Mom is on the drug Haldol for outcries for about a month. Now she doesn't want to eat or feed herself. What do I do?

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She has been on this drug for about a month. She has been in a nursing home for 5 months . She fell and broke her hip. They say they are feeding her. My sister says she doesnt like the food. She does eat yogurt and puddings by herself according to my sister. The nurse says that they feed her. It has been from one thing to another. First her hip . Then rehab. Then she fell again in the nursing home she spent about 13 days in the hospital. She suffered a bad bruise to her eye, knee, shoulder, and hand were very bruised. Plus she has bladder infections all the time. Oh, and while she was in the hospital I called one night to check on my Mom . Her nurse was busy so they took my number and were to call me back. Well, they called and told me that my mother had passed away. I called back to the hospital and told them not to move her that I wanted to see her. The nurse told me fine come to the er. I live 2 hours away. So when I arrive they ask who I was and having been there several times still didnt remember me. The nurse says there has been a mistake. My moms nurse was a new nurse and got the wrong number (person).I was offered money and food whatever I needed . I took nothing but told them to please take good care of my Mother. What do I do? I feel like things are slipping away from me. Also, my Dad just fell last week and broke his hip. My parents are divorced. My dad live 45 minutes from me and my mom is 2 hours from me.Please any advice.

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Dear Please,

I am so sorry that you've been through so much. The idea that the hospital nurse told you that your mom had passed away and had the wrong person - I just don't know what to say! There are no words. I know that these things happen, but it's horrid that they do.

As far as your mom's current care, considering your mom's ill health, if you feel that she's being cared for fairly well I don't know that I'd change her nursing home status. The problem could be Haldol. Haldol is an extremely powerful drug and while there are times when it's useful, when they gave it to my dad it was a disaster. I've heard from others with similar stories.

I think if I were you I'd talk with the doctor and ask if there is another medication that could be tried. Haldol may be contributing to your mom's lack of appetite, her falls and even her bladder infections.

Now your dad also broke his hip. Just know that you can't make this all "okay" for either of them. Do what you can to show support but don't accept full responsibility.

It sounds as though your sister is helping to some degree. Talk with her about how much you two can do for your parents and what you need to leave to the experts.

Sadly, there are situations that we can only try to make better, but we can't fix them. You've got it coming from both sides. Do what you can but don't beat yourself up over it. Please let us know how you are doing.
Carol
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Please, you are having a very rough time. Your post sounds desperate, and I don't blame you. The hospital incident was an absolute disgrace. I applaud your forbearance in not accepting financial compensation, but in your place I'd still have put in a written complaint if only to make sure the right person gets spanked and it never happens again, to you or anyone else.

Carol's advice is very good: I would certainly agree that your best first step must be to book and have a thorough, detailed discussion about your mother's care plan and her doctors' realistic expectations for the short and mid-term future.

I also completely agree that you and your sister would both find it helpful to work together on this. Is your sister nearer your mother's NH? Does she have any legal responsibility for your mother's care, such as POA? If the two of you are not happy with the NH, even if you don't have legal authority to make decisions you can still see what alternatives are available for your mother. There's absolutely nothing to stop you finding out what's possible. What were these 'outcries' that made sedation necessary? I would certainly want clear explanations about the necessity to continue sedation if I were you.

A note of reassurance: the horrific-looking injuries that very frail, elderly people sustain when they fall seem, at least, to be not nearly as painful as they look. One time when I took her to see her doctor, I was hanging my head in shame while my mother seemed cheerfully unaware that she looked like a road traffic accident victim - all from one nose-dive onto her bedroom floor.

I can understand your worries about your mother's appetite, too. Strangely, my mother always has 'room' for dessert - even when otherwise she can't manage a thing. But there could be other foods that would tempt your mother's appetite besides ice cream. Again, there's nothing to stop you giving the NH a list of your mother's favourite dishes and snacks, and asking nicely if they can see what they can rustle up for her.

