Last time I posted, my mother was on 30 mg of Cymbalta & having some pretty bad side effects from it, thinking she lived with me & had to get to my house somehow. She has moderate dementia and lives in Memory Care. The PA lowered her dose down to 20 mg because the positive effects were good........she was sleeping better & the neuropathy pain in her legs was quite a bit better.

Fast forward 2 weeks. She is still acting 'odd' and last night's phone call was a real doozie. She had fallen *once again* the night before and required the assistance of the male night nurse in the main building to get her back to an upright position. She didn't get hurt, but did get a small skin tear on her arm. We are up to 42 falls now with no trips to the ER, believe it or not. Anyway, last night she is crying and yelling about wanting to die. NOW. That I need to pray for her to die and that I'm obviously not praying HARD enough for her to die because she's still alive. Wants to know what makes me think she LIKES it there in that 'little room with all the shitheads' she has to live with, meaning the other residents. Her language is foul (which it is normally, but nowadays it's MORE foul) and her attitude flat out sucks. When DH & I visited on Tuesday, she made a strange comment. She said a new caregiver is 'so sweet' and would like my mother to live with her!! I'm like Oh Yeah Right. I looked at DH & he looked at me. She said, "What's wrong with that? It's not like I'll be moving in with her or anything, but she wants me to." She made the statement with a smug attitude. Also said she is having trouble 'getting the g-damned Depends pulled up' which is also ODD b/c she has help doing that...........

I'm thinking she's STILL on the kick that she was living with me, or needs to be living with me, or is living with me and somehow I've 'stuck' her in the Memory Care ALF where she's been for over 5 years now. It's just a bit more subdued than it was when she was on the higher dose. Also delusions that she is capable of doing more than she really is.........

Anyway, the phone call was horrendous. It went on for 20 minutes of her hollering about needing to die. Being SO tired and so sad and miserable, and asking me if I wanted her to be at peace and happy? I told her that's ALL I've ever wanted for her, but something I can't seem to help her achieve. That it's a no-win situation for ALL of us, not just her.

But mother can't see past the tip of her own nose & understand that all this BS is hard on ME. What's the difference, right? It's all about her. Always was and always will be. Yet she tells everyone else how happy she is at the Memory Care & all is well, blah blah. A liar to boot, making the situation even MORE difficult to manage!!

I will speak to the PA yet again this Tuesday & recommend my mother be taken OFF Cymbalta ENTIRELY so we can see if this horrendous behavior improves or if this is her new norm (please God, say it isn't so).

She doesn't qualify for hospice at 190 lbs; still eats like a trucker. Dementia hasn't declined enough, etc. Even though the MC Nurse thought hospice would be a great idea b/c mother would LOVE the one-on-one attention, it's not to be.

I'm just at a loss, again, about how to deal with all of this. Anybody out there can relate? Any suggestions? I can't even run away to a foreign country due to ............I am not even gonna say it.

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I wish I had advice. Especially because you have given me such wonderful advice many times. I’m my moms trigger also. She’s in lockdown now and doesn’t Understand it. So angry I can’t come and visit or take her out of there. Mean and nasty on the phone I’m going to cut down on my phone calls. My mom falls frequently and IS in a wheelchair. I think taking her of her medication might help. I think sometimes we just have to vent. I know I drive my family crazy having them reaffirm that I made the best decision having her places in memory care. Still the guilt is horrible. Especially during this pandemic. I’m in NJ and it’s so bad here. It’s sad that our moms have to have Alzheimer’s and their lives have to end this way. But we didn’t cause it and we are left to handle it the best we can. Hang in there. ❤️❤️

JoAnn.........I'm not chalking any of this up to the disease...........she's on a new medication and THAT is what I believe these personality changes are due to!

Sunnygirl, on Tuesday, I will speak to her doc and we'll wean her off the Cymbalta which is not helping her with any of her issues, just creating new ones, it seems. Thanks for your feedback! The falls are due to her neuropathy and insistence on doing things on her own instead of asking for help

Really, you have to chalk this all up to the desease. There is no way you can reason with her. Just let her vent.


I don't have any advice for you and I am sorry for that, but I just want to send you a hug...tell you that I am sorry that you are going through this:(


Yes, I can relate. I thought it would never end. For me, accepting the changes in my LO was a struggle. I learned to adjust my expectations.

I’d hope the doctors would review her condition to see if the med is helping. I’d keep in mind that the med is not likely to cause her to act normal. When my LO went on Cymbalta it helped reduce her anxiety and depression a great deal. She still had delusions and some other behavior at times, but she benefitted from taking it. Also, if they do stop it, it should not be stopped abruptly. They should be aware of this. Maybe, she needs additional medication if she still has mental distress.

I believe that falls are often a big problem with people who have dementia for various reasons. One is poor balance. Overcoming this is not easy. I’d ask her doctor about it. Often, it’s due to brain issues that are not easily treated. My LO continued to fall and get fractures, until she became wheelchair bound. She finally got a spine fracture. Once she was in the wheelchair, the falls were less and things got less stressful. Often, there will be a fall and hip fracture, then surgery and often that is a tough road to recovery.

There is no requirement that you listen to her upsetting comments. The staff at the MC should be able to manage her care. Listening to these things doesn’t really help anything. She isn’t able to have empathy, so I’d stop expecting it. You know what you do and how you try. I’d find peace with that.

Yeah, checked TWICE for a UTI and both were negative. No geri psych called in, at least not yet. I still think she needs to get OFF the Cymbalta totally before we can see what's really going on, right? But good idea, thank you.

I am sure I am a trigger for her.......she lies like a RUG to everyone and then unloads on ME. I'm happy to stay away..........and DH will call her the next few evenings. I'm at the end of my rope, patience wise.

Oh, Lea! I'm so sorry that this is still going south.

Has a geriatric psychiatrist been called in to consult? I would want a second opinion on this, besides the PA. Hey, some of my best friends and relatives are PAs and NPs but sometimes you need someone with a different set of eyes.

While I understand your desire to escape overseas, can you stop visiting and just keep in touch with the facility by phone? Are your visits a trigger for you mom? You may need to keep away for a bit until she settles.

Again, I'm so sorry that you're going through this (and she's been checked for a UTI, right?)

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