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My mom was diagnosed with vascular dementia a few months ago (hindsight...a few years of mild symptoms). Her anxiety, paranoid behaviors and insomnia seem to be increasing lately. Actually, she may have a few good days then a week of bad days-is this normal? She had a full work up in the ER today due to dizziness and generalized weakness but everything was normal. This illness has me baffled.

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Please, PLEASE have her evaluated by a geriatric psychiatrist for antidepressants and antianxiety meds. My mom takes both with transdermal pain relief with no issues. YOU tell the doctor's what you're seeing and THEY come up with a safe medication regimen. Don't think that you have to figure this out yourself.
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I agree with posts above. Vascular dementia is quite alarming. It hits fast and yet when it does, you can look back and see things that were not normal. My loved one has this, mixed with AD. Her progression has been very rapid.

She went from running her own household to being incontinent and wheelchair bound in a Secure Memory Care unit in less than a few months. Suffers severe memory loss.

Initially, the doctor told my cousin that she had memory issues in her office, but my cousin didn't relate that to AD or dementia. She also told her she had balance issues, blood pressure, etc. And that she needed help and therapy. It wasn't until later, when we saw the neurologist that things got more detailed. The neurologist told her she had memory loss and that it could be from a number of reasons and he listed the reasons. From that day forward, we just called it memory loss and that we would treat it.

The only thing she ever said about it, was that she hated to lose memories of her wonderful parents. There was never a reason to frighten her by giving her details about Vascular dementia or AD. Besides, she would have forgotten it anyway. Now, she doesn't know she's sick. She thinks she works and lives in the memory care unit.

I would watch her anxiety, paranoia, agitation, and depression. Sometimes they get very anxious and worry a lot. Crying is quite common. Cymbalta really helped my cousin. I would keep that in mind and have your mom evaluated by her doctor if you see she is suffering mentally. There are many options. Keeping them as content as possible is my motto. Be careful if they prescribe Xanax. It's not that good for people with dementia, from my experience AND it may increase their dizziness. My cousin fell TWICE while taking it.

I would read a lot about the condition so you know what to expect. There are things you can do that will make life more manageable for you and your mom. It's never easy though. I would start now thinking about her future care. Eventually, the normal days don't exist and her care is a 24/7 responsibility. I wish you both the best.
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Dino, please read up on handling dementia on this site. Lots of good stuff here. Your Mom is losing her ability to reason. It's not her fault, it's simply the disease.

I wouldn't try to explain to her that she has dementia. With my father the most I'll say to him after a big boo boo he's made is"well maybe you're starting to forget a little bit" he's ok with that but he freaks if I suggest he get tested for dementia.

Don't argue with Mom or constantly correct her. This will only upset her. Distract her, change the subject, tell her what she needs to hear to feel safe and calm, and fib when you have to.

It is the new normal and it's downhill from here. I don't mean to be abrupt or scare you but learn all you can about dementia. This site has been a great resourse for me as Dad and I began this journey.
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Thank you, I appreciate the feedback. We've already taken care of the bills and legal issues. The most difficult thing with this disease is the daily change. These bumps seem to come in waves....she will be good for a few weeks then something triggers anxiety. The anxiety seems to be getting out of control, I can't redirect her anymore. She stares into space then asks me about things from years past. Her big doe eyes break my heart because I fear she is suffering in silence.....afraid to tell me that she knows something isn't right. How do I tell her that she has dementia without scaring her? Do I tell her? Will she be relieved that there is a reason for her behavior? I am at a loss. I am afraid of xanax because she takes alot of pain medication (transdermal) for her back pain and prn meds occasionally. I guess my questions is .....Is this the new normal?
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This disease is a roller coaster she can be totally connected one minute and then talking nonsense the next. Mom's MD started with Xanax for her anxiety and it helped for a while. When we took the car away, he had to add in an SSRI antidepressant. Her MD gives her a B12 shot monthly. Mom will need follow-ups at least every 3 months because the disease progression is unpredictable. NOW is when you get her to sign a Health Care Proxy. NOW is when you take over or supervise her bill paying, because I guarantee she will mix it up. Be sure you know where to find important things like her Will, her Advanced Directives, property titles, insurance policies, because she won't be able to tell you where they are or she may even discard them.
She is at the point where she knows she is losing function, and that causes the upsets. If you can keep her calm, she will do better longer.
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