Mom's inpatient psychiatric evaluation nightmare!

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I am the care giver of my 86 yr old mother. I work full time and her dementia was keeping me up at night. I was so pleased when the local psychologist told me we could her have her evaluated at a geriatric psychiatrirc inpatient unit (5-20 day stay) to get help with her sporadic sleep. Prior to this admission, she would get up in the morning, wash and dress herself, I would feed her breakfast then put her on her Senior Center bus. She would spend a few hours at the center having lunch and being with friends, ride the bus home where a relative would stay with her until I got off work. She was admitted and it is now six weeks later and she is still at the hospital psych unit. Since admission there has been a rapid decline in her physical and mental health. They keep her tied up to a recliner-like chair, she no longer walks, although she walked in the day of admission. Her period of lucid thoughts are very rare, she usually makes no sense when tyring to converse with her. She now keeps her eyes closed 95 % of the time, the doctor has no explanation for this. She keeps both hands in a clenched fist position and can no longer feed herself, She has lost a lot of weight. There has been liltle to no change in her sleep patterns, which was the inital reason for the admission. She has had to be sedatated on occassion for severe agitation. She crys a lot and calls out to deceased relatives often. I feel so guilty for putting her there, my intentions were good yet it has only turned out to be a nightmare. I am an emotional wreck feeling like I made choices that caused harm to the person I love the most, I miss her so much. I cannot believe how rapidly she declined, we are now looking into hopsice and nursing home care. Does any one have any insight?

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Really true. I've had conversations with my 106 year old, about what's next .... she has often said she wants to go "home" but does not know where "home" is. I brought up the idea of an afterlife one time, as neither one of us are full believers, but I did say that what I do know, is that in this world everything is always growing, and we are in good hands, and if there is a heaven, we will be glad. I tried to stick with what she had always believed, and my own beliefs, and had the impression she was aware of the approaching end, and just waiting, sometimes afraid and holding on, but generally realizing, there's no earthly rescue coming. I find elders often try to be kind to those around them, and the panics are more related to confusion; they prefer to leave kindness behind.
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OctoberOhio5 - I see the same thing in my mother-in-law too. She doesn't like living the way she is but I believe she is afraid of dying too (even though she'll say she's ready). Her body is shutting down - but slowly and not as fast as she'd like it to (supposedly). And she has a bunch of medical problems to boot. So I agree with you there - sometimes they force themselves to remain alive through fear, etc.
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I'm just putting this out there, but as I deal with my Mom I'm learning to understand that her mental state is not my fault. As I watch her deteriorate I see she is simply holding on too tightly.

I sincerely feel she is forcing her body to remain alive through fear and pays for it through her mental pain.

