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My grandmother has middle stage dementia and with her behaviors, it takes 2-3 of us at a time to handle her at once. Her biggest issues are control (she used to be high up and in charge at work and is used to running everyone's business), anger and aggression (that has worsened since my grandpa died, she doesn't remember and we keep making up stories because the telling her the first time sent her to the hospital. She perseverates on his whereabouts, and packing to "go home"), and SLEEP. She is up 36-48 hours straight despite medications, and sleeps maybe 6-9 hours on the days she does finally go to sleep! Her primary prescribed lorazepam for anxiety and trazadone with melatonin for sleep. It didn't really work. Her geriatric psychiatrist discontinued the trazadone claiming it would confuse her more and put her on the anti-psychotic seroquel and has been playing with the doses from 25mg twice a day, to 50mg twice a day, to 75mg twice a day, to now 50mg three times a day. Her primary increased the trazadone for sleep from 25 mg to 50 mg a day. None of it works! We hear the exhaustion in her voice, the slurring of her speech that indicates her body is ready to rest, but her mind just keeps on going like an energizer bunny. I never wanted her on any psychiatric meds as I know the dangers of them, but we are all so exhausted and we're worried that she's going to give herself a stroke or heart attack since she already has a weak ticking time bomb for a heart, that her cardiologist told us she's at risk for a sudden acute major heart attack since she refuses surgery. We just don't know what to do anymore and the doctors don't seem to either. Any suggestions on what worked for your loved ones would be appreciated. Something's got to give.

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Marinol is medical marijuana in pill form. I have been asking her doc about this for a year now. Small and perhaps independent studies have had wonderful results with this. Pot is legal here in Oregon now but not the actual buying of it, guess I will have to start growing my own and making mom a calming tea. I would absolutely love it if mom would sleep at night and eat more during the day. Normally she's to busy walking/shuffling her marathon to sit still long enough to eat on her own. Amazing how they can see a speck on the floor/ceiling from so far away yet can't ever see their giant recliner chair right next to them (insert eyeroll) ... anyway, mom has an appointment this Friday. I am going to beg for Marinol if I have to. What possibly could be the harm? Weight gain? A good nights sleep? Drs are such fuddy duds when it comes to certain meds.
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pamstegman, I have not heard of Marinol or the website you suggested but will definitely look into it. freqflyer, I will be sure to ask her primary and psych if benadryl is an option. No one will prescribe her an actual sleep aid because of fall risk but all of these meds could cause a fall! JeanetteB, I truly feel for you. We'd all end up hospitalized if there was only one person to take care of her. My grandmother picks up things from the floor too, things so small, I can't even see them. She also wipes constantly, and runs a lot of water in the sink and used to water the yard several times a day. The water thing is the only one I get because water is calming. Anyway, I made a mistake. Her doc discontinued lorazepam claiming confusion not trazadone. But now I will ask him about trazadone. I feel the same as you. I don't want her incapacitated but the way she is running around the house packing, lifting heavy things, and overexerting herself for hours and hours really makes me fear for her life. This really is a tough situation. I hope we both find the answer for everyone's sake. Thanks everyone for you input. It feels good to know I'm not alone.
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Oh my gosh how I do feel your struggles! My mother does the very same, but, there is only me to keep watch. Tried the Seroquel, she was picking fuzz balls off the floor for a few days. Upped upped and upped her resperidone, plus added some Parkinson's meds and of course, her depressions meds. She's not depressed but apparently it keeps her calm. Her doc won't prescribe her trazadone nor Xanax because it does confuse her more. When their minds wont shut off it makes everything more difficult. Not to mention running behind them all day making sure they don't fall on the floor from exhaustion. Such a hard situation. I am still looking for a way to calm her without completely incapacitating her.

When they get this tired, they also become a fall hazard, not to mention you become a zombie.

Benadryl works for me but not for my mother. Melatonin works for me, barely touches her when she's in pace mode.

I wish I had a positive answer for you, however, I am still looking myself!
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realuv10, check with your grandmother's doctor to see if she could take over-the-counter Benadryl safely so not to interact with other medicine, said medicine has been around for decades and hospitals use it all the time. It's used mainly for allergies, but it is also use to induce sleep. I use it whenever I need a really good sleep.
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Have you tried Marinol? see thealzheimerspouse.org
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