietly in the next room or perhaps outside.  I can't make out any words, but the voices wake me up.  In addition, sometimes I'll hear a clear, loud call of my name - once from my mother, once from my close cousin.  I've been so surprised to wake & not find anyone outside, etc.

Is this something to indicate Alzheimer's?  Do all people with Alzheimer's hear the voices, and are the voices always at night?

Thank you so much for your help.


Hello Alix:
I'm sorry to hear of your mother's issues requiring caregiving and of your fear of getting AD.  First of all, even if your mother has AD, that doesn't mean you will get it.  Even if you inherited the gene for it, that doesn't mean it would ever be expressed.  Some people with AD do have auditory hallucinations, but it's not a common "sign" of AD.  If they do experience those hallucinations, it's usually because they're dehydrated, or they have an illness of some type and are delirious.  They can hear the voices or see other people and things that aren't there at any time of the day or night.  
I'm thinking you are dreaming of the voices since they are obviously not real, they are a product of your brain.  I'm not a physician, or a psychologist, so perhaps they would be better able to answer that question for you, but I can reassure you that it's not something that would be considered a sign of AD.  
The stresses of caregiving for an elderly loved one with dementia can be quite overwhelming, and it's possible that your brain is kicking into overdrive to deal with the stress you are under.  Your brain is probably always on "alert" and you "hear" yourself being called to duty at all times.  
I wish you much luck Alix as you continue to be a caregiver for your mother.  Cindy  

Alzheimer`s Disease

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Cindy Keith, RN, BS, Certified Dementia Practitioner


As a nurse and dementia consultant, I can answer most questions on all types of dementia. If I cannot answer your question, I will attempt to find someone who can. My passion is to help caregivers of people with dementia, which in turn helps all those wonderful elders with dementia live better lives. When caregivers are better educated, they are able to better care for themselves and their loved ones, so education is key to decreased stress levels and healthier, happier families.


I have worked as a nurse in various disciplines of nursing for over 20 years, most of which was with the elderly. I was a health care coordinator in a dementia dedicated assisted living facility for 4 years before I started my own business (M.I.N.D. in Memory Care) as a dementia consultant six years ago. As a dementia consultant, I help families nationwide through phone conference calls as they struggle to care for their loved ones with dementia.

Alzheimer's Foundation of America Geriatric Interest Network Sigma Theta Tau International

Published "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem - Caregiver Survival Manual For Living With A Person With Dementia" which is a collection of stories about people with dementia I have known, loved and worked with. Every story has a lesson to teach and this book gently teaches family caregivers lessons about how to better care for their loved one, as well as themselves during their caregiving journey. Published "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem In Eldercare Facilities: The Master Key For Dementia Training" Created "Bringing Nurturing To Memory Care" staff dementia training video Created Ebook: "Hair Stylist's Helpful Tips For Working With People With Alzheimer's & Other Dementias"

Registered Nurse with Bachelor's degree in Nursing; Certified Dementia Practitioner; Author of 2 books and an ebook

Awards and Honors
Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society of Nursing

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