How can you keep your sanity when your elderly loved one has such anxiety and ask the same things over and over and you just answered them?

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A friend of mine's mother has terrible anxiety and she can seldom leave or go away for any type of respite due to her mother's terrible anxiety. Her mother worries and ask repeated; every 15 or so minutes when is "she coming home" even after you have explained to her the whereabouts and times. She wrings her hands and frets and picks up the phone to call her daughter's cell to find her. It's frustrating for the daughter and stresses her until she is a mess herself.
What are some medications or options and resources I can suggest? Taking her to an adult day care is one, but her mom has such high anxiety I think the Care center may not take her.

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My mother has the same anxiety and agitation you have described. The saving grace had been the use of neurotin (off label use) prescribed by a Geriatric Psych MD. It has been the only helpful medication to date. I researched this and found literature on the use of neurotin in this fashion. Ativan should be used with extreme care when a pt has dementia---even small does of ativan may lead to delirium. Delirium on top of dementia is absolutely debilitating. best of luck
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Your friend's mom may have what's called vascular dementia from the stroke. It's not Alzheimer's but it IS dementia. So she can educate herself about dementia and know that although it's no AD now, it may be before long. CD often leads to AD, at least this is what my mom's docs have told me. She needs to be evaluated by a doc who has expertise in the treatment of extreme anxiety. Antidepressant therapy often works sometimes more than one drug is needed. Thanks for being an awesome friend.
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Another thing I'd try (in addition to medication) is some kind of activity that would engage your friend's mom so that her mind isn't just sitting there worrying. Singing together, watching a favorite TV show, sharing memories of favorite events or childhood, anything that would take her mind off her daughter's absence.

Or take the mom out for her own adventure while daughter is gone. If she's not ambulatory, get a transport or companion chair and take her to the mall to window shop and people watch. Or take her to a store or to the library or to a playground to watch kids play if the weather is nice. Or for a walk along a nature path or to a flower garden. I've done all of those things with my mom in a transport chair.

Or get the mom to a nearby Senior Center for some activities of her own. That way, she can have something to tell her daughter about her big day out.
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Thank you all for taking the time to respond and support us. I actually sit with her mother, who is comfortable with me and I have had training working with Dementia patients. Her mother doesn't have Dementia, but rather had a stroke a year ago and has short term memory problems. The problem is that whether it's me, the son in law, the 40 year old granddaughter,a trusted neighbor or old friend of her mother--her Mom still gets very anxious and wants her daughter to be in sight. Her Mom is still able to get around with the help of a walker and still able to go to the bathroom and feed herself. The Daughter is on a waiting list for respite help, but in the mean time is so burnt out and stressed over her mom taxing her physically and mentally.
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JessieBelle hits it on the head and in such a kind way.. It's the dementia and it's wearing on both of them.. Have your friend educate herself on this dreaded disease, it will help her to know that her Mom's behavior is not intentional...

Also she may have to try several medications before finding the best one that works for her Mom..

Tell your friend to join us here on AC!
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This is one of the most vexing problems for someone caring for someone with dementia. Often the person becomes so dependent on their child and becomes frightened without them. Talk to her about speaking with her mother's doctor to see if anything could make the mother feel more calm -- perhaps Ativan or another medication would help. I sympathize with your friend. We want to be there for our loved ones, but we just can't devote every moment. I hope the doctor can help and that the phase passes quickly. Until then, your friend may have to not answer her phone. Answering the phone may help her mother for a moment, but it is quickly forgotten. Your friend has to have some semblance of normality.

Does the mother have a caregiver in your friend's absence? I was thinking it may be something she wants to look into. If the mother had someone with her that she felt secure with, then she may not feel compelled to call her daughter so much.
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ATIVAN and maybe they should both take it. If you have anxiety, the patient picks up on it and suddenly it is contagious.
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