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I care for my 96 year old mother. She is oriented, but has short memory issues. She ambulates well. A few nights a week she has trouble sleeping, she gets anxious and then says she feels nauseated. I realize now it is anxiety. I see her Dr next week and I am thinking of ask him if its ok to give her Xanax a half dose of .25 mg. Anyone have experience using Xanax or something like this with an older adult?

Msbarbie, check and see if any of Mom's meds have a side effect to make someone sleepy. Have Mom take that med a couple hours before bedtime instead of during the day. See if that helps. I do that with my blood pressure meds. And regular low dose 4hr antihistamines zone me out very quickly, but I wouldn't have Mom take them without her doctor's approval.

Some people use TV shows to go to sleep. Find a station that has your Mom's favorite shows where the network shows 2 or 3 shows one after another. It works for me, to redirect my brain off of world events.
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Reply to freqflyer
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My mother(84) uses Citalopram and it seems to help her. The dose is 20 mg once a day. She also takes 10 mg Melatonin @ night to gelp ger settle down and sleep.
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Reply to InFamilyService
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I’ve had success with trazadone for my dad’s (dementia) anxiety that interfered with his sleep, but his anxiety was about not being able to sleep, so it was a vicious cycle and self fulfilling prophecy (the number one way to not sleep is to worry about whether or not you can sleep). He’s also on Wellbutrin and lexapro for Depression. My doc would not do ativan because Dad tends to hallucinate (visual and auditory) and that can make it worse.
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Reply to Carolann2244
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It depends on the doctor, but due to my dad’s Conversion Disorder ( he has episodes similar to panic attacks ) his primary prescribed him low dose Xanax. He’s 83. He only gets a few and uses them as needed. It varies, but, usually he only needs no more than 2-3 per month. As soon as he takes it, he lays in the bed and takes a long nap. He’s very careful for the rest of the day and no falls have occurred. If not for the Xanax, there would be a 911 call and trip to ER. It’s a risk benefit analysis. My mom has prescription for Vistaril. That relaxes her and helps her sleep. She gets anxiety and then nauseous quite a bit.

I agree with others here though that a daily anti-anxiety might be explored. My cousin, who had dementia took daily Cymbalta and it helped her a lot. There are a lot of options. I hope you find something that helps your mom. It’s amazing how prevalent anxiety and depression is with seniors.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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You might want to have a conversation with your Mom's doctor. Ask about Lexapro -- an anti anxiety medication. My 99 yr old mother was started on a half of a 5 mg pill. THe given reason was that her blood pressure was fluctuating and the doctor and I thought stress might be contributing to the fluctuation. Mom was unable to tolerate the whole 5 mg so we cut the pills in half. Over a period of a couple of months - with a hospital stay for a broken ankle - she has been able to adjust to the full 5 mg. My experience is that doctors really don't like to put senior citizens on anti anxiety or depression medication due to the potential of side effects. Also, it takes a while for the medication to begin to take effect.
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Reply to Hedgie
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As with any medications for anxiety it may take some tweaking to get the dose and or the medication right.
It can also depend on any other medical conditions she has. With some medications there can be dangers depending on conditions.
Also keep in mind that some medications can make her a fall risk
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Reply to Grandma1954
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I cannot get my mother's doctor to prescribe ANY calming medication for my 94 y/o mother, although it would do everyone a huge favor. She's a huge fall risk, and Xanax increases that risk, so it's really hard to get the green light on those types of meds for the very elderly. You may have better luck than I've had, though, it's def worth a try.

Good luck!
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Reply to lealonnie1
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