Learn that it is not your pain, it is hers to bear. And she will, until it's time for her to go. That is true love.
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Does have a urinary tract infection? My mom had all those symptoms & I never would have known that was the problem. The hospice nurse figured it out, we treated her & she was better within one week. We also adjusted her medication.
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I do not have any direct experience with this situation. However I would recommend consulting an elder law person and transferring your mom to a care facility to monitor her withdrawal and recovery. That may be the most crucial part. You will want to know exactly what treatment and drugs were administered during her stay there.
Prayers to you both.
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Please get her out ASAP. I went through the same thing with my dad. He was dead in three months. They had him on so many psych drugs that his body could not metabolize and his organs began breaking down. It was heartbreaking. He was a zombie. Demand to see your mother's drug list and take an active role as her health care advocate. Do not let them intimidate you and follow your heart. Good luck.
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WOW, this is an interesting and eye opening discussion, that I'm glad I read. Momsyoungest, I think many of us would think that a recommended inpatient psych evaluation to see what may help w/ your Mom's interrupting your night's sleep would be a good idea. Especially when it was advised to you by a geriatric psychologist! But, this story (and Scared Clueless' story) is a lesson to others of what NOT to do. It has been my experience that any move whatsoever, as Castle was saying, even the smallest move WITH family and caregivers going as well, is extremely disorienting and can throw the dementia person into chaos. I experienced this when my Mom had to go to the hospital for an overnight stay w/ a pacemaker change. It was so unbelievably disturbing to her, and she became a person so confused and hard to manage, even though myself and my daughter took turns being there with her at all times. She kept wanting to leave, didn't know where or why she was there, kept pulling out tubes, kept trying to get out of the bed by herself, argued and became rather combative. (She was NEVER that way before) The hospital staff said they may have to put her in restraints. I was horrified. She was a totally different person. I wondered if she'd ever be herself again. When I got her home, she was strange and delusional for a day or two. She hallucinated, etc. But finally, after she was back in her surroundings, and things got back to her recognizable schedule again, she settled down, and gradually returned to the level she was at before the horrible hospital experience. So, Momsyoungest, what I'm saying here is don't give up and think that all is lost, until you give it a try to get her back home, off all the meds they may have pumped her full of, (some take awhile to get out of the system) and back on a schedule with people whe knows and people she knows care about her and love her. You called it a "psychiatric nightmare" and it was probably a nightmare to her. And of course you had only the best intentions and did it out of love. So many of us learn, by trial and error, that OOPS! That was not the way to go. But, how could you have ever known the results would be so disastrous. And thank you for your post, because through your telling us what happened, it has alerted others of what NOT to try. But I really do encourage you to make one last attempt, before giving in to complete loss, of bringing your Mom back to sanity and normalcy again. If you try, and it doesn't work, at least you'll know you tried, and it may help you not feel so bad and so guilty about the attempt you made to help her that went amuck. Whatever you decide, just know in your heart that you were only doing what you hoped to be a good thing with good results. My heart goes out to you that it went so badly. Please don't blame yourself. What a difficult journey we all must travel with this dementia nightmare. We make mistakes....but we are only human, and are doing the best we can. Hugs to you and your dear Mom.
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Oh, one other thing that's important - you may or may not want to suggest to your mom that she moves to a place near you - people who are struggling and have issues, are afraid of change, and so it works better to say, we want you near us, than it does to ask her, for most elders if asked if they want change, will say no, no matter what it is! Fact is, for them even walking from one room to another is a change, so any unfamiliar place is scary - you can offer her a chance to try it for a month - by then she would be more familiar, and it would work!
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Hi Scaredclueless :)

Is there any nursing home closer to where you live? I have found it much easier to get what I want, and to get something that works better for my brother, when I thought about what would not just work, but would be nice, and looked around, and had a place in mind with reasons for it. Now that I'm older, I find it too tiring to do all the travel - before I set him up so he could develop his life where he is, but now, it's hard for me to see him with a 5 hour trip. If it was a parent, I think I might look into something closer to me, for many of them are similar - and sometimes episodes happen with some staff - some staff don't back down, and sometimes they should. But if it takes all those meds to keep your mom calm, then can you at least bring her near you, so you can visit, and plan to sort out many of these issues over the next 2 years or so? That could let you sort things out, while still visiting your mom, maybe 2 days a week? An hour and a half at a time? Too often we try to be ALL to them, instead of making it easy for ourselves to stay in touch. I wish you luck, but I really do think that if you and your husband found an alternative, they might be glad to let you take her. And if you talk with any new home, you can say, she is usually calm, it just helps if people make a list of her needs, or maybe what upsets her, and pay attention - then she's a model patient. You can sell it!
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Castle,
Mom was screaming when she was at the other nursing home out of state that I moved her from. She was getting the antipsychotic, other anxiety and anti depressants when there. When the screaming started back up, they suggested the pysch hospital because they didn't know where to go next as far as the meds go. I have a feeling that making her take a shower and going to bed with wet hair may have caused it to get out of hand. I can remember her always telling me as a child, not to go to bed with wet hair. :) She didn't like the showers to begin with and wanted sponged baths instead. She really flipped when they made her take one and go to bed in the evening with wet hair. They said they had a towel on her pillow. I usually could calm her down and get her to tell me what it was she needed, like water, etc. The screaming became non stop and that's why they suggested the pysch hospital. Wrong move I made. As I said before, it may her worse and not eating on top of that. Before she drank plently of water and always ate very good.
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