My mother is experiencing delusions and paranoia but she will not take any medication for her symptoms. What can I do to help her?

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I am also wondering what to do. My mother lives alone, is 92, still driving and doing her own taxes,paying bills, etc. and thinks her family is somehow getting into her house - even at night while she is sleeping and taking and/or bringing things. If something is missing and then, she finds it, she claims we have returned it, all under the conspiracy of making her think she is losing her mind so we can have control of her money.... I live in another state, so my sister and niece get the blame. I often just listen.

Elderly Patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with atypical antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death compared to placebo. RISPERDAL ® (risperidone) is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis.

I just took the above off the risperdal website.

mom needs a NEW DOCTOR! No wonder the side effects scared her!

Google some geriatric docs in her area and set her up with a new doc. You'll both feel better!

hang in there and you can do this!

good luck

Mom is on low dose Ativan and haven't noticed any side effects. A low dose of Seroquel, less that 25 meg day, had side effects starting after pehaps ten days: stiffening of whole body like Rigor Mortis, facial contortions, tongue sticking out, choking, and Seroquel anger. It also is NOT recommended for elderly dementia. After staying with her normal dose of Zoloft for a week, we went on low dose of Ativan, and that works very well.

We tried Namenda for five days or so, and though I noticed her walking improved and she was starting to use things like light switches again, she mostly wanted to nap and had fitful twilight sleep that was delusional. So, back to Zoloft and Ativan.

I know these side effects go all over the map with people. Because the physical side effects were so severe with Seroquel, they sparked their own paranoid delusions, so heck with that.

Oh, Mom had delusions about stuffed toys being her babies, or a cute baby greeting card...that is her child. Ok, go along with it. But then she crosses the line where she's paranoid about them. Okay, pretend is over. I drag out reality and have her come present. "Mom, come into the room and be present. Look around and be part of reality. These are not real living babies, they are toys. They are cute, they are adorable. But they are not alive. Look, they all have tags, and they are made of fabric.That's the good news, Mom, is that they are toys you can love, and they cannot die cause they are not alive. And the good news is that your fear is only a thought, so you can change your mind. So come back out of your head and look around..." and so forth...

I mean, why not try it? So far, three or four times I've had to use it, it has worked. She stopped clutching her fists to her eyes, relaxed, looked at her toys, and was fine.

I see it like sitting for someone who is on a bummer, a bad drug trip. I assume this will not always work, but so far I'm the only one to shoot up a flare for "reality." Alzheimer's 0, Reality 3.
My mother is not on any drugs, she is 85, my father 87. She has decided she loathes him, always has (not the case) and I, her daughter am a filthy bitch (I dated a married man once, thirty years ago!). She suspects I am trying to get her out of her house so that I can have it. She mocks my poor confused father who is becoming incontinent and is permanently confused. She even laughed at him the other day because his mother committed suicide when he was young and joked about the method. Other than that she can function fine; she shops, cooks and (sort of) cleans. She won't even answer the door if she knows it is me now. Dad has to let me in and she goes out of the room.Help!!
It's nuts, isn't it? That was one of the first things I did was to change out mom's dr.

I also found the Namenda on a website and learned more about it. Mom was acting out and out of control. the Namenda helped tremendously.

Google is your friend. just type in anything you want to know about and start sifting through it all.

You could research a few drugs based on your mom's needs and discuss them with the NEW dr. Only an idiot dr is against new information and the one you choose will look forward to your input!

you gonna be fine

ok, update on the Ativan. After a few weeks, Mom started having these zombie DeadZone know when in a horror movie, someone normal looks at you with this endless steady stare and says with a low slow voice..."Who Are You People Any Way..." and goes onto accuse you of trying to kill her. When not a half hour before she is begging for me to do just that. Or to "just let me go!" Good grief...the INSTINCT is she is still paranoid, bring on more ATIVAN. But it WAS the Ativan talking, not mom. The Ativan apparently also caused urine retention, which if not figured out means lifetime of catheterization...and in mom's case total sedation. When she was so painful with the urine stuck, and not being able to poop, I finally called the ambulance, throwing myself on the couch wailing. This was it...nursing home, all because of pee.

It was beyond the scope of my medical know how...I did not know it was the Ativan causing this actually. At the ER, by the time I got there after the ambulance, they were torturing Mom and I threw a fit. I got them to figure how to sedate her, using a full day's dose of Ativan IV...whee...she didn't care one swat about anything after that. She was Rx'd for uti, which turned out to be false positive..but meanwhile immediate relief...and my RN niece who used to work in the geriatric psych ward said, "Oh, ativan and that class of drug used to cause urinary retention often with my patients."

WHAT...I find out from my niece about there. Where was everyone at the hospital on this subject? I took the chance and took Mom off Ativan, swearing to use just for severe paranoia...and guess what...some muscle cramps withdrawal for four days maybe...and then no delusions...not the ones she had pre-Seroquel. not the paranoia...then I took her off Zoloft and her functioning went up a level. she's reading National Enquirer instead of baby picture books.

Look up Beers Criteria for guide about how to do trials of weaning your senior off drugs.

If I were old and frail and knowing I was losing track of things, I'd be darned paranoid about my money as well. I hae had enough experience with sisters and the Public Guardian's office (supposedly protecting her assets) to see how the money grab works...
my mother in law has had these problems in the past . most of the drugs they tried just really didnt work. now she gets a shot that is meant for schizophrenia once every three weeks and OMG it has helped her immensly . she is like her old self again . its very expensive. but i dont care how we have to pay for it she is going to keep taking it. it is invegra ex its an extended tabelt right now to help untill the shot gets completely in her system. but the shot is once ever 3 weeks so it wont run out of thier system. like i said its very expensive but there are cupons on the web site you can use up to 4 of them a year.
As for not taking meds I've been the full route of ways to get them in my mother and we've reached the point she won't take them. Now we crush them up and put in a small glass of Ensure (she loves) and she drinks it. Sometimes in pudding or apple sauce will work too. I've done everything literally but stand on my head. A psych dr told me that her age group (she's 87) never took many meds growing up and are often leery of medicine. In thinking abt this, I realized her parents and siblings didn't take meds, except maybe an aspirin even my grandfather who had bone cancer!
FamHaynes, Tell the IDIOT MD to refer her to a good neurologist and if he won't, tell him you are calling the AMA. Do NOT let her drive another inch, remove the vehicle and keys. Tell her to take the meds or end up in a place where all the doors are locked. If she is delusional, tell her "Now that's the Dementia talking". Be honest, don't pretend to ignore it, and tell her she NEEDS to take the medication to think more clearly.
Sadly, you may have to call 911. In some states there is a mechanism by which you can force a psychiatric evaluation. Call aps and your local Area Agency on Aging to discuss the options.

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