Panic attacks with dementia/Parkinson's, any advice?

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The past week my FIL (88) has had numerous panic attacks at least 5 on Sunday ending up in the hospital (being discharged after no cardiac arrest or stroke etc). The attacks seem to stem from us trying to move him from walker or wheelchair to the car (we went to church Sunday & this started). It appears he is losing feeling & goes into a full on attack - almost seizure like shaking. My husband insists we take him from nursing home a couple times week as he believes his dad is so incredibly bored from being there - has only been there 1 month. FIL won't socialize with others - never has done this - isn't going to play bingo etc. FIL does enjoy his outings & hubby wants to give him a good quality of life as long as we can. Do prescribed drugs help with these attacks? We are very new to this diagnosis & trying to figure our way thru it all.

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Just wanted to point out that tremors are part of the disease and I've noticed that stress of any kind can increase the shaking exponentially. (Although I have to admit I've never been comfortable with my mom's parkinson's diagnosis - perhaps just parkinsonism? -  so that may not be true for everyone)
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Reply to cwillie
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Google panic attack parkinson's and you will learn (as I did) that such episodes are not unusual for people with that disease. And they can be related to the medications given for Parkinson's. The University of Michigan has a good article.
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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Oh, and to actually answer your question, I have two family members subject to panic attacks. I don't think either of them takes a medication for that; they have learned techniques for handling them when they occur. One also takes medication for general anxiety.

I think that someone with dementia would have a particularly hard time with panic. He probably isn't going to be able to reassure himself that he has had this before, it will go away, no damage is being done, etc.

Does he have signs of anxiety? I think the doctor I would talk to about this is the Parkinson's doc. Then he won't get anything that will interfere with the drugs he is taking for that.
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FIL has only been in the nh for a month. It often takes longer than that for a new resident to settle in. Taking him out a couple times a week may be interfering with him accepting his new home.

Discuss it with the NH social worker. Each person is different, of course, but what has their experience been with outings the first weeks of residence?

Consider visiting with him where he is, instead of outings. Read the schedule of religious services, pick one that seems suitable to him, and then join him at that service. Look at the schedule of activities. OK, Dad isn't going to go to Bingo. How about joining him for live entertainment? If you go with him a few times at least he will know enough about it to decide whether to go on his own or not. Is there some "club" just for men? Is there a sunny spot with a nice view where he can read the paper and drink his beverage? Could you join him for that occasionally?

He doesn't need to suddenly become a social butterfly if that is not his personality. But it would be nice if he finds someone to talk to during meals.

Of course, the outings may not have anything to do with the panic attacks. But for the sake of helping him settle in, consider stopping the outings for a while. The "seizure-like" episodes may be related to his Parkinson's or dementia. Do mention them to the doctor who manages his Parkinson's treatment.

Since he seems to enjoy the outings, perhaps you can try resuming them again after he is more settled in his new home.
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Not to sound harsh, but Hubby is wrong about Dad. One year I asked a friend to take my mom from the nursing home to the friend’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. We would be out of town and I felt guilty about Mom being “alone”. Mom was so stressed out about being taken from her familiar surroundings that she wound up in the ER a few days later with chest pains. I never took her out of the facility again.

Unless this starts happening while he’s in his facility, please don’t drug Dad up just to take him out. He will be so “out of it”, he won’t know where he’s at anyway.

If Hubby is feeling guilty because he thinks Dad is “bored”, bring things to him. A picture album. A CD player and some recordings of his favorite music. Take him from his room to the lounge is he’s ok with that. Speak kindly to Hubby and explain that Dementia patients mostly live in their own world. They don’t get bored like we do. Suddenly removing them from familiar surroundings can kick in hallucinations and delusions.
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