My sister, who has dementia and is in AL, was caught smoking, TWICE, w/her oxygen ON and her travel tank in her apt! Once she was lying on the bed!
The Dir. of Nursing has graciously agreed not to kick her out this time b/c the two infractions were on the same day and, hopefully, it was a ‘glitch’ in her thinking. (She ‘flickered’ like a light going out, saying that she had ALWAYS smoked and had her cigarettes & ashtray out and no one had a problem w/it, then, 10-15 seconds later, swearing that she hadn’t been smoking and didn’t know why everyone was saying she had been. (She did this several times. Unfortunately, I don’t know if this was real or another version of her former addictive, manipulative behavior.)
However, I am concerned b/c my sister is, or has been, addicted to MANY things in her life, and I don’t want her returning to these behaviors. I am afraid that sometime when she goes out w/them shopping, or can ask another tenant who’s going out, she may purchase alcohol or more cigarettes!
The only change that I am aware of is that she was put on Namenda about 3 1/2 months ago and, since it was helping her track w/the present, her dose was doubled six weeks ago. Can a person w/dementia react to these cognitive medications in a way that allows them to remember/resume habits from their former life and believe they’ve never stopped?