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My mom is restless more and more. She walks around the house for hours. Mom has alzheimers. Lately she can't settle down. She walks around the house for hours. I can distract her briefly sometimes with a book or TV or a chore, but it only lasts for a few minutes. Right now it is 11 am and she's been walking around on and off for 4 hours. If today is like other days recently, she won't stop all day. Any ideas?

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Hi MiaMadre - thanks for the suggestions. Mom only gets her BP done at the DR office. Personally, I have always found it a little painful and she has too. The difference is that before she had Alz, she understood what was happening and never complained. I'll ask about the leg option. I've never heard of that before.

Mom is on depakote for the pacing/agitation and had her depression med increased. Actually, she's been on the depakote for 3 weeks with no changes, so it was increased last week. We read the drug sheets on everything she gets before she starts taking it. I'm going to give it another week and see how she is doing before calling the Dr back. It is so hard to tell what could be caused by a change in drugs and what is normal progression of the disease. She had NO changes in drugs when the pacing/agitation started, so I'm guessing that was the disease.
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Julie; What medication was she put on? Have you read the data sheet on the drug to make sure that she isn't have a an adverse reactions? Even though our doctors will tell us to give the medication a 'chance to work' it could be that she is having an adverse reaction. Are you sure she doesn't have a UTI??

Now about the BP issue: here's a tip that may work when she complains about having her 'BP' taken. Let her take YOUR BP afterwards! My mother was MUCH more willing to tolerate the 'pain' if she was able to play 'nurse' with me after we took her BP! Sharing the experience may help her feel more in 'control' and part of the situation, instead of the 'patient'.

p.s. ask her doctor if taking her BP on her LEG would be ok. I know that the reading can be slightly higher than an 'arm reading' but it is less painful. There can be different readings, and if lower then it can indicate arterial blockage in the legs. SO if Mom is still fighting having her BP taken on her ARM, maybe leg readings will be less stressful.

I hope this helps, but please talk to her doctor first before changing any protocol. OH.. also if she is REALLY unwilling, pretend the 'doctor' just called and wanted to know her BP! That worked for me a few times too!
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Susan - luckily, Mom is still able to tell us when she's in pain. You should hear her complain when she gets her BP taken!

stany - I'm not sure what you meant to send with that link, but the drug that comes up on the page when I go to it is Viagra. I don't think that's what she needs. :-)

Her Dr has changed her meds and told us to give it 2 months. I hope they start to help soon. The last 4 days have been the worst ever. She says she's nervous and doesn't know what to do. Redirection, distraction, assurances that she is safe - nothing is working.
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She may have physical pain and is trying to find a comfortable
position,
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Hi Picture,
I saw the video. Very helpful information. I left a message for him to call me also. He knows the Laws here in Florida, especially this county where we are at the moment, but I wonder if by chance he may know the laws of NYC. I'm also not looking to put my mom in a nursing home. If anyone out there knows the Laws in NYC in reference to Medicaid Please, I am begging let me know.
You have all been so nice. I'm kind of lost in this site to find answers or people, so if you don't get a response right away, don't think I don't care.
Love you all... Hugs to everyone, and lets hope we can all find help. God is good!!!!!!!
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Mousey the best thing you can do for yourself is get her on medicaide go to an elder lawyer and get help and the social worker is the nursing home will help you you will not beresponsible for any of her expenses not like a spouse would be -a lawyer told me that 60% of caregivers die before the one they are taking care do-she will get good care and will have to spend down her money and then her care will continue on Medicaide you have your own problems you need to think of yourself I am telling you this from experience I had to make a decision about my husband and knew his care was too much for me but I was left with a pile of debt because I was the spouse-you will not be responsible for her expenses-you can use her money for the elder lawyer because you will need help with the paperwork she probably does not know where her documents are and the social workers and lawyer will know how to get all the items you need.
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Hi Luvmom,
Thanks for responding, but I cannot do that as I get help myself as far as benefits go.. I am also sick myself.

