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Mom has Alzheimer's. She was put on certain psych meds when she was first put into the memory care unit of this organization because of her "behaviors." Agitation, hitting, etc. She's been there 3 years and she is declining - cannot even get out of her chair without their help. They have agreed to reduce but it is a constant battle and I'm so tired of it. Just had another meeting yesterday with staff and the same nurse that is causing such a stir about Mom's reduced meds said that after they reduced the psych meds she noticed behavior problems like when they get her up in the morning she flails her arms and is nasty, smacking...My Mom is 85 years old and she has never liked to get up early in the morning - neither do I! I just want to know what are my rights? I have POA for everything. I feel this nurse and a few other staff members just want Mom on the meds because they don't want to deal with her - as a human being. It's like they forget they are human beings and yes still have MOODS. Good and Bad. I want Mom off these for several reasons - first and foremost they are NOT approved by FDA for Alzheimer's and a couple of them have side effects - high risk in elderly and dementia for stroke. Secondly, she has been so dopey she makes no sense whatsoever - I understand what the disease does - I've done my research....but since they have actually reduced a couple of them I completely can tell the difference - she actually makes sense when we talk - not all the time but my MOM is in there. And I can tell just by looking in her eyes - she is so much more cognizant. This nurse said she just doesn't think she is happy that's why she wants her on these meds. ARE you kidding me NOT happy??? Who would be happy in this situation??? I am just very very frustrated!!!!! I am afraid to say too much directly to this nurse because I do not like confrontation and I am also afraid they might move my Mom - I like where Mom is with the exception of this issue. And this nurse has, in her own way, threatened that exact situation - like if Mom did not get on a certain med, and they could not handle her, they would have to move her. And there is really no other place Mom can go in our town with a memory care unit that takes Medicaid. Anyone else have these issues??? I am my Mom's ONLY voice - unfortunately for her!!!!

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Ismeraldo,
Windyridge has a reliable answer that you could consider, weighing heavily on his experiences.

He has been an excellent caregiver to both his parents.
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Thank you all for responding. To answer some of the questions. I have talked to the doctor. She agreed but was reluctant. I want her psych meds reduced because she does NOT need them. I realize I will never have my old Mom back - believe me I know this disease inside and out....but the remaining time we have together I do not want her so freaking dopey I can't make sense of what she is even saying. I could just look in her eyes and know she wasn't there. Now that they have reduced them somewhat I see a big difference but they are acting like you know if she gets out of hand in any shape or form they will have to put her back on them. It's like she can't even be a human being. What possible harm can she do to staff or residents if she can't even get out of her chair on her own that she needs to be so doped up? The comment was made that she did not tell them she loved them anymore - she just isn't happy - well that is just ridiculous. She tells me she loves me when I'm there and she gives me the biggest smile and her eyes are so much more clear. I just am tired of this feeling that if she acts out at all they consider that a "behavior" that must be negated. How would we all be if we got popped with a pill every time we "acted out?" I know this can't end well....I've never expected it to end well.
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My dad with ALZ went into assisted living then to memory care after mom died. He’s on two different calming meds. It’s powerful stuff and it dulls him out but he’s not a slobbering zombie.

Iwould much rather have my old dad back but he’s just not there now.

Without the meds Dad would be confused, angry, paranoid, and trying to break out every 10 minutes. And hitting staff. We had that happen a few months ago. That’s when he started his meds. Otherwise they would call me and tell me to get him out. No facility would take an ALZ patient with a strong right hook.

There’s nothing but bad and worse choices here. In our case we go with the meds. I relate this just as one persons experience. I realize it doesn’t apply to every case but it’s pretty typical.
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Ismeraldo Jul 21, 2018
Mom is 85 though....little woman....I realize there was a time when she had more strength....but things have changed. They are going by how she was when she was first admitted - it's like she can't shake that history. I appreciate your response but you are right every situation is different. Thank you for sharing with me though.
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You answered your own questions, having mom "doped" up makes it easier for the staff to deal with her.
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You should be talking to the doctor who is prescribing the meds. He goes by what the staff tell him. You also have the right to take Mom to a neurologist of ur choosing. He can evaluate what she is on and make changes. He could consult with the NH doctor. Mom being combative could be a UTI. Was she checked for that. Your Mom has rights and you are her advocate. She is not in prison.
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Ismeraldo Jul 21, 2018
Oh yes UTI has been checked over and over - she has had several of those....this is an ongoing situation. Has been for over a year now.....I have talked to doctor yes.
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So sorry this is happening to your Mom, but it is good you are advocating for her.
The doctor's orders supersede what the nurse wants. Can you get him on your side? Stating you don't believe she needs to be drugged into oblivion, and you have observed her as herself with less meds.

You should not need to be battling with the staff. Contact the ombudsmen, be brave, because she is not being treated properly as it is, and you should not be afraid of this nurse, mention the threat pending to the ombudsmen. Contact info is required by law to be posted.

Some caregivers have found more effective ways to work around this issue and did not make the report to the ombudsmen. Other resident's families may have already reported the nurse, likely. You may not be alone in this.
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Ismeraldo Jul 21, 2018
I have tried to do the workaround for a long time now. And that is because I empathize with all of them - I understand how hard this is - that is why she is there because I can't do it. For so many reasons. That is why I continued to give everyone space on this....and it's not all staff - I have some that are totally behind me but there are a couple headstrong....and unfortunately being one of the head nurses it makes it hard when she is in meetings. While I understand their situation they need to understand mine (ours). This is such a hard thing to go through without having to deal with things like this that should not be an issue. Like I said I understood it when she needed to have the meds...i did not like it but totally understood. I do not understand it now. Not at all. I have thought about the ombudsman route. Just haven't taken that step. Thank you !!
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