My wife with stage 5/7 ALS seems very agitated most of the time - pacing, wanting to go home, etc. What are the best medicines to relieve her agitation? My doctor usually waits for me to suggest a medicine. What do nursing homes use? Every time I go to a nursing home all the patients look almost comatose just quietly sitting and staring into space. I guess this is for the convenience of the staff. I wouldn't want that for my wife.

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Definitely not a good doctor...sounds like one that you go to if you are a drug addict...with a list of drugs you want to "order".

It is your job as the caregiver to describe the symptoms of your wife to the doctor. It is the doctor's job to choose the correct medicine for the patient. Ever single patient is different and reacts to drugs differently. A good doctor would know the patient's history, current medications, and would then prescribe something for the condition. Examples of agitation drugs are anti anxiety medications like lorazepam (ativan) and valium, or anti depressants like zoloft, prozac, and celexa, or anti psychotics like seroquel, zyprexa, or risperdal. This is a very small list...there are a hundred more possibilities. I have a medical background and even I wouldn't want to "suggest" a drug to a need to find a good doctor.

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I can't speak on behalf of dementia patients, but I suspect that many of the patients that seem to be non-animated, are that way due to the normal course of their condition. Dementia will eventually render the person incapable of knowing their surroundings, unable to speak, eat, walk, or focus on people and objects and they can't even smile, so, I wouldn't assume that they are drugged to be in that condition.

I would be curious as to why your doctor wants you to suggest the medication. Normally, the doctor knows what would work best to treat her symptoms. I think most places use the most conservative medication treatment possible. Since mental anguish is painful to the patient, I would want my loved one to be treated for it and if meds help, then that's a good thing, imo.

When my loved one was having severe anxiety, crying, worrying incessantly, nail biting, pacing, the nurse at the AL discussed a medication for her. It wasn't about the staff, but my loved ones' distress that was the concern. I discussed it with her doctor and it was very effective in reducing her symptoms. Her medication is for anxiety, depression and pain, but is not a narcotic. It works great. She is alert, active and I've never seen her sleepy, except one day when she wasn't feeling well, but normally, she's wheeling herself around Memory Care and interacting with other residents and staff.

Since people in nursing homes are also physically ill, they may be on pain medication. Is your wife in Memory Care AL or Nursing home?
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Your DOCTOR waits for YOU to suggest a medication?

Might I suggest that you've got the wrong doctor attending your wife? Has she been seen by a geriatric psychiatrist? Who is following her dementia?
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