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Over the last couple of months my wife’s anxiety has gotten significantly worse....
We have increased her antidepressant to 20 mg yesterday and are having her tested for UTI tomorrow....


Today has, to date, been the worst....
She started this morning with the accusations and it has literally continued non stop...I didn’t know someone could talk incessantly like that....but it is still going on..
I have tried to maintain my composure but have lost it a couple of times...
I know why it is hard for her....and understand.....but my mind has gone numb listening to it all day....Usually I can get sway for a little bit...but every time I tried to get a break today...it got worse...nothing I tried today has worked....

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Timyom, is there anything that your wife enjoys that you could have the caregiver bring? Something that only the caregiver gives to her could be helpful if she will accept it.

As hard as it is, sometimes we have to go out and let the caregiver do their job and know that no matter how upset she is that she is safe and cared for. You matter in this marriage as well, please get your breaks so you can be the best you can be.
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Timyom Nov 2019
Well....I am hoping the caregiver can find some way to connect....
There was a dual purpose for getting a caregiver....relief for me is one but mainly I wanted a companion for my wife...to give her some happiness...
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Just a suggestion, but maybe the caregiver will have to build your wife's trust first. Just sit with a cuppa. Sit in the garden. Maybe wash her hands with a scented cloth or hand lotion. Something slow & gentle. Get to know her & how to connect. Watch tv together? May take a few visits.

Then the sneaky stuff like.. let's wash your hands in the bathroom. You could sit there. We could wash your top half too... maybe we could use this tap/hose to wash off the soap? Different things will work for different people... What's this apple scented stuff here? Apples for your hair - how funny! Let's try some. My sister is special needs, so simple jokes work for her.

My Mum is a no no no person - everything is no. And anxious about everything too. Calls out if Dad in another room. Dad did manage to get her to agree to put clean clothes on to visit her sister but too much asking & fluffing around for me. In rehab, as soon as she was safely on the shower commode with staff, I bagged up the dirties & lay clean clothes out. A bit of yelling afterwards when she saw the switch... she would insist she would wear the dirty ones so sometimes I had to end the visit then & march out with the bag (poor staff..). I finally got the reason: she was worried the staff would lose her clothes. At home now, she worries the constant washing will wear them out & outside drying will fade. Oh & moths will get them in the wardrobe. They are just some of her thoughts we know about... probably a zillion other thoughts driving her behaviour...

My hat is off to you (& my Dad) & the patience needed for homecare 24/7.
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Timyom Nov 2019
Thanks for the advice,,,
it is nearly impossible to divert my wife’s attention...”it’s her way or the highway”...
What ever it is ....she will get angry about it...
When she gets fixated like this...nothing seems to work..
The caregiver is trying to figure this our...
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My wife woke up in one of her better moods..gave me a hug...we walked the dog..and we are at a movie right now...Mr Rogers...
She finally said yes to a bath but wouldn’t let me wash her hair.
I still can’t figure out how she stores new memories....The caregiver is back Monday....somehow we have to get my wife to like her...I need the break and my wife needs a companion she likes otherwise it just creates more stress..
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Up and down day...morning was slow until noon..then nuts until about 6pm...then things calmed down....all the way to bedtime.....I am going to start keeping a journal...
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lindasmom Nov 2019
That's a good idea. If nothing else it helps me. I printed out a calendar and write good or bad or just ok and maybe any activity we did that day like doctor appointment or whatever. I would probably mark the day you just had as 'good' haha. If it was normal nuts versus agitated nuts. Some days she is normal and distractions help ie. my birthday. Other days are wild and I just have to deal and join her in her world.
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When my dad was diagnosed with dementia, the doctor told me that a smart person can hide a lot of dementia symptoms.

My dad has a selective memory as well, I think that he is always scheming how to get what he wants. It is frustrating that he usually only remembers new stuff that makes him mad or upset.

I don't know who I will be talking to when I speak with him.

