I am going to have to make a heart breaking decision soon regarding my mother’s care.

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My mother's cognitive function has declined over the past 3 years. At first it was just difficulty with word finding and forgetfulness. She lives alone and has managed well until recently. She started thinking that her money is being stollen and her thought process and reasoning started to decline. 3 days ago, i got a call from the police while I was at work. She called 911 as said she was being robbed. The police told me she was talking to people in the room, who were not there. Ibroght her to the hosp ER and she was admitted to a psych facility. She is so angry at me, and wont speak to me when I visited today. She screamed to let her out and they had to give her Haldol. I will have to make decisions regarding possible placement in a nursing home. She was so independent and happy in her home. I feel so incredibly sad to rip her life away, it feels like I'm killing her.

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Thanks for the advice on the Seoquel. She takes 3 pills a day now. Before then she was very ugly. When she goes into the hospital they don't give it like the doctor has written for they cut back on it and then she starts trying to hit the nurses and saying bad things to them and once they up it she is very nice to them. Its like what do you do.
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It's spelled Seroquel (handy in case you want to google about it)

Wow, Seroquel was fine at first, then it turned on Mom. Same with Ativan, which I intially called the "gratitude" pill. Imagine suddenly hearing "thank you" directed to ME instead of to the hot fudge sundae that somehow appeared before her.

Here is what happened to Mom on Seroquel after a month or so. The instinct when she started to go weird on me was that the Rx was not powerful enough to stem the deterioration of Mom's brain. Eventually she'd (as the doctor pantomimed) slide down the rocky slippery slope into madness and then death. Well, it was a vivid image.

First, (before Seroquel) mom's upsets, fainting, and "I'm dying" spells were prompted by painful nausea or gas, and in the end after five days of hospitalization, was Dx'd as stomach acid, probably acid reflex. Which felt like a heart attack, seems to block your breathing and fill your eyeballs with weird sensations. Been there, but took a Tums for myself. Mom doesn't know what it was. So she acted out, and in the hospital, was combative as they prodded and poked WHILE she was in pain. So they were more than happy to Rx for the combativeness. Seroquel. Prilosec stopped the stomach pains almost immediately, so in retrospect, she would not have been combative probably.

These are the side effects I noticed, which i would not have looked up if there had not been frequent ads for the drug on tv with the loud warning that this was specifically NOT for elderly dementia patients. It is for severely mentally ill, those with bipolar disorder, etc. NOT FOR DEMENTIA PATIENTS.

Watch for these side effects: Muscle cramps and body stiffening. Mom stiffened like a board in a magician's show and slid off the chair like a 2x4. Stiff facial muscles, working jaw around, eyes wincing. Sticking out tongue to stretch it, like a gargoyle. "Seroquel Anger" with impatience, snappy demanding personality, "quick quick." Choking and gagging. Ok, mom is really going over the edge. Starkraving mad!

Wonder if I should up the dose of Seroquel, then?? YIKES. Read the user forums. It is very possible that the bad behavior and delusions will actually intensify after awhile. Suicidal thoughts. I didn't check enough to know how addictive it is.

So we got her on to Ativan, which was much gentler. From Seroquel Anger to "thanks yous.' I like that much better. I kept her on very very low dose, sometimes waiting until she had an episode. But at this point my approach was to nip the anxiety in the bud so the anxious thoughts didn't blossom into a trip to the ER in a straight jacket.

She's been on it since end of January, and recently seemed more and more dopey sedated rather than just mellowed out. More bent over, weaker standing. Is it Old Age, Alzheimer's...or the Ativan itself?

Before Mother's day she started to have problems with BM, then seemed more a PEEING thing. Hmmm. UTI? Nope. Doctor said perhaps distended bladder, which in mom's case meant "think she'll tolerate a catheter, and can you manage it?" Are you kidding?

Finally I could not stand Mom's agony any more. I myself could not stand not being able to help her, to see her screaming, etc. Knowing it meant probable nursing home, I called 911 and she went to ER. I threw a screaming and wailing fit until they sedated her for procedures. With ATIVAN IV. They dx'd UTI this time, and Cipro.

Mom seemed to feel better. Even though ti was a mis diagnosis, it gave me a few days grace to find the probably culprit: Urine retention problems were common with this drug on her elderly patients, shared my Rn nurse, who worked in a geriatric psyche unit. No foolin!

Again, every time she had a pain crisis, I wanted to slip her a bit of Ativan. I rarely did this, but that was my instinct. So four days or so off Ativan, and very few urine problems. Now Mom's crazy combativeness is gone, and a pain is just a pain instead of "I'm DEAD" drama show. She's not fainting every time her dentures come loose. So now we are cold turkey on anti-psychotic drugs, cept for Zoloft. I can say that "my mother is back," not the memories, but the responsiveness.