Hugs to All
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Hi Picture,
Thanks for your response. I have been searching and reading online and it said sometimes the caregiver goes first with all the stress. I don't think at this point and time it's wise to lose $70,000. Would my mother benefit from the sale, Yes. This in a Nursing home would last maybe 2 years. Yes, I know Medicaid is federal but maybe they might be able to help in some way. Also, I do have POA. This is something my Mother always wanted to leave us with (Me, Brother and Grandson). I am doing my best with her. I am stressed out, and could use help. I know there has to be a way without selling what she worked so hard for. My brother also invested into this property but was put only under her name. It's a lot of things involved in this situation.
I appreciate all responses!
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I take my mother to KMart or the grocery store and let her push the little cart. It wears her out and she'll nap.
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Mousey, you can not only sell her home but as DPOA get a cregivers contract so you will get paid for her care, thus weaning it down until you can get medicaid. It can also can pay for her supplies and daycare, etc. I am doing the same thing now.
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Mom is experiencing anxiety and that's how she deals with it. If you can understand what is causing her anxiety, you might be able to eliminate or reduce it and this may reduce her pacing. With Alzheimer's you may want to pick and choose your battles. If she is safe while pacing and not hurting anything, it may be OK to let her continue and try to work on what's causing the anxiety. Distractions work well but you are right they usually do not last long. Good Luck!
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Mousey,
Unfortunatly Medicaid is Federal. They know everything!
Please get power of attorney so you can sell her house and the money can be used for your mom. Also some senior homes will do this for you. They all have several programs, you just have to start calling. Believe me they will be helpful as this is their business. The biggest reason we invest in homes is so we have an investment for when we get old and need it. Use it for her and get your life back. Then attend to her on a much more even keel for you.
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bless your heart... take care and know you are in my thoughts!!
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Jaye - we have another Dr appt this friday. She started Depakote for the anxiety about 3 weeks ago, but no changes yet. She can still tell me if something is hurting and she hasn't mentioned that at all. I don't think Vitamin D is a problem just cause she drinks 3-4 glasses of milk every day, 2 nutritional drinks, and a multi-vitamin.

We went for a walk yesterday and after 10 min she was tired. She went home and rested for about 20 min and then started pacing again. sigh
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Have you taken your Mom to the Dr recently? Does something seem to be hurting her? Many times folks with Alz disease are restless. Have you tried any medications? One of the things that is known to work for "sundowner's " a form of restlessness is Vitamin D. I would encourage you to check with her Dr, but it could help. take care, J
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I will see this week if they pick her up for a day care program. if not I'm leaving back to NY and apply for medicaid and lie. It's not fair.
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I can relate to all this as my Mom has alzheimers and possibly coming down with Parkinsons also. I call it the Monster disease. And I can't get help because she owns a property in Florida and I her daughter who cares for her live in NY. All she has is medicare and it does not pay for 4 or 5 hrs of someone coming in to give me a break. sometimes i feel she will out live me. thats a good thing maybe.
Lets just pray it gets better for all of us caregivers.
Hugs to all
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Linda - I'm so sorry to hear about your sister. If you really feel that you can't take care of her, you need to tell her now while you and she can make other plans. Maybe she could come for a visit and you both could tour ALFs near you that take dementia patients. That way she could choose a couple that she likes and she would still be close to you. I really wish I had been able to do this with my mom when she could still make that decision.

Ed - I haven't looked a lot on that site yet, but I will. The pacing does drive me nuts, but I could deal with it if she was content.
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JULIE:

Until she moves from the stage of Alzheimer's/dementia she's in, you might not be able to stop her unless you tie her down. I'm sure all all that scurrying about is driving you bananas, so I suggest you go to www.alz.org and search under "stages of alzheimer's/dementia" for coping strategies -- or at least what to expect in the near future.

We're here to support one another, so keep us posted.

