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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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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 11, 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 13, 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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Isthisrealyreal Nov 11, 2019
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 10, 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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Isthisrealyreal Nov 10, 2019
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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cherokeegrrl54 Nov 10, 2019
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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Right now.....the results of the Valium are still out.....
I still find it interesting how the mind works....
She can’t tell time but can certainly remember every time over the last few days that I have not done what she wanted...
Not a complaint...just interesting
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So as I am not a medical professional, here's what I think MAY be happening - it's going to take time for her body/system to adjust to the new medication dosage. However, you should consult with her physician STAT to see what he or she says. Prayers to you. This is a horrible disease. But YOU need respite and you need it now, else you'll crack. Contact your town's social worker. Start there. And don't wait.
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Teepa Snow might have some suggestions. Access her website. It was recommended to our family by Dementia Australia and has been so illuminating and helpful in understanding what the patient is doing/feeling/saying.
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Your wife's anxiety is from frustration of not having control or understanding... and you probably understand that very well. Sedatives may take time to get to a "best dosage" and "best combination" of medications for her. You're doing a good job of dealing with all the possibilities for her increased anxiety.

However, her behavior is making it hard for you to cope. How do you get a break from caregiving... and a little quiet time? Maybe it is time to get a little help so you can get breaks away to regain some peace.
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Timyom Nov 9, 2019
Well...the only break I have been getting is when I leave the house to run to the store..etc...which I have been able to do freely...since she has done good by herself...and many times she would tag along....but as the anxiety has increased I have been worried about leaving her alone...during this series of episodes there has been no break...I am checking into a companion service....there is only one in town....otherwise there are no other choices...
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I so get it. And sadly that is a classic symptom of Alzheimer’s. this disease affects everyone slightly different. At some point you’re going to need help (such as a caretaker person who maybe comes to do light housekeeping but also spends time just listening to the endless rambling conversations that go on inside the mind of a person with dementia). My mother has it and sometimes it’s so bad I just have to hang up the phone. However when I take her out in public she often is less talkative which gives me the much needed break. Go to a restaurant or a church and sit for awhile and see if she calms down.
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Also, meant to say - if you increase a med that sedates, you might want to add a colace during the day to avoid constipation issues. What slows down the body can also slow down the gut.
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I agree with another post - rule out UTI first. If that's not a problem, ask doctor about increasing dose on certain days like this.
I'm sure you have, but... do you try to redirect the conversation to something totally different? Maybe hand her some sort of 'project' that she might work on - like a box of buttons and tell her that so-and-so needs them put in plastic bags by color. Or maybe a jar of change that could be sorted by denomination....or put coins into coin rolls. Not knowing how bad her dementia is, there might be some children's toys/tasks that could be used as diversion.
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I started the valium about 45 minutes ago...I am very cautious with taking medications..and I am watching her like a hawk...she seems calmer but has gone through this stage before....
I am very frustrated with the Doctors Office since no uti results yet...
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I find that lavender oil is very calming. When my husband is anxious I have him smell the lavender and I put it on his temples. It actually calms him. I also have a fidget blanket where he calms down by the textures. Lastly I have found him to be more anxious when I up the dose of the Lorazapram. Good luck to you. We all know that relentless anxiety. I hope some of these tips work. It is sundowners season.
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Since your doctor prescribed it, I feel that the valium would be ok and help. It is a roller coaster and hopefully she will be able to calm down. I know it is hard to deal and you seem aware of how to handle it. In my experience, as much as you want to express frustration, turning on the soft soothing voice is the best way to go. Peace be with you my friend!
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Timyom Nov 9, 2019
You are soooooo correct about being calm to help calm her...it usually works but during this weeks episodes it doesn’t seem to work much...As a result I am walking on pins and needles...
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UTIs are not the only thing to look for. When my mother starts veering away from her baseline mood swings we look for constipation and pain of any description. Dementia patients are, progressively, unable to express pain and/or other discomfort. When the doctor asks if she is in pain she indicates no, but when he says where does it hurt, there is a positive response. Even hunger and thirst can cause distress. In my mother's case (vascular dementia, Alzheimer's, frontal temporal and maybe LB very recently,) her behaviour has become so extreme she has been hospitalised with either hypo or hyper delerium. The behaviour of each is just as alarming as the other. One occasion was triggered by the aged care facility leaving her in a wheelchair too long, her body ached and away she went. I felt for the staff on that occasion. In trying to amuse my mother, to enable her some social interaction with other residents, and with mother being unable to describe her ''pain'', she became quite aggressive so off to hospital yet again. I know that does not help you to find some space for yourself to have a breather, but it might give you some clues to head off future little episodes. I hate to say this but sometimes there just is no answer.
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She sounds manic. Was there new meds? Or delerium from UTI (confirmed yet?) Seizure or stroke crosses my mind too.