But step one, united front with your sister. Step two, full conference with those in charge of your mother's care. Step three, repeat the above for your father. One thing at a time. There is only one of you, and you cannot do everything and be everywhere. Deep breath. Good luck x
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I agree with Carol. Although Haldol is less expensive than the newer antipsychotic drugs, talk to her doctor for switching to one that is better tolerated by your mother. Good Luck!
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Haldol is a antipsychtic drug with a long list of side effects given as a drug of choice in the 80's for schizophrenics. I will admit I am NOT a doctor, but it is beyond me why any medical person would prescribe this drug. I have written before, about a nanny cam I used when my mom was in a memory care unit. It is the, SVAT Alarm Clock Hidden Camera purchased through website Brickhousesecurity I was able to see that the staff was not making the bed checks as they said they did and even caught an aid going through a duffle bag I had on mom's bed when I came to visit. If you are in a state where you can purchase this, I've been told marijuana lollipops will increase appetite.Good Luck!!
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All the antipsychotics can cayuse drug-induced Parkinsonism and are also linked to dyskinesias, dystonias, and akathisia as motor effects. The former is the most common and can make swallowing very difficult (dysphagia). If that class of drug is really, really necessary - and sometimes it is - then sure, try others besides Haldol, makes sure Haldol or any other drug is at the lowest effective dosage, and at the very least try having some Cogentin (benztropine - if anticholiergic side effects can be tolerated), Artane, or Sinemet added. Another option is switching from a true antipsychotic to something like buspirone, which has a lot lower incidence of side effects. Some psych docs turn up their noses at it, but we often see it work well for agitation for our patients with brain injury.

This can be a real rock and hard place situation. There are problems with almost all medications, and they just have to be weighed against the problems without medications; if any non-medication approaches could work, that should be tried too, whether in addition or instead.
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Unfortunately Haldol, which is an old school anti-psychotic, does cause a loss of appetite. In addition to loss of appetite it can also cause nausea, vomiting, digestive issues, and headache...I wouldn't want to eat either!!

If the Haldol is working for its intended purpose, which I assume is possibly agitation, aggressiveness, hallucinations, then you may not want to attempt a new medication. But, you could switch to one of the newer anti-psychotics such as Seroquel (if the doctor thinks it will help) that have fewer side effects. The problem is, they may not work for the intended purpose...which would be to decrease agitation, hallucinations etc...

Medicating an elder is such a hard task. It can take many many tries before you find the right drug (or drug combination) and the right dosage. I think if her loss of appetite is this severe it may be useful to try something else.

I also wanted to say shame on the hospital for making such a horrible error...do they REALLY tell family members OVER THE PHONE that someone has passed...even if they did pass? This seems very cruel. Even more so that they made such a terrible error. Additionally they shared the status of ANOTHER patient with you, possibly violating HIPPA? Really horrifying. I hope you will be reporting the issue to the hospital administrator. Even though they take good care of your mom...these errors should not be swept under the rug. In the future, the error could be far more severe and could hurt a patient.

I wish you peace.

Angel
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Make sure she has a doctor NOT connected to the facility. That way the meds are for your mother (and now father) not for staff convenience. I like the idea of a nanny cam, even just to see that they are doing a good job. It might also give her MD an idea of what her issues are. There are some nutritional puddings, and protein bars, but you need to be sure she is well hydrated. (I use sugar free flavor drops in a sports bottle with my dad.

Now that dad is in trouble, maybe your sister is primary for your mom, and you for your dad. Find a home near you for him. You can each be the secondary person on each of their POAs. Have the hospital that is taking care of your dad help locating appropriate placement. Also it either your parents are on medicaid with limited resources which should cover care, or have resources an you need to contact an elder attorney to see how to protect their assets.
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That drug is known to have many NEGATIVE side effects especially to people who have mental conditions I HATE it personnely, I have seen numerous people on it , teenagers and elders and never ever seen improvement!
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Haldol is an old school drug and is very powerful and over time. I have seen elderly patients. Being affected terribly. It can cause more agitation. I have seen strange mouth movement. They can walk differently which they call the Haldol shovel. I took care of my mother at home. She was on hospice care. I tried Haldol one night. What a terrible night I had, never gave it to her again even though Hospice asked me to. I refused. After that episode, as soon as I saw her starting to get agitated. I would give her Ativan. But, my mother was bed bound. I would not give it to a mobile person. The UTI's I would ask what organism is coming back on the. Urine and Culture test. If the organism is E-Coli. That is poor hygiene given by the staff. They are washing back to front. When they should was front to back. A nurse calling you and telling you your mother passed. That information should go to the hospital administration. I have never saw a nurse pass on the death of a patient. I am use to a physician doing it as he/she has to fill out the death certificate if it is off hours. Medical Records would type it up but, the physician still signs it. The multiple falls are inexcusable and multiple bruising. I would call Public Health of your state and have an investigation done. I would also pull my mother out of the nursing home and find a better one. It may be a good idea if your mother doesn't like the food to bring some in and put her name on it and put it in the fridge. The staff can heat it up and give it to her. Cookies etc put into a plastic container with her name on it. I wish you the best of luck! Your mother deserve better
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my mom ended up on haldol the last 3 months of life. the monthly injections were fine tuned with daily oral haldol and adjusted at the caregiver and hospiss nurses disgression. i think it worked quite well .
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