Is it reasonable for the entire group of residents to be treated with Tamiflu in an effort to prevent an outbreak? - AgingCare.com

Is it reasonable for the entire group of residents to be treated with Tamiflu in an effort to prevent an outbreak?

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My sister lives in a memory care facility where the residents are encouraged to spend a lot of time in the common areas. One of the nurses called me today to say they have one resident with a confirmed case of Flu and they want to give all the residents a course of Tamiflu. I understand the need to prevent an outbreak with something so contagious, but i also worry about adding anything to her list of meds. I'm wondering if this will be safe for her. Thanks.

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I realize this is an older post but since the flu season is upon us again I found it interesting

Last March one resident in my mom's memory care facility tested positive for type a flu and they wanted to give everyone tamiflu - since my mom is very sensitive to drugs I asked her pcp for his opinion - since she had just had a UTI a bad fall and a night in the hospital he recommended the tamiflu as we didn't need her getting the flu

I wasn't aware of the potential side effects but would probably allow it again with a more vigilant eye

I have to admit I was surprised the facility instituted a hand washing policy during the outbreak and was required to post a notice at the entrance until cleared by the health dept. one would think a hand washing police would always be in effect
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The staff aren't being treated? Well! That blows the herd immunity argument out of the water doesn't it, surely? What does the CDC say about that?

CFT, I'll keep my fingers tightly crossed that your sister doesn't pick up this nasty bug. All other considerations aside, real 'flu is a miserable experience that I wouldn't wish on anyone.
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Surprise, thanks for finding that about the CDC. That sounds like what is going on at my sister's residence, except that they are not waiting for a second confirmed case. They didn't start the course right away, maybe they were checking with everyone's personal doctor, or their family, and they wanted to start everyone on the course at the same time. They said they were doing extra monitoring and hand-washing.
The staff is not included in the tamiflu One of the nurses told me that if they get sick, they have to go to their own doctors.

Gershun, I am so sorry your dear mom died, and that you have this continuing grief over the Tamiflu that might have made her sick. I am definitely calling my sister every day to see how she is.
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I came across this topic on the CDC flu site yesterday. Apparently in institutional care like asst living etc, if two residents test positive for the flu, they are to be quarantined and everyone else is supposed to get Tamiflu for the next week. Everyone is supposed to be monitored more frequently than normal to watch for others coming down with it. This is the Center for Disease Control's recommendation, not some random nursing home trying to help their numbers. I imagine there is some kind of standing order with a doctor somewhere to give the order for the entire residence.
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I have a story about Tamiflu which has bothered me ever since my Mom died 10 mths. ago. Shortly before she became gravely ill at the nursing home she had been given Tamiflu. I noticed her cognitive functions, her speech and general personality changed right after she had started being given this drug. I to this day feel this had something to do with my Mom's death. I had voiced my concerns to the doctors and was given the old eyeroll and don't google things lecture.

I don't want to alarm anyone but I would monitor my loved ones if they are given this drug.
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Nojoy, I do understand your point about quality of life, and if we perceive that it is very poor, then ask the question of why take measures to prolong a painful state. But allowing a virus, by standing back and doing nothing, to sweep through the entire community who live there, and along with their caretakers, would be irresponsible and inhumane, I believe.
Subjecting my sweet, intelligent but forgetful sister and her neighbors to an outbreak of an unpleasant and possibly fatal virus when with precautions it probably be averted just makes sense and seems compassionate to me.
However, I may some day have a similar point of view as you do in this moment, when I become caregiver for a loved one with dementia. I feel compassion for you.
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I just don't get it and I honestly wish someone would explain it to me. These folks with dementia are going to die a horrible death if whatever form of dementia they have progresses to the end. Their only saving grace is that their mind will be gone and they won't know it. Why in the world would we want them to suffer this disease any longer than necessary? Why would we give them Tamiflu or even a flu shot? Wouldn't it be better to die of the flu or some other infectious process than to suffer this terminal disease, dementia. Suffer it for years until you're finally bedridden, totally incontinent, unable to swallow, unable to recognize any family or friends. No doubt about it, death is ugly but then so are many diseases. Rather than trying to prevent or treat these diseases such as the flu why don't we just let these folks enjoy every day they have. If they would happen to get the flu why don't we treat them with love and compassion making them as comfortable as possible. If death would come for them why don't we just thank God for the years our loved one doesn't have to suffer this horrible disease of dementia.
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It's true the annual flu shot doesn't cover all possible strains, and they have to be so careful to avoid it spreading. I talked with my sister this afternoon and she sounded chipper. (I'm 1200 miles away.) Whew!
Thank you Babalou, that is it exactly about the call on the cell phone.
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When my mom was in the nursing home for a 2 week respite stay I was asked if she had had her flu shot (yes) and then asked if I would approve her being given tamiflu if there was an outbreak. I honestly think that there are way more fatalities from the flu in long term care than are statistically counted, because even if the flu doesn't immediately lead to death it can hasten the decline of those who are vulnerable. I think it must be fairly standard for facilities to at least offer tamiflu, that would indicate they are doing all they reasonably can to contain an outbreak and also absolve them of blame.
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I guess I'm assuming that they did all have flu shots and one resident came down with a viral strain that wasn't covered in the mix.
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