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Need to get a geriatric psychiatrist on the team!
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Adding to my previous post. My mom in MC just put on Abilify. Yes it comes with black box warnings for elderly with dementia, as does remeron and seroquel, which are commonly used. Are they modern day thorazine? Maybe. But do they enhance quality of life? Yes.

This is such a terribly hard journey. So very difficult. You don't get out if it without layers of guilt. You don't. I wish I could be more, I don't know, optimistic, flowery. But I can't. This is so terribly terribly difficult. We are to see my mom tomorrow. Three weeks after we were told not to come, because she becomes so agitated when we do come because in her mind, we dumped her there. And she is disruptive to the others. This is a nightmare, frankly.
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Reply to Segoline
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ZenZen Jan 25, 2019
Your mom is acclimating to her new environment. Took my mom about a year and she was downright nasty to people. She is doing great now after I had her taken off of medication that was contraindicated for the elderly with dementia. I'd gotten a list of her meds and researched them. Then I called and said "Take her OFF of that." She was falling asleep in her plate at meals, nodding off a lot. That's when I researched her meds and had two of them removed. Lo and behold she woke up! Now she is laughing and giggling all the time, always has something smart to say and I love it.

Yes, it is truly a nightmare when first getting into this whole dementia Alzheimer's thing. I went through every gamut. But then you find your way and learn different ways of dealing with it.

One thing, though My mom was taking Aricept. It gave her nightmares and I stopped giving it when she was at home. Notified the doctor and he asked about trying something else. I said no. Not going to start experimenting on her with those poisons. Mom has been absolutely fine without them. She's on Vitamins B and D, Lasix, Vitamin K (because of the Lasix) and a pain med. She does fine. She fell and broke her hip in the Memory Care a year ago. She's been in a wheelchair since and that won't change. Very high fall risk. She can still feed herself and hold conversation.

She's got her little group of friends there and she's happy. I actually love going and visiting her, mixing it up with her and her gang. They are hilarious. We have lots of fun and laughter.

Don't let them tell you that you can't visit your mother. They'd never be able to tell me that. They were absolutely wrong. The worst advice I've ever heard of. Your mom not seeing you now thinks you really left her. So be prepared. She must see you and other family members regularly. Makes her feel safe and loved. If my mom doesn't see me regularly she thinks I died then she is crying.

I go in there happy, happy, happy and up, up, up and joking. I say yes to everything whatever they say. By the time I leave they all have smiles on their faces. And that's what it's all about. We just laugh, laugh, laugh. One time they had me laughing so hard I was wiping tears. Was still laughing even after I got home!

Visit your mom 2-3 days per week (if possible) for an hour or so while she gets used to things. She will ease in eventually. My mom doesn't even talk about going home any more. She's happy.

Enjoy your mom and just make the best of things that you can.
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She is in a new unfamiliar environment which is very scary for dementia patients. Get Dr script for Seroquel. It calms her. Also try melatonin at night. Bring familiar pictures for her to see. Don’t visit too often because she’s going to beg you to take her home. Hugs 🤗
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Reply to CaregiverL
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Yes it is, unfortunately. You will have to be ok with psychotropic meds added.
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Reply to Segoline
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My dad has been in a memory care facility near my home for 2 years. I visit at least twice a week, spending a few hours total per week. I can always spot the new resident(s), as they are lost, agitated and often angry. Evidently my dad was as well, but staff suggested we stay away for one month - the first month he was there. Which was great because I personally needed that month to get my head straight! Most residents, my dad included, accept their new environment in a month or two. I never, ever expected my dad to be a compliant resident in any type of facility, but he is a "model" resident and seem truly aware that he is receiving good care. Just remember, people enter these facilities as new residents every day and the staff is equipped to deal with most behaviors in the long run.
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Reply to Upstream
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Our psychiatric PA was with me every step of the way in terms of medication, and HER focus was strictly on LO’s comfort and function.
I hope someone will step up and say that their LO did much better, or even some better, on one of the drug based treatments for dementia, or specific drugs for Alzheimer’s, but in our household that was not the case in the 4 previous family members who ultimately succumbed to dementia related symptoms, and it isn’t with my present LO now.
My LO is not drugged out or glazed over, she enjoys guests and the music activities that are offered, and her level of dementia is about what it was when she entered. She takes the lowest dose of Buspar (I think) offered, along with an SSRI she’d taken previously following the loss of her sister.
I’ve seen people, among them a close relative, who have become frantic when an older relative is diagnosed with dementia, and demanded or begged the administration of something to treat the dementia, or possibly even sadder “stop it from getting worse”. I’ve yet to see any drug treatment do that.
I am SO grateful for our psychiatric professionals. Not only have they allowed LO to become more relaxed, comfortable and content, but they also provided me with communication tools that allowed me to perform the services she needed so that her financial care as well as her personal welfare could be managed by me in the most efficient way.
I wouldn’t want her BOMBARDED with drugs, but judicious use with my cautious observation and input? Definitely Italy worth a try.
Drug therapies may be a terrible Master, I agree, but CAN be a worthwhile Servant.
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Reply to AnnReid
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ZenZen

my mom had told us, actually screamed at us each time we went to visit, get out of my life, get of my site.

Same with her grandchildren. It has been distressing for all..

Hence the suggestion we take a break from visiting.
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Reply to Segoline
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It's common. I don't know about normal.

How well do you know and get on with the people looking after her?
How was your mother before her admission?
How much was your mother able to understand about what was happening?
Were you with her for the admissions process, are you able to visit her? (you or anyone else she knows as well, that is)
How long has she been in the unit?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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We had this issue, and it's very upsetting. My mom ended up going to the adult psychiatric hospital, twice, because of this. The first time, in August, she was still in rehab/memory care, and she actually attacked her roommate. (She's 93. How she was able to do this, I still don't know. Adrenaline?) I hated that rehab because it was unpleasant. Yuck.

Luckily, the psych hospital for elders in my city is fantastic, state of the art. They got her settled down.

Then we moved her to a very nice Memory Care/ Assisted Living, she became combative again, and she had to go back for a second time to the psych hospital, in October. Again, they were fantastic.

Now it is January, unfortunately the dementia is progressing, but she has very much stabilized and become a part of the group of residents at the Memory Care.

It was a very difficult time for me when she had to go to the psych hospital. They kept her for about a week each time and monitored all medications and got her smoothed out. It may have been harder on me than it was on her.
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Reply to Rabanette
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Mfreemam Jan 27, 2019
Mom was sent to the emergency psych ward at the hospital. They are going to be sending her to a geriatric psych hospital to see what’s going on and hopefully be able to regulate her medication. Glad it was helpful for your mom, gives me hope.
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Moving into a new environment can be confusing, and quite an adjustment. Depending on the ability to communicate with staff (strangers) helps with the adjustment period. Care approach also plays an important role. When are these behaviors more common, morning, or evening, is it too early, is it in the middle of the night when she is sleeping and awakened. I have learned that even with individuals diagnosed with behavioral patterns, approached properly can eliminate possible aggressive behavior. Common may be a better word to use. Losing independence and having to adjust to a new way of living involuntarily, there is a normal expectancy to have a adjustment period. I suggest if financially able to have a private caregiver help with the adjustment period, someone who can visit daily to help with assisting where needed, but more so to have a familiar face opposed to a possibly different caregiver each day and shift, this allows your mom to adjust on her terms.
Personal tip.
It is okay to ask.
Administration and Management are usually the go to for questions, but caregivers, experienced caregivers who work with your mom, should be capable of giving you insight on her pattern that could be very beneficial, could help prevent unnecessary treatment and additional medication.
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Reply to MyCalling
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