How do you know when dementia medication is not working?

Follow
Share

Mom talkes to herself, and actually believes what she and her imaginary person are talki.g about. This happens even though she takes her medicine. She has started walking out the door due to her hallucinations.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
21

Answers

Show:
1 2 3
The hallucinations may be controlled or eliminated by your doctor prescribing an antipsychotic drug.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Sorty,what kind of alarm system?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Yes, that's the way it is here. What kind of alarms? & how can we keep her from walking out?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

It's not the medication; it's the progression of the Alzheimer's disease. My 86 yr old mother, now in early 3rd stage Alzheimer's, has conversations with her family (all deceased), imagines there are people talking about her, believes we are going on a trip to Nebraska and asks me about it every day, many times a day. She's up at all hours, fully dressed, almost out the door (we have alarms on all doors and she sets them off nightly) and she's been taking Aricept for almost 2 years now. It has never "worked" or shown any sign of slowing down the progression of this disease. She "has" to take it though as we have Hospice and this seems to be one of the "accepted" medications Alzheimer's patients have to have. Educate yourself about this horrendous, tragic, seemingly random condition and you'll understand a little bit of how your mom perceives the world. Her world is getting more narrow and she's becoming more concerned with getting her needs met. Pretty soon, that's all she'll be doing. It's a brand new day for her, every day. Yesterday, or even the last 5 minutes doesn't exist. Her view is changing and it's a whole lot different than you or I see it.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Nancy, one way to tell if a drug is still working is to stop it (gradually if necessary) and observe any changes. In our 10-year journey many times the neurologist said, "he may not be benefiting from drug x anymore, but he is doing so well I am afraid to rock the boat, Do you want him off x for a trial?" I didn't want to rock the boat, either. When we finally discontinued several drugs on hospice, it became clear that they still were helping him. He went back on them. Being agitated or paranoid or hallucinating is not "comfort care."

As I understand it, hallucinations generally come later in Alzheimer's. They are a diagnostic criterion for Lewy Body Dementia. In that form of dementia hallucinations are often the first symptom noticed. They are usually benign and not frightening to the person having them. Night agitation can occur in many kinds of dementia. Wandering is most often associated with Alzheimer's, from what I've read.

Getting your husband more hands-on in her care sounds like a very good move. At some point the two of you many have to make tough decisions about her future care, and the better in tune he is with his mother's behavior. the more realistic those decisions can be.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I am her son's wife & care for her the most. But he & his sister make the final decisions. I cried my heart out that day. She is not my mom, but I love her. She has changed so much. I have insisted he take more responsibility of her. She responds better. In her eyes I am not family.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Nancy, the police will assist only so many times, and then you need a better placement for her. Start looking at Memory Care facilities before APS is called in.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I tried to look at what you wanted me to look at. It does not come up. Mo stays awake all night and has been staying awake the next day till 8 or 9 in the morning. Sometime most of the 2nd day. We had a bad day yesterday. She walked off, got mad cause I wouldn't leave her. I called the cops. They got her to stay at where they got her to stop till her son came to get her
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

MG12, many times antipsychotic meds are necessary to control aggressive behaviors while making them more comfortable. Nobody likes to feel agitated, confused or angry particularly when it is accompanied by yelling, hitting, biting, wandering, etc to say nothing about the possibility of injury to others and danger to oneself.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Dave, please expand your comments. Thanks.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

1 2 3
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.