So you are correct, she is using her brain to get her way. Not like this isn't tough enough.
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Timyom Nov 2019
Wow...is he making some things up?
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The caregiver and I are the only ones to observe my wife’s symptoms over an extended period of time, of course I have witnessed the symptoms the most...Her GP and Neurologist only see her for 10-15 minutes at a time...and she will always put on a nice front for then...
I reviewed my wife’s symptoms with the caregiver....which have always been confusing to me...since they don’t follow the standard progression of the disease...at least based on my research...
I explained that my wife has an iq of 130+ and is an expert at manipulation...and described her confusing symptoms...After she has spent time with her....she said that during out first discussion she really didn’t understand what I was observing and now she understands and that in all her years of experience she had never witnessed a Alzheimers patient exhibiting her combination of symptoms...
I describe it as selective short term memory....For example my wife obsesses over certain things all day....immediately picks up the same thoughts the next....she picks up right where she left off....Last night when she tried to turn me against the caregiver ( making up stories).... she immediately started on the same subject the next morning...Typically with short term memory loss she should forget...
I have many other examples.....that I can list...along with typical symptoms...
I think it is related to her high iq...which means she has the ability to move selected short term memories immediately into long term memory...(whereas the process of moving a short term memory to long term typically occurs after the memory is repeated, the learning process, another method is event related, such as memory related to an important event in your life, it moves to long term memory almost automatically)

Has anyone experienced this?

It is confusing....I can never figure out what she will remember....
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Maybe some of the answer is in your post. The increase in the antidepressant.
Just saying. I'm sorry you and she are going through this. Best thoughts for your wife and hope you can get some rest and respite soon.
You are in my prayers.
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I hope that you are able to redirect her from chewing on the caregiver. You need her to help you.

So happy that she is getting better now the UTI is better.
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So...by good...She is more receptive to me...almost like a few weeks ago...and this is good.....but the honeymoon is over with the caregiver...she is already complaining about her...
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So today was...really.....really good......
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lindasmom Nov 2019
Explain? or expand!
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Today was the first day of having a companion/caregiver for my wife..It was a welcomed break....
We are 4 days into the 7 days of the antibiotic treatment....
I really don’t see much of a difference...This morning started..again with my wife accusing me of stealing and she said she was going to call the police...This was not done in a mild tone of voice..and it goes on most of the day...she is obsessed with her things being stolen or damaged...right now...if something isn’t right...it has to mezzz
Even if someone distracts her...she comes back to the same subject.
She has said she will kill whoever is stealing her things...this has been said more than one time
This is quite alarming...
My hope is we can redirect the anger...but I have my doubts
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It is difficult to distinguish between dementia and delerium. Your current issues might be caused by a UTI, constipation, or even a sore toe, any infection can cause delerium......or it just might be the dementia. Delerium can last from days to weeks to months and is almost as difficult as dementia to handle at a personal level for carers. A time out is certainly indicated. Why not have your wife admitted to hospital for the doctors to determine whether this is indeed delerium? It would give you some badly needed breathing space. My mother is in permanent care and I have to travel many hours to visit her every fortnight. If she is having a difficult day and I cannot get any co operation I leave the room. That is my circuit breaker.
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Just in case someone is interested in the cost for a lpn companion in a small community in the midwest.....$20.00/hour
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Grandma1954 Nov 2019
do you really need an LPN? If there are no medications that need to be given while you are away you might be able to use a "caregiver" or "companion" whatever the agency calls one that does not have a certificate.
That should be less expensive than the LPN or costing less than an LPN would be a CNA.
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Good news!

