I am the guardian for my step-dad. My mom died very suddenly last year from encephalitis caused by the shingles virus. She was 77 and healthy.
She leaves behind her 92 yo, legally blind husband of 30 years who was diagnosed with dementia approx 5 years ago. We were blown away when step-dad became the surviving spouse!
My mom was a nurse and legal advocate. She had planned everything out expecting the demise of her husband and handled every tiny detail of his life to care for him when his dementia became more debilitating.
The last year has been insane dealing with step-dad. He has always been stubborn and opinionated. Dementia has magnified that to the extreme. His daily life changed so dramatically in an instant. He was placed in memory care facility in January 2020.
Since then he wants nothing more than to go home. It’s relentless and obsessive. He’s a scrappy, agile, surprisingly strong 92 yo! We are concerned he will hurt himself or an innocent bystander when he goes into his rages.
He is currently on his 3rd hospitalization at the Psych Hospital. He landed there after tossing his room, dragging his mattress and recliner out into the hall. He then pushed through an exterior door (which emits a siren) got on his walker to try and hoist himself over the 8-9 foot high gate. All drug therapies have been tried and failed.
So, onto my initial question...his psychiatrist has suggested trying ECT “Shock Therapy”. It involves being anesthetized for a few minutes and then a seizure is induced.
I’ve had two days to process this and have to say I am on the fence. I will be talking more to the doctor tomorrow to learn more. Considering anesthesia and shock to a 92 year old seems insane to me but so does the way we are living now. He emits so much rage and hatred, I can’t imagine what it’s like in his head for him. If we are at the end of being able to have any sort of control through behavioral and medical means, is trying ECT too much?
Does anyone have firsthand knowledge of this?
I am feeling great pressure to decide something. The facility he has been living at has determined he can’t live there unless his rage is controlled. They are recommending a locked skilled nursing facility.