Don't just read the preprinted side effects papers, go online and read the user forums. There are few mentions by dementia patients or caregivers, obviously, but active users who can still use the internet and know about the forum. They tend to be negative reactions, of course.

good luck with your Mom, and watch for those stiffness and urine retention side effects.
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I have been where you are and still am a little. My mother suffers from dimentia and when she started seeing thing like monkeys in the garage ,water coming out of the walls,bugs crawling out of the ceiling,seeing and talking to people, etc. I talked with her doctor and he put her on Seroquil which has helps so much. Nomore monkeys but she sometimes still sees her parents and hides stuff but no biggy.
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putting her in a nursing home is the right thing to do because she was talking to people who wasn't there and think that people is stealing her money..incoherent. so don't feel bad. try to have a good time with her every time that you visit her. promise her favorite food/desert when you visit her with the condition if you stop blaming you for having her on the E.R. remind to her that was only for her own well being.
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Alzcaregiver, I would like to read your blog. If you don't mind, could you send me a link to it? 4 years ago my mom had to be sent to the psych ward. Brother found her in her house (she lives alone) very incoherant. Called me and called 911. Turns out she was severly dehydrated but she was so uncooperative at the hospital she spent 5 days being evaluated. She hates doctors, but now does see a psychartist 4 times a year.
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Deliah, did they do a 51/50 on your mother? If so, if she is stablized (with or without Rx) they may let her "out." amazing how bipolar manic patients will turn very sane once they are hauled in, then in 3 days they are sprung loose having promised to say on their meds.

Perhaps temporarily, you can hire a nurse 24/7 and see if your mom stabilizes with some anti anxiety drugs. Or even stabilizes in a calmer nursing home situation. I've given up hope many times, and then there is a miracle or a little pill or curing of a painful UTI, and things improve again.
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AlzCaregiver, if not UTI, then what? Your poor mom! Good thing she has you to advocate for her, got sedated, and got to go back home. Now what?

What do you have for an alternative plan for yourself, should you lose your mom to a nursing home, etc.? Any ideas for what you will do?
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Your description of the scene of her screaming to let her out and them drugging her...I can't imagine how one can have an accurate assessment while being incarcerated in a psyche ward against your will. That would make a sane person go whacky and combative. There was the level of paranoid your mother experienced in her own home, and now there is this assault on her freedom and her entire life. What a predicament. Wonder how the doctors DO that, exactly? How do they separate the amped up combative behavior of being imprisoned against her will from the initial level of mental disturbance, which might have been treated with a medication.

Like when my mom was thrashing in the hospital in agony, protesting things being stuck into her, their solution was to call for people to hold her down and to kick me out of the room. So now she's a "problem case," and maybe her pain is all in her head. too much to consider.
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As for "getting out of the Psych ward," they control that, and will have to "stablize" her with meds for it to happen. It happened that way with my dad. He is late stage Alz. now, but had to be incarcerated, due to his harmful behaviors. Sad when it comes to this... I am praying that things work out as well for you, as they did for my dad. If she has no assets, she can qualify for Medicaid. If she does, they can be spent down to qualify her. No way should she be on her own again, and I doubt they would allow it, even with stablizing meds. She brought that on herself when she called 911, and they had to take charge. Sad, I know. It is heart wrenching for a daughter, making decisions we never imagined we would. She may need a legal guardian, if she won't allow you to have POA. That is the worst case scenario. I doubt your mom has other options in this case... Praying for you as her daughter. From personal experience, I know you'll need all the support you can get. Sorry, honey. Hugs for both you and your mom.
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I had a similar searing episode a few days ago, which I write about on my blog whendoesthegladstart
Mom was having urinary pain, and we'd already ruled out UTI. I always hope it is a uti. It could have been bladder distention, the doctor said. So finally there was a pain episode and I kept checking with mom about calling 911, Gave her some time periods, like a countdown. Making that call meant 1) torturous invasive procedures which Mom cannot tolerate; 2) finding bad bladder problems which might be beyond surgery at her age; 3) possible immediate placement in a nursing home (with impending avalanche of me being homeless, cats being given away.

So I really threw a wailing fit down at the ER when Mom was screaming in agony. I fought tooth and nail to have her sedated, and eventually she was. With all this, they said it was a UTI after all, and IV'd her Cipro. She started feeling better right away,b ut was a looney tunes from sedation. I took her home and cancelled the other disasters for the time being.

Yesterday, I get an email alert to check lab results online...and it shows she does NOT have a uti after all. My niece is doing energy healing on her, and could be the CIPRO pills (and my explanations of what it does) is having a healing effect. It's amazing I'm even standing, but like those bozo bunch bag clowns, I pop back up again, dukes up ready for the next round.
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