-- ED
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oh lord ! shes so young !!
my sister is 64 and dr said she is in early stage of dementia , she had few mini strokes last year , and i am so worried about her . we live thousands miles away from eachother .
she did ask me if i could take her home with me when ifher boyfreidn passes away . he s not doing good , im thinking uhhh i dont wanna take care of another elders , my dad is a handfull and hes 87 . oh lord what shall i do ??
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Mom is 63. She has Alzheimer's and is in Stage 5. I finally found a movie yesterday that she wanted to watch and she settled down for a couple of hours. Later she apologized to me for having a bad day. I told her that I just wished I could help her when she's restless. She told me that it wasn't my job to do that. Breaks my heart!
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Julie: And how old is your Mom?
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She may very well have RLS maybe a trail of the meds for that would help-I do not think AL will be a right fit for her she may need an ALZ Unit I am sorry to say-they have much experience with many different behaivors and wll know the best thing for her.
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N1K2R3 - thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, Mom usually refuses to go outside for a walk when she's asked. And if she does, after 10 min or so she wants to go home. If she was walking around and enjoyed herself, I wouldn't mind. The problem is the agitation and crying. SHE doesn't like the fact that she is doing it either.
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Let her walk. Hire a walker (a person), just likea dog walker, and let them both walk outside for about and hour and a half. Seems as though she'll be tired, and ready for an afternoon nap.
p.s. This would also give you a few minutes to do someting for yourself.
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Mom's dr. prescribed Depakote to level out her moods. Her restlessness and anxiety got so bad that we had to take her out of day care. She's been on the Depakote for 2 weeks and we haven't seen any changes yet. Today is another day when she can't settle down. She doesn't want to read or watch TV. She doesn't like crafts, puzzles, etc.

She's been wandering the house for ~3 hours and is crying. It breaks my heart, but I don't know what to do. Anything I suggest she doesn't want to do.

I'm in the process of looking at ALFs. I know it can take a long time to get into one, esp since Mom is on Medicaid. I don't think we need it yet, maybe in a year or so. But I've been told that we need to figure out the issue with her restlessness or no place will even take her. I don't know what to do. Her caregiver that is here during the week (who is really good) has trouble when she gets like this too.

Any other ideas????
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I wish my mother Could walk... : (
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Could there actually be a physical reason why someone would walk constantly? I mean what about restless leg syndrome? Maybe her legs feel better when she's on them walking, how can someone tell if that's the case?
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I take Mom for at least one walk a day - more if she seems restless - and I always take her to the store with me to get exercise there also. I find that really helps. During the day, I'm not concerned if she is walking around the house but we have put a gate up at night so that she can't get near the steps or out into the kitchen and possibly hurt herself.

My daddy had Alzheimer's (died in 1988) and when he would say he wanted to "go home", they would put their coats on and go for a brief walk. When they came back in the house, they were "home".

Another reason for the wandering can be that there is too much clutter. I can tell when I have let things sit without putting them away because she's up and moving a lot. Right now we're getting ready for our youngest daughter's wedding and her wedding dress is in the living room hanging out. It is a little distressing to Mom but I just keep telling her it will be gone by the weekend and back to normal.

I really find that the more I keep her occupied (puzzles, solitaire, etc.) where I am actively doing something with her, the less she roams.

Good luck!
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Walking around the house for hours might be distracting but it is certainly good for her health. Just let her walk would be my first advice because the opposite of that is un-healthy. Ask anyone who cares for the elderly if it is better to sit most of the day or walk.
The person who said "have things set up Montessori style around the house so activities catch her eye and attention. Paint, brushes, and pictures or crafts are set out on the table and left out, they want easy, larger print short stories, older children's books are good, the EASY crossword puzzles", "take her outside to walk around and look at flowers /magazines she likes, clothes to fold, foods easily handled to snack on, or that are out and she can pour into a plastic bowl herself, etc. But really, physical activity is so important. Getting out of the house, does not have to be long, take a little walk and examine the flowers, just to do it and they get tired fast." Said it best.
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