I've searched on this site and read a lot about the issues of this and similar medications. It seems that there are so many pros and cons regarding the use of this medication. I've read about the potential for aggression, possibility of side effects that could require that it be discontinued, but then the rapid decline that is likely to follow.
I'm considering this medication for my cousin. She's in a Memory Care facility. What are the major factors to consider?
She is mostly in Stage 6, but still retains good verbal skills. She is very aware of her surroundings and able to feed herself. She has no real short term memory, but fair long range memory. She's in a wheelchair, can't walk, but can stand to get up and down and in and out of bed. She used to be able to push the wheels, but now must be reminded. She is bladder incontinent. She is quite pleasant and appears happy when I visit or call. She is cooperative.
She is on statins, blood pressure meds, 2 diabetic pills, vitamins and aspirin. All are under control currently.
She is in a facility that will care for her until the end. There are residents there with all the various stages of the disease.
She has Vascular Dementia mixed with Alzheimers and had sharp and marked decline over the last 8 months. She needs assistance with everything except eating and scooting herself around in her wheelchair with her feet.
Someone told me that the medications may give the patient only modest delay of progression, even as little as 6 months. I think if we can keep her talking and feeding herself for 6 more months, that it's worth it, but is it? Is it worth the side effects and the risk of further decline if it has to be discontinued?
Any suggestions of factors to consider would be appreciated. Are these medications in line with a palliative care approach?