I will be praying that it works out well for you guys.
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Interviewed a companion/caregiver today...she starts Monday 25 hours a week...we will see how my wife responds and determine if she stays on..
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Praying for you both that this is the reason and she will soon be okay.
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Timyom Nov 2019
I sure hope so....we will know in a few days....
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Another bad night and morning.....this time the paranoia resulted in extreme aggression...
I had to call 911 and have her taken to the er.....
She was approved for the Senior Behavioral Unit...but no rooms were available....
But on a positive note...they found a uti this time...we may have a root cause....I asked why this wasn’t discovered last Friday....and there is no way to know...maybe it wasn’t bad enough to be detected...
So I brought her home....
I texted the potential caregiver that I was going to interview at noon today and we rescheduled for tomorrow...
I haven’t met her in person yet...but I can already see that she is amazing...hope it works out...
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lindasmom Nov 2019
The caregiver option sounds like hope! It may be what she needs. I don't know about Alzheimers but a different character in her "world" and a woman's (no offense!) touch could be a game changer. You are dealing with such a lot of behavior and I know it is soooo hard.
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Thanks for all the responses....
We though we might have to admit my wife into the Local Senior Behavioral Unit..they have a tendency to use antipsychotic drugs so we decided that it would not be the best thing for her...
The Neurologist pulled her off of the Valium and we start DIVALPROEX SOD DR 500 MG TAB tonight before bedtime....
We discussed CBD products..but no decision...upped her depression meds.....
The first half of today was horrible....
She woke up complaining that her left eye hurt...She already had a Optometrist appointment at 1:45....but she was so frantic about the pain and saying she couldn’t see...I didn’t respond fast enough...in her mind, so...she became very angry..she got so out of control that I lost it....After I pulled it back together I managed to get her in the car...I took her to the optometrist and pleaded with them to see her earlier than her appointment time which was this afternoon...
I was concerned, since 8 weeks ago she had cataract surgery and I wondered that maybe something was really wrong...It turned out to be a bad case of dry eye...which can be very uncomfortable...
Took her home and she wouldn’t let me put the special ointment in her eye...after an hour I finally got a little bit of ointment in her eye...it was just horrible....about 2pm she finally calmed down a little bit....
I try...but sometimes it is so hard to do things right..
We are in a small community and resources are next to none.
I got a lead on a experienced...caregiver....companion....and she is coming by tomorrow to meet my wife and see if she might be able to help out...
I sure hope it works out...my wife and I both need this.
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sound canceling ear buds.
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Can you afford in home care that would give you some time to yourself and help you with you’re emotions also so sorry for this to happen to you’re loved one god bless.
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Get your wife. CBD oil
proven fact. This oil keeps people calm
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Have an appointment with the neurologist tomorrow afternoon....
Today started rough but all in all it was a good day...
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Have you checked with community service organizations, like catholic charities, Jewish family services and others?
You have to find a way to get a break.

If placing her means that you don't become a statistic, then that is what you have to do. I am sorry that your choices are narrowing down to that. But who will be there for her if something happens to you?
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Timyom Nov 2019
I am still checking sitter/companion options...have not given up yet...Memory care this early in the progression of the disease is at the bottom of the list...A friend just gave me a contact number for a potential sitter...I will follow up tomorrow...I should have been better prepared.....
Yes.....I have been worried about what happens if I go first....and intend to resolve that within my estate plan....
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It has been a reasonable day...had to up the dose on the Valium..but no difference....she is soooooo fixated on her things being stolen...and gathering everything around her in the living room...there is hardly any room left on the sofa......and....of course after she gathers this stuff...she can’t find anything...endless circle...diversion techniques hardly work...
Eventually I can’t continue to let her keep rummaging and bringing everything in the living room...
She was never a neat person and had hoarding issues....so her fixation could be an extension of those issues.
There are no Companion/Sitter services here....and I have no help available...
care.com lists individuals that offer this service...maybe I can find someone through this service...
Even if I find someone I am not sure whether my wife will cooperate...and they cannot be expected to control her rummaging...
I have an appointment with my Lawyer Wednesday afternoon to finish all our estate planning....but doesn’t look like I can go...without a sitter...
If this is the new normal and if I cannot get some assistance..is it time for a memory care facility? I hate to think about memory care....and it makes me sick considering it...it was never my plan to do that..
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Thomasm11 Nov 2019
I’m not sure where you live but I’m in carroll county md I am a nurse Assit and I just lost one of my dear lady’s to this awful disease.my phone number is 443-797-9155 I specialize in alztimers and dimentia.
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Had a calm bedtime last night and good start today......she specifically said she wasn’t scared of me....she ate breakfast without incident...
I was able to take a shower and shave for the first time in a week...
I need about 1 hour at the rental to fix a few things before the contractor comes tomorrow to put up the sheetrock...and I need to contact the companion service to see what services they offer and the cost....
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Good news! One day at a time.

You are doing great, I am so happy to hear that you are looking at some help.
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Thanks for ALL the helpful responses...
No UTI....i was hoping she would test positive...since it would explain things...
She doses in the evening but lately goes off the deep end at bedtime...which is a new thing...
Last night we didn’t get to bed until 2am...Finally I had to get stern and make her go to bed...by that I mean I had to be the parent and her the child...
She woke up this morning and like she has recently, immediately started accusing me of stealing her things...she would not listen to anything I said...when I took the dog out to do business she opened the door and started screaming at me..I came back in and tried to sooth her...she pushed me away and said she was scared of me...I proceeded to tell her that she had to take her medications...she verbally resisted but allowed me to give them to her....Within an hour she calmed down....
I spent the entire day sitting with her and accepted every accusation as my fault and asked for forgiveness...
Everything I did or touched, I asked her permission....I constantly validated her feelings....
She had one other bad episode when I wasn’t giving her my undivided attention...
It is 8 pm and she is resting...No telling what will happen when she wakes up....
I am walking on eggshells..

Also..her neurologist instructed me to increase her valium to two pills...I don’t want to do this unless it gets really bad again...
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lindasmom Nov 2019
Keep us in the loop.
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How is it going Timyom?

Did you DW get some rest?
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my mom has many of the same..'Won't stop talking' ,rearranging and hiding objects, suspicions.

Here is what what helps both she and I.

At night I ask her to stare at a bees wax candle for 1 minute straight ( no smoke) and notice her in and out breath.

I tell her we are practicing ridding her mind of anxiety, and increasing her ability to focus, and that she will feel better afterwards.

during in-breaths, visualize a warm turquoise color, out-breaths, a grey ugly color, and to breathe in for six to eight ( increase with increasing ability for her to relax), Hold for four, and out for eight. It is generally very difficult for her to maintain focus on the breathing and the candle, ( she starts talking! And I say, 'we have to start over now, and you can do this for one minute straight.

Then an I ask how she feels in the moment. If she feels better, I leave the room and ask her to continue, and close the door. With one to talk to, she is able to do this for five minutes. I ask her how she feels in the moment again. Usually calmer.
It Works best when person has a respite from the things they think they 'need to do' or after dinner.

Slowing down, deepening and making Her aware of her breathing all have very calming properties.

Deeper breathing also gets more oxygen to the brain.

also, what helps is ' getting out,' but wirh a soecifically defined self- care purpose. i bought her Nordic walking sticks. And on days when she agrees to go walk for a kilometer.... ( she us 89 and very creatuve with the why nit excuses, but always feels bwtter after we do this....

we focus on the breathing and posture the entire time, counting in and out brearhing together , with probably 150 digressions and redirections from my voice on correcting posture and breathing.
i walk backwards while she walks forwards.)

it is imoortant to be able to notice what is going onnwirh her own body.. as well, to focus on things outside her own body.
i also sit with her on the boardwalk and ask her to notice what she hears in the moment... That also helps..

are there any ' chair yoga' sessions at a sr center nearby? wouod she do that at home?

A nurse told me to get a supplement called 'calm,' for night time, which is mainly magnesium, and also acts as a stool softener.... Double win.

Anxiety can also be caused by dehydration and mineral deficiencies.. womens multivitamin necessary.

for you!!!! I recommend noise cancelling headphones for yoir sanity, and playing Chopin in the house for her,( or calming water sounds). And asking her to be more aware of her body..( any Feldenkreis beginner download is for subtle body awareness trainjng. it is not exercise)

if she is anything like my mom... You need to get good sleep.. my mom
talks from
the second she wakes up till 2 am. Any chance of a ' substitute caregiver ' two days a week while you regain sleep sanity and patience?

lastly -liquid acidophilus and hemp oil , a teaspoon of each drunk after each meal, seems to help her brain and gut too.
( related)

for help without your imput, and if she us able- , There is an app called ' calm' that has 'sleep stories, sound effects for sleep and help with slowing and deepening breathing by following a visual settable dial.

good luck!
elise
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I get agitated listening to Chopin, so I think that the music should be what calms or diverts the individual.
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I am using a natural product to take the edge off my husband's dementia anxiety. It is Hylands brand Calm and Restful. It contains Aconite which was recommended by a Pharmacist/Nutritionist at KC Holistic center. 4 small tabs dissolved under the tongue and is fast acting if it is the right remedy for the person. They are readily available online from vitamin distributors such as Vitacost. Also, gets you to a good homeopathy company that has them and another product with aconite that is good. If you call and explain the symptoms, they can recommend products. I know what you are going through and will say a prayer for you. Meds almost killed my husband so we are not going that route anymore except on a rare occasion. They made him psychotic and led to life threatening actions on his part.
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I use the hylands calm for terrible anxiety and stress. And the restful legs for my restless leg syndrome. Works better for me than an rx. Much rather take a natural homeopathic remedy...
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Ativan is excellent for anxiety. Start on a low dose and give it an hour to work.
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