Has anyone taken their parent to a psychiatrist?

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My mother's behavior is getting even more erratic. She has a lot of problems with anger. I'm concerned that her behavior might eventually get her booted from the ALF. There's a lot of issues at play, including mental health and possibly drug reactions, so it seems like a psychiatrist might be the go-to person for this. There are like 2-3 geriatric psychiatrists in the entire state of Colorado so I'm conflicted. Any thoughts?

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We took Mom to a neurologist once we began to see symptoms of dementia. After a battery of tests an assessment was made, medication was prescribed for age related atrophy of the brain, and from then on she had visits to her neurologist to access her for any changes to her mental health (good or bad). We also switched her to a geriatric doctor rather than her standard visits with an internist. In my opinion, this all worked well.
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Thanks for all the help! I found a neurologist in the area and will give that a try initially. If that doesn't pan out, then it's off to the Ger. Psych...
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My Mom goes to a neurologist as do a number of people I knowwith Dementia.
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Akdaughter - I so feel your pain. The phoning in itself is enough to drive you out of your mind! I don't know what the answer is - obviously - which is why the Geriatric Psy. My big fear is that mom will be having a "good" day and be able to keep it together and put on a good show. I can only pray the dr is experienced enough to see thur it if that's the case. On my end I am working on detaching and stepping back a bit. I have to find a way to keep her life from being my whole life - it's not fair to my own family and it's not fair to me. I'll let you know how the appointment goes.
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Definitely take your mother to a geriatric psychiatrist. I know they are very hard to find but a regular psychiatrist would not have as much expertise with the meds that would be effective with dementia patients.. If you can't find a geriatric psychiatrist you might try a good geriatric doctor. I took my father to a geriatric psychiatrist and we have thank G-d found some meds that are helpful with agitation
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I have not taken a parent but I gave taken my husband who suffers from Lewy Bogdy dementia. The psychiatrist was recommended by his neurologist and she is adjusting his medication. Things gave been a little better. On the second visit she adjusted it more, so we will see. It is a step by step process that is worth a try. I did have to wait 2 months for an appointment because there are not many psychiatrists who take medicare so be patient.
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Ribbman and Rainmom, I am in the same situation as you are. My mom is currently in Assisted Living, but will soon need to move to Memory Care. I used to say how lucky I was that she was cooperative and not aggressive, but that has changed. She has become increasingly agitated and angry over the past three months. At first the anger was directed only toward me, then toward her elderly sister, then to the staff at AL and now, just two days ago, she raised a fist to a fellow resident. When a staff member intervened, she picked up a juice glass and attempted to throw it at the staff member. I took her to a psychiatrist two weeks ago to ask about a medication change to deal with her agitation and anger, but he chose only to up her anti-depressant, citing the side effects and fall risk associated with the other meds. Her behavior has only gotten worse since the visit. Although she is still living in an AL apartment, the staff is taking her to the memory care wing for most of the day to try to keep her busy. She will move when a space is available. In the meantime, I get anywhere from four to as many as eleven angry calls each day. We tried taking her phone away, but she became increasingly aggressive with the staff because her phone was gone, so we returned it. (We had de-activated her phone and told her it was broken and I took it to be fixed.) Not answering her calls is not an option since she will just continually redial until I finally answer. I am at my wit's end, not knowing what to try next. The AL staff is going to start documenting all of her behavior and will contact the psychiatrist and ask him to reconsider. I wish you better luck with you situations.
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How do you GET your parent to a psychiatrist?? That would be my question! Mother fears them--and for good reason, I'm sure. She is hoping to have a 2nd hip replacement next year and if she gets it okayed and goes ahead (completely against all us kids' opinions and with no "support" from us) can we ask for a psych consult while she's in the hospital? I mean, it's probably 70 years too late, but I'd love to hear an actual diagnosis of what we suspect is the underlying causation of mother's behavior. She is on 2 antidepressants but she says she takes it for pain.
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A psychiatrist is a medical doctor specializes in brain disorders, so it makes perfect sense to take your loved one for mental health issues. If they don't specialize in dementia, then a neurologist is your best bet. There is a lot of turmoil going on in the psychiatric community with Medicare not paying what it should and doctors just wanting to get paid what they think they are worth (a reason why there are so few anywhere).
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regarding the anti-anxiety effects of paxil - yes, it's very effective for that. I know because I've been taking it for 13 years, originally for depression after my marriage ended, but I found it knocked out my OCD symptoms at the same time and my psych. at the time said that it's one of the top drugs for that. That said, I can see where someone might need a little more sedating effect during period of particular anxiety too.
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