Loved one has Alzheimer’s (possible Frontotemporal dementia) and primary progressive aphasia. She went to hospital once for ‘chest pains’ now has them all the time with no evidence of problems. Also, had congestion and stomach virus and now still thinks she has it. Is this normal for dementia? Is this delusion? What do you do to break them of this delusion or do you just have to wait it out?

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Probably panic disorder, my mother got it after she had a small stroke, we have placed her in AL and she is on Xanex, 5mg, small dose, seems to help.
Helpful Answer (1)

It's likely time to get your mother on Hospice to avoid going back & forth to the hospital. Most Alzheimer's/dementia folks in the Memory Care ALF I work at are on hospice and they are very good at determining what type of care your loved one actually needs. If they determine the need, a traveling lab tech can be sent to the ALF to give her an xray to rule out heart problems, etc.

Best of luck!
Helpful Answer (3)

PPA is quite a specialist kettle of fish; "normal for dementia" doesn't really apply. Does the ALF have well-trained staff?

It might be kindest to assume that the anxieties and feelings of illness and pains that your loved one is experiencing have their root in the disturbances in her brain. Which means that they ARE the result of illness, just as surely as if it were other organs that were affected. She can't be deluded about what she is feeling - what she feels is what she feels.

Address her complaints, don't dismiss them. Don't cart her off to hospital, but take her seriously and find other ways to soothe her symptoms. Could be placebos, a warm blanket, lying down for fifteen minutes, sitting up propped by pillows for fifteen minutes, sips of water, "controlled breathing," etc. etc. You could keep a health journal, so that you can show her that her bowel habit, urine output and so on are carefully monitored. You're aiming to reassure her within proportionate bounds, and it's mainly so that she isn't at risk of a lot of intrusive, expensive and potentially harmful investigations and treatment rather than to "correct" her behaviour or her beliefs.

And maintain routine check ups. If these are done at regular intervals, one of the things you can say to reassure her is, for example: "we must be sure to bring this up at your check up on Friday/next week/whenever it is."

Have you worked out a protocol with the ALF staff and its medical team? Is it they who are sending her to hospital?
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Thank you for your reply. Of course, it is impossible to adequately describe what we have done for my Mil on here but we have been ultra supportive.
Since having her moved here to ALF by our home this past summer, we have found her excellent doctors and specialists for all of her needs. She had neglected her care for some time due to her husband wanting her to hide her progressing dementia. We got her new eye glasses so she could see, hearing aids so she can hear and she sees the primary care doctor at ALF on the regular... he is there each week and if needed she can see him
each week. I bring her to the cardiologist once a month and she has had every test imaginable ordered from him.
I bring her to the neurologist regularly and she has had an EEG and a follow up brain scan is schedule for next Tuesday. I have to keep rescheduling the brain scan because she isn’t feeling well. I’m hoping she will make it there next week.
The ALF Nurses are so kind to her and always try to comfort her and make her feel secure. The primary feels that this is panic/ anxiety and was able to alleviate her ‘chest pains’ with a placebo last week. However, if she presses her button and says she is having chest pains they have to call 911- that is their protocol. This is where the problem is. How many more times can this occur? It puts her in the hospital
for unnecessary tests and causes me to lose days at work and with our children to have her be sent home with the same non-eventful
I was coming on here to see if others had the same experience with their LO. I figured if this is a common situation with dimentia patients that someone would have advice.
I think the answer to your query depends on the results of the exams at the hospital, and followup appointments.    I'm assuming from your statement that chest pains are "all the time" w/o problems that there's been continued cardiac monitoring?  

She may still have congestion: are there indications determined by medical people that she doesn't?

What kind of stomach virus?   

I don't think anyone except those who are medically qualified (and there are medical personnel who post here) could offer insight.   Perhaps your LO is imagining, perhaps not.    Does she/he have regular follow-up appointments with her/his own doctor(s)?
Helpful Answer (2)
Thank you for the reply. Please see my response above.
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