My mother is getting worse every day. Do you think it's the Resperdol?

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My mother is getting worse every day. Do you think it's the Resperdol? Last night when I was getting getting ready to walk my dog, she went down the elevator (couldn't stop her) went to the concierge and said there was a fire on the 3rd floor (delusions). She was barefoot and in a short nightgownl. Thank goodness the concierge told her that "the fire was under control and not to worry." He must have had some dementia training. She sat down barefoot,, short nightgown, no shoes in the lobby while the concierge said he would keep an eye on her. I call the Alz hotline and they said maybe I should take her for a walk outside. I would have but it was 10 PM. I finally got her back in the apartment, helped her get ready for bed and gave her the Ambien prescribed. I was at peace. This morning about 6 AM I found her sitting up on the living couch sleeping. I helped her in the bedroom. Now she won't leave me alone, calling my name every five seconds. She is supposed to be assessed for the assisted living in Florida, but I am not sure if they will accept her. We were down in the gym on Friday (the HHA, my mother, and I. They were sitting on the stationary bike and my mother kept calling the HHA horrible names and made believe she was spitting at her. I thought my mother was a classy lady at one time, critical yes, but classy. It's becoming more then a nightmare, I would say a living hell. Her dentist said something horrible about her on Friday. I am ending the agency HHAs at the end of the month, since our lease is almost over, and the HHAs from the agency have no dementia training at all. I just don't know what to do. Just don't know. I am in tears. My two little dogs are even losing sleep and stresed out. My little one couldn't walk yesterday until I got her outside. My mother is going through hell and I can't take seeing her like this. I've been to memory centers, psychiatrists, neurologists and no one can say anything except get her into a nursing home. I have a brother and sister who never call her, don't want to be any part of her life. I promised her never a nursing home. Please help me, any suggestions.

Answers 1 to 8 of 8
How long has she been on Risperdol? How was she behaving before taking it and how long after taking it did the decline increase? I've seen other posts where the dementia symptoms were because of the antipsychotic meds. and Risperdol has been in the news lately. I googled Risperdal lawsuit and found I'm not suggesting a lawsuit but it did indicate it's not for elderly patients with dementia and one of the side effects is altered mental status. This sounds like what she is experiencing. This seems to be the least of your worries though. Please talk to the doctor about getting her OFF of this medication. What was happening before taking this that lead to this being prescribed?
Hi mrsribit,
She has been on Resperdol for about three weeks. Yes, the neurologist and psychiatrist told me about the devasting side effects of this drug, but they also told me that it will calm her down and prevent her from abusing me mentally and physically. She is now on her second one 0.25mg today and I turned on some music for her. Just read an article in the NY Times about a man who was riddled with AD and headphones were placed on him with his favorite music. He awakened, started speaking normally about the music that was on, started laughing and singing. I called the psychiatrist the other day to ask him if I could give her another Resperidol. She awakened me at 5 AM and kept knocking on my bedroom door every five minutes. . The doctors say I am under medicating her. I hope enviornmental changes will help, such as the assisted living place if she gets accepted. She has had memory loss for several years now and outbursts for about one year. I opted to move into a two bedroom two bath apartment with her (big mistake). thought the pool and gym downstairs would really help her. She talks about eating out and going to movies. I am so overwhelmingly exhausted that I can't think about going to a restaraunt with her, no less a movie. I lost my job because I had to keep running home due to outrage with her and another HHA.

I think that Resperdol worked, she's going to sleep for a while, I was just notified by her. I want a peaceful environment. I get upset at times and I know it is bad for her disease. But, I get mad at myself for saving her from a nursing home that my brother two years threatened and then I am happy she's not there. I'm up until 3 AM every night to do "my thing" after she sleeps.
Thank you so much for responding. I will talk to the psychiatrist on the 25th and I know what he will tell me. Nothing is going to help. She's tried a bunch of meds. I truly think activity and being around people will help. There were a few people in the elevator on Friday with wine glasses in hand, she was delightfully charming to them. Maybe it's me, maybe I am the cause of her decline. This is why I would like her to be in a beautiful assisted living. If only I could control her mind and make her act normal during the assessment.

