Major Rapid decline/hallucinations/like a light switch went off.... HELP PLEASE!!!

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2 Weeks ago dad was okay living with care. Flirting, calm, accepting of shower, food, company, etc. Then, all of a sudden he began hallucinating in an almost manic way. We put him BACK on seroquil to calm him and he has calmed but the hallucinations have not gone away. We are trying hard to rule out any underlying infection,etc - but he will not leave the house.

Has anyone had experience with someone changing overnight - no warning signs, no nothing? Is it usually some underlying thing? Trying to help my father and his caregiver from 400 miles away while 8.5 months pregnant, so can't even go see things for myself or physically help in any way.

Major worry and anxiety on my part and just simply not sure what is happening or what I can do or should do.

ANY and ALL advice wanted, needed, and appreciated!!!

Thank You


If he were my dad, I would have caregiver call 9-1-1 and have him taken to the Emergency Room. Let them do blood and urine analysis. Sounds like an emergency to me. If he is hallucinating, I wouldn't give him a choice in the matter.
Yes, this one definitely needs medical help. Please let us know what the doctors say.
In most cases dementia declines are gradual, but it is not unheard of to have them happen aburptly. But usually a very sudden drastic change has some other cause, such as a uti.

If at all possible, I'd encourage a visit to his primary care provider or someone in that clinic. Most give same-day appointments for urgent needs. I say this because an ER can be very confusing and upsetting to someone with dementia, especially if they are hallucinating or delusional. Sometimes it can't be avoided, but if possible I try to keep my demented husband out of ERs. Another problem with ERs is that in their haste to get at the problem they may use antipsychotics to calm the patient quickly. Depending on the kind of dementia, some of those drugs can be damaging. For example, haldol is very risky for persons with LBD. We were in the ER last month and the treating doctor had never heard of LBD, let along knew what drugs to avoid. I stayed with my husband at all times to keep him calm, and I carry a wallet card about the meds.

If there is no other way to get Dad in for medical evaluation, seemeride's suggestion of 9-1-1 is a good one. I would hope for something less drastic, but do what you have to do to have him evaluated.

My heart goes out to you having to do this all over the phone. Do you have a relationship with his primary doctor? That would be helpful in times like this.

And along with Jessie, I'd like to hear the outcome. We all learn from each other.
I agree with others that the caregiver should call 911 and let him be taken to the hospital because one of the side effects of seraquel is hallucinations also. If he has Dementia, it could be manifesting that way with the hallucinations.

May i also encourage you to please take care of yourself and try try so very hard not to stress out because of your pregnancy. It is hard to help someone that is so very far away. I know because I have been doing it and my mom won't come and live with me. She was recently put in an assisted living facility and I am very upset because I want her with me so I can take care of her. Remember to take care of yourself. You may also look into calling an in-home service agencyt such as Amedysis, which whom I used that will provide services to him and you can have a point of contact plus you can use your caregiver maybe to offset the times when they are there. I hope this helps.
This happened to my dad twice. He had leg infections both times. The doctor told me that is what caused the confusion, hallucinations & sleeping. His behavior was bizarre. I too would call 911. It's so difficult to care long distance. Take care of yourself & let his caregiver take care of your dad. Best of luck to you & your baby!
I want to keep him out of the ER - he does not do well in that situation. I am thinking he has some sort of UTI or other infection. The caregivers are a little hesitant to take him anywhere as he can become combative. His hallucinations are also "keeping" him in the house - he doesn't want to leave. I will do my best to get a visiting nurse out there if I can, and I will let you all know what is going on.

Thanks for your words and your help!!
definitely sounds like an infection of some sort, or an electrolyte imbalance...If you don't want them to take him to the ER, then a trip to his GP, and some blood work, and a urinalysis with a culture would be recommended.....
Dad finally taken to hospital and diagnosed with Diverticulitis. Is on Antibiotics, but is still hallucinating and getting quite agitated because he is in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people. I am just so confused and at a loss. I have never felt so alone, not knowing what to do. I am far away -- cannot go to him because I am due to have baby in 2 weeks.

Is this it? Is this what Alzheimers does? Will this go on forever? Are we in need of a home/assisted living? I am alone, (only child), hubby is awesome, but has no idea how to help other than being sweet and awesome. No info or support system. His caregivers are wonderful, but not family and are just doing their job.

Is this going to get worse? His hallucinations are terrifying, sad, scary, etc. This is nothing like the man I know. Why so morbid and terrible?

Why isn't there a way to spare a person from this disease? I lost my mother to Cancer 5 years ago and it was much easier than this. Why isn't there a legal and humane way for a family to "cope/deal" with this disease. I ask this not be be horrible, but I cannot be the only person to feel this way.

How is it even possible for someone with AD to be happy. What is the quality of life if you are scared and paranoid all day every day. How can one be happy if one is thinking of dead things, and horrible scenarios all day every day??

My father would never allow this to happen. How do I cope with this? He would NEVER want to be a burden on his family - especially me... And sadly, yes, this has become a burden... You may call me insensitive - I call me honest, and to the point. I do not lie, I do not mince words.

Just looking for support, answers, words of wisdom, help. Just anything. I am new and alone and just in need of help.

Thank you,
Ali...I'm in the same boat with my mom. I have 2 sibilings but I may as well be an only child. Non existant & in denial. I'm her 24/7 caregiver & pray to my dad to call for her in heaven. I too feel like people will think horrible of me but I'm exhausted. I dont even sleep in my own bed with my husband anymore cause I stay in her room so I can catch her before she wanders & falls which is constant. You are not alone...
Dementia is a hideous cruel disease, for the people who have it and for those that love them. I am glad that there is extensive, urgent research going on world-wide to learn to deal with the dementing diseases -- to treat them, to cure them, and especially to prevent them. This is a mad race against the baby boom hitting the age range where dementia is most common. We can all support funding of this research. My husband has signed up to donate his brain to the research, when he is done with it! None of this is of immediate help to you, but I do want to emphasize that we caregivers are not alone, and scientists and governmets and funding agencies are working diligently on these awful diseases.

I understand when you say that your father would never want to live like this. Neither would my husband. My husband's health care directive states DNR, no feeding tube, no artificial life supports. I will respect that when the time comes. I think it is acceptable to decide not to treat pneumonia if the person is in advanced dementia. But rejecting life-prolonging treatment is not the same as actively promoting death. I do not at all think you are an awful person for having these thoughts. Our culture does not condone taking action on them, but the thoughts are understandable.

Are you in touch with your father's doctor? Have you met him or her? Can you conduct email conversations with the doctor? What does the doctor think about trying drug treatment for the hallucinations?

My heart goes out to you. I hope that you can leave this in the hands of his caregivers and his doctor for a few weeks. Or perhaps your husband can handle the communications. You need your strength and calm for the new life you are about to bring into the world. Best wishes to you.

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