Mom was in assisted living and after a fall she was hospitalized for a week with a brain bleed. The bleed is stable, no surgery needed. The ordeal has escalated her dementia so she needed to move into memory care. She gets anxious in the afternoons so the staff recommended anxiety meds. I’m taking her to see her doctor tomorrow to see what he recommends but I wanted to know if anyone would share their experiences with good and bad results. Thank you

Don’t be afraid of meds! The goal is to take the edge off anxiety/agitation, not make people into drooling zombies. Her anxiety is no fun for her either. She needs help.

As others said, it may take some trial and error to pinpoint the med and exact dose that will work best.
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Reply to LoopyLoo

There are plenty of each, if you are asking about good and bad results.
Some seniors do very well with a very low dose antidepressant. Some do not.
I would start with that rather than anti-anxiety drugs as with these there can be further falls. They are hard on the already extant issues of poor balance due to an aging brain.
Take the best advice of the doc. I wish you good luck. Our own experience is really not useful to you as each individual is as unique as his or her own thumbprint.
If you want a few individual examples?
My friends mom who went from not recognizing anyone to completely non verbal is doing VERY well on a few edibles, recommended by her Austin, Tx. care home. She is happier and talkative and eating well, many more smiles.
My brother was given ativan and nearly climbed the wall and hung from the ceiling. But a move to ALF helped him enormously as did my taking on Trustee and POA. Once his worries left he did so much better with so many fewer hallucinations from his Lewy's.

As a nurse I know it takes some experimentation for each patient often enough, but I also know that anxiety is very dreadful, and it's worth the try.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

Anxiety meds helped my dad when he was 91 and had dementia as well as cancer. It was a tiny pill that we slipped under his tongue when he became agitated. He never even knew we put it in his mouth because it dissolved right away. It calmed him within minutes.
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Reply to Fawnby

Anxiousness in the afternoon is called Sundowning, a feature of dementia. Dementia robs people of their ability to bring themselves to a calm or accepting mental state due to loss of reason and logic and memory functions. The right med or meds in the right combo and dosage can make a helpful difference. My 94- yr old Mom just started the lowest dose of Lexapro with no side effects and it has helped her depression and negativity. She lives semi-independently next door to me.

It may take a while to find the right meds so be patient with the process.
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Reply to Geaton777

When my mother started developing dementia she started getting anxious - like a deer in the headlights - when anything out of the norm happened. We opted to try anxiety meds just to see if they would help her relax. Started with a low dose of Sertraline and we immediately saw a difference. As the years passed, we have increased her dosage to keep her leveled out. The medication hasn't had any other affect on her behavior other than to help her cope and stay calm. I can't speak for anyone else, but for us, the medication has been a Godsend. If it will help her find peace of mind, I would think it's worth a try. You can always take her off if there are adverse effects. Blessings.
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Reply to MamaChar

Anti anxiety medications do help.
It might take a bit to get the correct dose but they will help her.
It can not be pleasant to be anxious and upset. So giving her a medication that can ease that feeling would be good.
NOW...there is a possibility that some medications can make her a fall risk. But any medication can do that and many people with dementia are fall risk anyway due to poor gait.
(and if mom also has Vascular dementia that puts her at risk for falls anyway. And Vascular dementia is known for rapid declines.

If it helps your mom be more comfortable it is worth trying.
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Reply to Grandma1954

Ativan .5 mgs helped my mother a lot with her Sundowning agitation in Memory Care Assisted Living. Hospice administered it as needed.
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Reply to lealonnie1

My mother has dementia and is taking Lexipro for anxiety. It helps her tremendously to where she is basically content so yes, I would recommend it.
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Reply to Chriscalderwood

So, my loved one has tried several SSRIs. They caused her to have low sodium. She tried Trazadone, which caused severe edema in her legs. She was on Xanax three times a day. This has now been reduced to just the evening, which is good. She tried Ambien, caused her sodium to drop which caused a huge fall. Now, she's on Risperdal, which seems to be helping quite a bit of with anxiety, agitation, anger, and aggression. She tried Seroquel, and it didn't do a thing for her aggression. To keep this post short, she was involuntarily committed to a geriatric psychiatric ward in February. She was there for a month. Namenda also helps her. Last fall, she fell on her head, which resulted in her having seizures. She now takes Keppra and Zonegran. The Keppra caused a lot of rage, which the Risperdal is helping tremendously with the aggression. The last year has been a super rough year, but I've got to say that with the geriatric psychiatric facility starting her back on the Namenda, starting her on Resperdal, and neurology lowering the seizure medication, there are days when I feel like I'm actually talking to my mother again. So, yes, medications can work. Out of caution, I recommend having her doctor start on a super low dose of any kind of medication and go slow.
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Reply to Rhetorica
lynn1992 Apr 23, 2024
Before I read some of these posts, I gave an answer that from experience, I know that a lot of these medications can cause falls. Now I see I’m not the only one. Your loved one hitting her head is so sad. I’m glad that she’s doing better. Fish oil,magnesium and D3 are essential. Our loved one was put on a medication and we only gave her a half dose. This was to calm her down and she fell and had to have a vertebrae cemented
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At the nursing home my moms at that put her on Zoloft and she has stopped crying and is more happier . She’s been in there almost 2 years now and they keep them busy with activities so that helps with her Anexity and depression and the Zoloft has really helped her. You will need to talk to her Dr to see what’s best for her to be on.
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Reply to Rose61mary

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