Ativan and Haldol not working on Mom on Hospice. Any suggestions on what would work?

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The hospice nurse should be in to visit my Mom today or tomorrow. Does anyone have any suggestions on what else could they give her to calm her down? She cries out and calls people that are not there, tries to get out of bed, and speaks mostly gibberish.


Has anyone had success with any other medication? She is at the "end" at least I seem to think so. She is not eating or drinking too much. I wonder how long can she go on like this?


Thanks for your replies :)

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Only,
Excuse my poor manners. My sympathies and prayers to you and your mom in this tough time.

As a previous hospice nurse, relieving your mom's anxiety and pain is what hospice is all about. I don't think you'll have any difficulty getting the nurse to change the medication if it isn't working. The hospice docs just want the patient calm and at ease so usually will go along with the family's wishes.

The main goal is to keep her physically and mentally comfortable. The agitation makes the caregiving many times tougher. Plus we hate to see our loved ones so riled up. Please feel free to openly discuss anything with her nurse. I'm sure she'll do her best for your mom and you.

Some hospices have music therapists which might calm her. A music therapist comes to the house with a guitar or other instrument and they sing all the good old songs.
There are chaplain services and social workers to help YOU out in this rough time too. Let other people help you.

I hope you are taking advantage of the bath aide? Is there a massage therapist available from hospice?

Would your mom calm down if she had a stuffed animal or doll to hold? Sometimes that works. As overwhelmed as you might be with her behavior, in some cases, patients calm down with light stroking of the arms or face/hair. Lotion is easily applied that way. Unfortunately with others, the stroking is more of an irritation. (It is to my mom who was not a physically demonstrative person.)

May God help you through this very tough time.
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anonymous786886 Jul 24, 2018
Thanks for the suggestions Sue! I appreciate your time and recommendations. The increased dosage seems to have worked last night. We will just have to wait and see if it continues to work. The bath aide came this morning, and my Mom got a nice bed bath.
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Hey Only,
Don't forget, it takes awhile to get a "blood level" of the drug in their system. Give it at least 3 days to see if the increase of Ativan works. Her body is already used to the smaller dose and you know she doesn't have any side effects from it. I'm sure that's why the nurse wants to increase it instead of change it to something else.
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anonymous786886 Jul 23, 2018
I will try that Sue! I think that's what the nurse was saying when she says to get it in her system. I guess I need to ride it out and hope for the best!
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The nurse just called me back and she suggested to try the Ativan one more time but a higher dosage since we have a little success with it in the past.

-1 MG in the evening and 1MG at bed time and .5 mg in the morning. I dont know if I can stomach this trial and error business. If it "doesnt work" tonight she will talk to the Dr and see what else they can try.

Wish me luck!
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Thanks for the replies. The hospice nurse will come tomorrow, but I just left a message for her to call me. I will reply and let you know if they add anything. My Mom needs peace, and so do I!
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Only child,
I'm an only too. After awhile the Ativan wasn't cutting it anymore (mom took it for years before the dementia showed up) then during the dementia until she got anxious, frustrated and mean.

We tried Seroquel and something else but Xanax (generic name Alprazolam) has worked the best. She's calm but alert. It is an anti anxiety medicine of the catagory benzodiazepines.

Dear Heavens, it's such a hard road having to try one medication then another until you find something that works.

I dont much like Haldol for the demented elderly, just from my nursing experiences.

Good luck. Hope this helps.
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anonymous786886 Jul 23, 2018
Thanks Sue!

She is on Seroquel and that has been helping her sleep, but maybe she needs Xanax added. Thanks for the suggestions!
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I would be interested in suggestions as well. My mom does the same thing and they seem to ramp her up.
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Reply to Rainey9
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Valium is the best tranquilizer IMO. But it seems it’s not prescribed very often anymore. I suppose it won’t hurt to ask the nurse...
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