Is she so distressed she won't eat or drink? Dehydration?

Is there a medical advice line you can access? Would they suggest urgent care/hospital?
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Timyom Nov 9, 2019
Manic is an excellent description...There is no NEW problems with her eating...so, she is eating and drinking normal for her.....her antidepressant was she increased to 20mg....no other new medications......she is convinced that her things are missing, damaged and or stolen....
so, she goes around gathering her things and putting in purses or containers and placing them around her...then sometimes she hides them and the process starts over...she is convinced that I did it....then sometimes says I didn’t.....she has become more suspicious of me....which is very alarming....this behavior has been progressing over a months period of time and reached an alarming level on Tuesday...
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Still nothing back from the urinalysis...been at the pharmacy for about 45 minutes....
I am concerned about the side affects for us older people....According to the drug details...more likely with children and the elderly....the side affects can actually be worse than the current level of anxiety...
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Isthisrealyreal Nov 9, 2019
I wouldn't worry about that because your neurologist prescribed them.

If you don't mind me asking, what is the dosage? Because valium can be broken in half to start with a smaller dose.

I am sorry that you are going through this, HUGS!
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I would give her the valium, it can't hurt and it can possibly help calm her down until you find out about the uti.
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Im a little surprised you haven’t heard anything from the doctor yet on the urine sample, maybe it didn’t show up on the rapid test but from the info you have provided here I think I would give her the Valium at least until the determination is made about UTI and even if it’s positive maybe for a couple of days until the antibiotic has a chance to take hold. The anxiety is so hard on them as well as us and saving her from as much of the suffering with it as possible is as beneficial for her as it is for you so no guilt about it.
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Thanks for all the responses......Still haven’t heard back from the Doctors office about whether there is a uti...
The neurologist has prescribed valium...from my description of the problem they think she may be in a crisis and needs to be calmed down.....I am waiting for the uti results first....she has been frantic...I have tried the typical diversionary techniques....and it works for a few minutes then it starts again....
She is mid stage Alzheimers......This has been going on non stop for 8-12 hours a day...
The is no way for me to respond correctly all the time with this being so relentless...
I talked to the 24 hour Alzheimers help line last night and that helped a little...
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Does it help if you verbally "agree with" her accusations and anxieties and make some motions of addressing the complaints or fears? You won't be able to talk her out of her accusations; opposition will just make them stronger and more urgent.

I remember someone on the forum once talking about going out in the backyard with a flashlight to look for the "intruders" their LO was convinced were out there. Just for someone to respond and take some action help calm the episodes.

Don't berate yourself for losing it once in awhile. The frustration and anger are real and expected. I sometimes used to get frustrated and angry at my dying husband and think "You can't be mad at someone who's dying," but, yes, you can and sometimes will be. It helps to find other outlets for your own feelings. You can vent here on the forum whenever you need to.
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Timyom Nov 9, 2019
It does help to agree....but it seems like the normal ways to respond have not been working most of the time...And, I am agreeing to things I didn’t do....and she remembers that....
And, I sometimes have no idea what I am agreeing to...which gets me in trouble again...
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As long as she is safe can you...
Use headphones or ear buds to block out the "noise"
Is there anything that you have done in the past that can help calm her? Music of some type? Art, reading to her?
If none of this works is she alright with someone coming in to give you a break? Even just an hour away might help you.
Is she on Hospice? (If not you might want to call and see if she is eligible, there are lots of advantages) If she is on Hospice if there is a problem getting the medication correct you could ask if they would consider putting her in an In-Patient Unit until they get the medication adjusted properly. Or if she is on Hospice you could ask for Respite, Medicare will provide for 1 week per year of Respite for Hospice patients.
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