Elderly, dementia, and anti-depressants.
My 95-year-old mother had her antidepressant changed three weeks ago from Zoloft to Mirtazapine because she complained of weakness, and one of the reasons for that was reduced appetite. Up to last year her dementia was very mild, more like senior moments, but she has had very bad depression since my father died 20 years ago. In fact, I would say she was a depressed person all of her life but because of her generational view points towards psychology refused to go to one.
About a year ago she started finding clothes in her closet that she couldn't remember, and either she bought them in the past few years or my sisters bought them for her as gifts. She said that one of my sisters was using her closet as storage and she wanted it stopped, or someone was getting into the house somehow and we needed new and extra locks on the doors. It was ok, as it didn't come up every day and the conversation didn't stay focused on it all day.
In March and April I had a caregiver come a few days a week for a few hours to give her a shower and so I could go run errands. She and I both liked the woman very much. One of the things the woman helped her with was going through all of her closets and organizing things which my mom had wanted to do (I'm not a neatnik or clean freak like the rest of my family.) Cut forward five weeks later, my mom says her favorite black pants are missing. I mention the closet organizing which she didn't remember, next day says she did and that the girl stole her pants, that the girl wore black pants every day. I ask how did she get them out of the house, she said she put her regular pants over them and walked out the door. So that's a regular conversation now every day and it's now most of her pants and jewelry and anything else she can't find.
Took her to the doctor because of the weakness and she mentions the pants to her doctor. Doctor says to her call the agency and report her. Thanks doctor. I had tried to tell the doctor a few weeks earlier that the dementia (which her doctor never seemed to acknowledged) had worsened but the doctor said she didn't notice it.
So in the following days she wanted to not only call the agency, but the police and the condo association. On two days she went outside with her walker with me following her as she tried to find the condo president (she thinks the woman who writes the condo letter is the president, she's not.) At one point she screamed that she had been robbed and needed the police. I told the only person around that she had dementia and she heard me, mad her mad.
Brought her back to her doctor. Doctor said to take her off the new medicine and put her back on Zoloft (she's been complaining about how her brain hurts her.) She already disliked her doctor, now hates her and it's been difficult to get her to take the Zoloft but finally managed. The agitation is greatly reduced with the Zoloft, but the talking about the stealing remains. Plus now she thinks my dad just died in the last year.
Today trying a new doctor who has a specialty in geriatrics, her old doctor saw mostly elderly patients but now see that she didn't specialize in it.
My mom can still go to the bathroom on her own, dress herself, sitz bathe herself, knows all of her medicines and what they are for. Reads the newspaper daily, can talk about the George Zimmerman case (two years ago she knew almost every politician, now she sees them, knows their face and whether she likes them or not but can't name them.) Last year she read three books a week, but now says she can't read because of her dry eyes (takes Restasis and erythomiacin ointment four times a day) but I also think it's because of her comprehension.
Her doctor said her mood change may be because of the antidepressant change, but since the stealing comments were made before the change, I think her dementia has worsened. Hopeful that at least the new doctor can answer some of our questions. Thanks for listening.