I was reading parts of Elder Outrage and one thing that was said was the parent almost always uses the child or caregiver family member as the whipping board. My mother uses everyone, the HHA, the psychiatrist, the neurlogist, the NP.
Top Answer
Even if you could control her mind and behaviour during the interview for AL, they would soon know about her behaviour... and NO, you are not the cause of her decline... they do react when we are tired or short tempered, , but she will make this decline regardless....
My only suggestion to you is to take the pressure off yourself by wanting her to have a 'normal' life.... what is normal for her now is what she believes to be true and trying to convince her otherwise is insanity for you..... I do applaude you for educating yourself and seeing what options you have....I am not sure why children promise thier parents no nursing home when sometimes it is the only choice... and no, no one wants to be warehoused, and yes there are some bad ones out there, but with research and commitment on your part you may be able to find something nice that you can feel good about... I am not suggesting you put her in a NH, I'm simply saying to leave yourself that option if it becomes neccessary... and you can call her Dr. before the date you said and report your concerns... be proactive in her care... some of us are too exhausted to even question a Dr.... unfortanletly... there are NO meds for 'Alz/dementia, it will be the meds that are already available.... some can take these meds with no problems, some have horrible side effect... some will work for awhile, some work for a long time... one of our most frustrating things is the med issue... it's always a crap shoot... and our poor elders are the guinea pigs... sorry if that sounded so harsh, but this is one thing i stay frustrated about..... so be more proactive... you are doing a great job so far, beleive it or not.... so many things are going to be out of your control, so keep posting and letting us know how YOU are too.... caregivers get lost in the chaos of this disease and then we wonder why we are so exhausted.... let us know how you are.....hugs
I sympathize with your situation! It is a horrible experience- my mom went through this with my dad. But despite the fact that your mom's behavior does seem to go along with dementia, I think you have to absolutely consider the effect of the drug. If it was me,knowing what i now know about antipsychotic drugs, I would ask to have her taken off this drug and see how she progresses - as bad as she sounds, i don't see how it could get much worse without the drug. It may take some time before you see improvement but on the other hand if nothing changes after a week or so....then the drug wasn't helping anyway. The music idea is a great one!!! Keep looking for info on how to calm her without these horrible drugs - i have heard this before how someone calms for a bit , sleeps for a bit, wakes up worse. So be very careful with medications, especially anitpsychotics. A nursing home may be the solution but keep in mind your mom will need an advocate for good care - please don't let them drug her into oblivion. And lastly, NO IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. Please try not to take anything she says personally and try hard to stay calm. Make certain you are getting the rest and care you need as well -if at all possible.
Ladee well said! But be prepared for changes and if she gets worse don't just increase doses without talking it over with the doctor. There is a question posted by someone on the site here where the parent was suffering from dementia and on every medication known to man. And every time she had problems they increased dosage. At one point they took her off all meds and after a short while she was lucid and going out to lunch with the family like she never had problems. This doesn't mean this is the case here but these medications aren't magic. They have serious side effects that are well documented. Please know what they are.
My mom isn't able to get out of bed but she has a hard time sleeping at night. I hear her tossing and turning when I am on the computer in the next room. Benadryl doesn't do anything for her (it's the pm part of tylenol pm). I used to give her norco, a pain pill with a narcotic component, it no longer does anything. I did have Ambien for her but it stopped working and then her dementia got worse and she would be REALLY drowsy in the morning. I was told by her hospice doctor that it's not uncommon that the elderly have the opposite reaction to medications. If this medication is working then use it. But there are dangerous side effects. You may decide to keep using this because it gives you more quality time with her but make sure that you are ready to accept the negative side effects without guilt. Do what you would want your child to do in this case. And make your arrangements now for the time that your family will need to make decisions for you.
Thanks all. I am very proactive with these doctors. They respect me, I am a nurse and they do know that I understand a lot of things and have also seen people on Resperdol in a LTC facility. She's on the lowest does. She's a nightmare. I just made her dinner and criticized it. I can't take her anymore. I will find her a "good NH," if I have to. I just can't go on like this. I need a job, a life, and happiness. I know where I live there are no good NHs, drugs the patients as soon as they walk in the door. I have no family, that's the sad part of this all. Absolutely no one. My two little pooches are my family and I fear for what her disease is doing to them. I will let all of you know what happens. Thanks so much you guys. I love this site. It takes me away from sometimes. Gee, I wish she would forget my name like she has forgotten everything else. She is so sad. Now she wants to be my friend and talks about the other two. As soon "they" the ones who are going to kill us are gone things will be better. She almost let my other dog out of the apartment because of the fire. I'm taking them both out tonight. Wouldn't be surprised if I see her in the same outfit as last night with the same concierge. Speak to you all soon. HUGS TO ALL.
As you describe her, your mother does not sound like a good candidate for assisted living, but it will be interesting to see the results of their assessment.

It is always possible that changed behavior is related to new drugs. Work closely with her physician on this.

I guess I really don't understand why you would be opposed to a skilled nursing facility if that is what is best for her. It may take a lot of work on your part to make sure the potential of being good for her is reached. But you are putting a lot of work in now, so I don't think there is any question that you could be a fine advocate for her, starting with carefully evaluating the centers available to you.

Your mother never envisioned that she would wind up in a nursing home. Do you think that she ever envisioned sitting barefoot in a short nightie in a lobby, waiting for a delusional fire to be controlled? Her current situation is not what she wanted, not what she expected, and definitely not within her control -- or yours.

Honor the spirit of your promise. Never abandon her. Never just "warehouse" her. Always do your utmost to see that she is well cared for. I hope you will use all resources available to you to see that she gets the best care.
My mother was extremely abusive. She cried all the time and threw things at me. The doctor put her on hapirdol and she settled down some. He explained that there are times when you have to do something to sett le a person down or they become a danger to themselves as well as others. It has helped her mood some. She still cries but not as much. She doesn't throw things and I feel safer with her on it. Yes there are side effects but when they are combative sometimes you have no choice. I am now concidering a skilled nursing facility because I am exhausted sick and in pain from lifting her by myself. If we go down we are no help whether they are in our homes or in nursing facility.

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