How do I handle an issue of possible pharmacology with the care facility where my grandmother resides?

Follow
Share

She has been in a facility for almost 3 years. She went in when her advanced dementia got to the point of her safety being in question by staying in her home. I have been appointed her conservator by the probate court. I live in New York City and she is in eastern Connecticut.

She had a fall about 2 months ago and had to go to the emergency room, which then revealed an advanced UTI. The 2nd day of her hospitalization she suddenly became (for lack of a better word) a demon ... trying to leave the hospital, saying she was going to jump out the window, thinking everybody was against her and out to hurt her. For the next four days, she barely calmed down but she was given a discharge and sent back to the facility. I spoke to her on the telephone the night she got back to her room (which was in the independent living / retirement section) and she was almost incomprehensible - didn't know where she was, who she was ... it was very alarming and disturbing. The next day I got a call from the administration informing me that she was being taken from her room and being sent to the "E&F Wing" ... apparently the area for advanced alzheimer's patients. Under lock and key ... to which she did not respond well to at all, and her alarming behavior got even worse. I was told that she had just "slipped off the deep end with her alzheimer's" and was told there were no plans to let her return to her permanent room.

That was when I started looking long and hard into the medications that she was being given. Tramadol being one of the very alarming ones. I managed to get a list of the meds from the nurse and entered them in to drugs.com, which returned a list of 8 MAJOR interaction warnings. The worst part was that the side-effects of these interactions described EXACTLY the way that she had been behaving (i.e. suicide threats, aggitation, nervousness, inability to maintain balance ... etc.) When I asked one of the nurses if this could be of concern, they summarily brushed me off ... and have since stopped communicating with me at all. I have left numerous messages with all different positions of administration there ... if nothing else to find out what they are planning to do with her, but no one will talk to me now. I'm sure I have to go there personally this week and have some kind of fit to get their attention ... but I'm horrified that I might make things worse for her.

Any advise would be SO welcome at this point. I'm really afraid of making her situation and/or her disease worse This is killing me ... she raised me and is now depending on me to fix this and I don't know what to do.

Thank you
Daniel

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
2

Answers

Show:
Hi Daniel,
Drug interactions often cause symptoms in elders like you are describing. Another issue is that hospitalization itself can cause dementia symptoms in elders. Also, the trauma of the hospitalization can tip the scale toward dementia if the person was on the edge prior to hospitalization.
What bothers me most is that the nursing home is ignoring your concerns. You might want to talk to the ombudsman for that nursing home. You can find that person on the official state website or else by typing in the home's Zip code on www.ltcombudsman.org. The ombudsman is your representative when it comes to LTC problems. It wouldn't hurt to check and see if he or she has suggestions for making the nursing home cooperate more. They need to know you aren't blaming them for your grandmother's problem, but you want them to help you find out what is causing it. A suggested article: https://www.agingcare.com/articles/cognitive-decline-after-hospital-stay-147836.htm
My heart goes out to you, Daniel. This is a horrible place to be (if you read the article you'll know I was in a similar situation. We still don't know what caused my dad's dementia, but it was irreversible).
Carol
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thank you, Carol. I've read similar stories here, and its just awful... to everyone involved. I will look into the ombudsman and let you know what I find out. Thank you again.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions